A member of House of Representatives Commission VII – which oversees policies on the environment, energy, research and technology – has urged state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina to bear full responsibility for the victims of an oil spill and an ensuing fire in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.
“This is cannot be negotiated,” commission member Adian Napitupulu from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said on a visit to Balikpapan on Monday.
He added that that responsibility could take the form of an education fund for victims’ children until they graduate from college.
Five fishermen died in a fire that broke out following an oil spill in Balikpapan Bay on March 31. Pertamina admitted last week that the spill had come from a burst oil pipeline of the company. One of the killed fishermen, Imam Nurokhim, 41, had a toddler.
The spilled oil also allegedly killed marine animals living in and around the bay. Residents in Klandasan Ulu subdistrict found the body of an Irrawaddy dolphin, an endangered species commonly found in Kalimantan river mouths.
House Commission VII deputy chairman Herman Khaeron from the Democratic Party, meanwhile, urged the company and authorities to completely clean up the spill.