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A Life Down the Drain

Calls for Tabanan, Bali Regency to Take Responsibility in Death of Boy Killed by Open Sewer

(9/1/2013) Open drainage ditches and sewers without covers are an unfortunate hazards pedestrians in Bali must learn to navigate.

 
DenPost reports that an open sewage drain on Jalan Anggrek in front of the Telkom office in Tabanan, West Bali tragically claimed a young victim on Thursday, August 28, 2013.
 
14-year-old I Gusti Agung Putu Pratama died from wounds suffered when he fell into an open sewer ditch over which the protective cover had long collapsed.
 
The incident happened at 10:30 pm when the young man had left a local billiard hall on an errand to a nearby cigarette seller to purchase tobacco for a friend.
 
The boy was lifted out of the drain and rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
 
A member of the Tabanan House of Representatives (DPRD-Tabanan) from the Democratic Party Faction, Ida Bagus Kade Adnyana Suryawan, has called on the Tabanan regency government to accept responsibility for the boy’s death. “Public facilities, such as drainage ditches, are automatically the responsibility of the regency or the relevant government department on matters of supervision and maintenance,” said Suryawan.
 
Suryawan said that the care and maintenance of all elements of the public infrastructure must be included in public budgets and local village units must deliver regular reports on the condition of these structures.
 
The former chairman of the DPRD-Tabanan, I Made Arimbawa, also called for the situation causing the death of the boy to be given top priority by the regency. “If plans are to build statues and roadways the money is quickly made available, the same attention must be given to the care and maintenance of the basic infrastructure. Let’s not just pay attention to making high profile area look ‘wow’, while the location like that of the (boy's) death, that is not far from the City’s center, are neglected.”
 
DenPost returned to the location of the boy’s death a day after the incident to discover the open sewer was being being inspected by Tabanan Public Works officers. A simple bamboo fence had been erected around the hole.
 
Photograph: DenPost