A secluded white sandy beach with clear turquoise waters, paradise.
For me the Gili islands were utter paradise, the ultimate beach location. It is whilst I plan for my up-incoming holiday to Bali later this June that I am reminded of my magical stay on these small and remote islands.
While back packing round Indonesia two years ago my friend and I took two weeks to explore these beautiful and relaxing islands. Although heavily promoted around Bali and Lombok it was surprising how few visitors ventured to Gili Air or Gili Meno, the smaller of the islands. It was Gili Air that made the biggest impact in my memory; cheap rooms with beach views, plenty of cafes and gorgeous beaches around the island, making the ultimate secluded holiday.
The island’s natural beauty which dazzled us on arrival faded little after two days of arriving. It was Wednesday 18th April and as we headed down to Scallywags restaurant that morning, we were shocked to discover that the once beautiful sandy beach was covered with litter.
We learnt after talking to the locals that every year tonnes of waste washes up on the surrounding islands. The volume of waste that is found scattered along the beaches has been generated by both tourists and locals in Bali. Instead of properly disposing the rubbish it is instead taken inland to many creeks and dumped. After storms and heavy rain the rubbish is then washed to sea before finding its way onto the neighbouring beaches. Each year locals and tourists work together to quickly clean the infected beaches before unnecessary damage is made to the surrounding environment.
A common occurrence and major threat to the environment you wonder why the government are not taking steps to resolve this issue. By modifying their current waste disposal service and by tourists and locals working together to cut their waste consumption, a difference could be made not just to these Indonesian islands but to ensure the health of other islands around the world.