JAKARTA, Indonesia — (AP) — Against the backdrop of smokestacks from a nearby coal power plant, the sky above Edy Suryana’s village stays grey for months at a time, while ashes and the stench of smoke hang in the air.
Suryana has spent more than three decades living in the shadow of the power plant in northern Java, just 60 miles from Jakarta, Indonesia’s most populous city. She and other villagers have watched as their loved ones suffered from coughing fits, itchy skin and other health problems that many believe are partly because of the ever-present smog.
Pollution is causing a rise in respiratory illnesses and deaths in northern Java, including Jakarta, experts say. Smog in the metropolis of 11.2 million people comes from a combination of the coal-fired plants, vehicle and motorcycle exhaust, trash burning and industries, and many in the city are demanding that the government take action.