INDONESIA: As the largest archipelagic gem, Indonesia grapples with the challenge of trash management, posing a significant impact on the environment, public health, and community well-being.
According to the latest data gathered by the National Waste Management Information System (SIPSN) in 2022, Indonesia produced a waste generation of 31.6 million tons per year, waste reduction of 4.54 million tons per year (14.39 percent), waste handling of 15.7 million tons per year (49.57 percent), managed waste of 20.21 million tons per year (63.95 percent) and unmanaged waste of 11.4 million tons per year (36.05 percent).
However, amidst these pressing issues, a formidable movement has emerged to combat waste and raise environmental consciousness.
Enter Pandawara, a dynamic group of young visionaries determined to protect the environment and reduce the detrimental effects of waste on society and nature.
How did it all begin?
This transformative journey was sparked when five passionate youths—Gilang, Rifqi, Agung, Iksan, and Rafly—witnessed the recurrent floods in their locality.
Intrigued by the root cause of this problem, they discovered that clogged rivers, filled with garbage, were exacerbating the flooding.
Prompted by their concern, they initiated river clean-up actions to tackle this environmental crisis.
Initially, their efforts were confined to local actions, but soon they decided to leverage the power of social media.
After sharing a compelling video showcasing their clean-up efforts, their movement gained widespread recognition and momentum.
Pandawara’s dynamic impact
Starting in 2022, Pandawara’s mission transcends merely cleaning their immediate surroundings.
They embarked on ambitious initiatives to clear trash from various waterways in Bandung, thus contributing to a better environment.
With an awe-inspiring commitment, according to Waste4Change, Pandawara has collected an impressive 27,066 kilograms of waste, meticulously packed in 4,511 garbage bags, from 78 waterways across Bandung City and Regency.
In their relentless pursuit of a cleaner nation, Pandawara expanded their operations to tackle garbage hotspots.
The movement has evolved into a collaborative endeavor, as they welcome volunteers who share their passion for environmental stewardship.
Their impact stretched to the sandy shores, where 300 tons of trash were eradicated from one of Indonesia’s dirtiest beaches, with the support of approximately 3,700 dedicated volunteers.
Initially, Pandawara relied on personal funds to carry out this clean-up mission. Due to the scale getting wider, now they are opening donations through their Instagram channel.
The power of community and recognition
Embracing social media, Pandawara has amassed 1.7 million followers on Instagram and an astounding 7.6 million followers on TikTok.
Their efforts have garnered acclaim, including the prestigious TikTok Local Heroes in the Year on TikTok 22 award.
Even the Governor of West Java, Ridwan Kamil, expressed his admiration and appreciation throughout his official Instagram for these five extraordinary young men, labeling them as exemplary citizens.
“@pandawaragroup WEST JAVA EXAMPLE CITIZENS. Aren’t you ashamed that you still throw garbage anywhere? Even in the sacred place of Masjid Al Jabbar, some residents still litter carelessly.”
“Let me introduce PANDAWARA. These are five Gen Z young people, Korean (Kopo Area) Bandung kids who are handsome, clean and tidy, but with strong determination, not afraid of getting dirty, and actively clean their surroundings.”
A mission beyond clean-up
Pandawara understands that lasting change depends on raising public awareness.
Alongside their cleanup mission, they strive to inspire a collective consciousness about the significance of maintaining a clean environment for a better life.
Undoubtedly, Pandawara’s relentless pursuit of environmental harmony and their ability to ignite change through social media exemplifies the spirit of the new generation, inspiring all Indonesians to unite in safeguarding their cherished land.