"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

Categories: Asia | Society

Bantar Gebang is located 19 kilometers from the Indonesian city of Jakarta— the largest open landfill in Southeast Asia, where industrial waste is taken and sewage flows. Every day, 9,000 tons of garbage are delivered to the landfill. 

This giant dump is the home of several thousand people, and some children were born there and do not know another life. French photographer Alexander Settler visited Bantar Gebang and took a series of shocking pictures there.

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

Residents of the landfill use it as a way of earning money: among the garbage they are looking for items that can be resold. Settler called it "the world of filth" or "the vile world."

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

The living conditions there are terrible: smells, bacteria, harm to health... Families with children settle there in makeshift houses without drinking water and without access to medical care. Children live right in the middle of garbage and play with garbage. Some people walk barefoot, so children are often injured: the ground is strewn with sharp objects. One family showed me their son's foot with an open wound — then I felt helpless."

Alexander Settler

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

The children taught me that there is joy even in the worst situations. I saw how the children happily play, how happy they are to spend time with me: they showed me their houses with toys, introduced me to my parents. Since they can't compare themselves to the children who live outside these mountains of waste, they seem content."

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

Reza Bonard, who lived in this dump in the past, is doing everything possible to improve the living conditions of former neighbors. She was lucky: she studied at a secondary school outside the landfill and got out of there. But the woman returned to teach the Indonesians from the landfill how to get out of poverty.

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

Bonard, along with his friend from Britain, John Devlin, created the BGBJ organization, which stands for the "seeds of Bantar Gebang". The organization has opened a hostel and a community center in the landfill, which is engaged in education. The founders of BGBJ believe that local children (they are metaphorically called "seeds") can be educated and taught a successful life in the outside world.

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

Settler says that everyone can help the poor:

"Vile world": how 3,000 families with children live in a huge landfill

Recent articles

In limbo
In limbo

In Iran, girls are considered criminally punishable from the age of 9. They can be sentenced to death by hanging for committing ...

"Wait for me and I'll be back": a missing cat met its owner after 13 years of separation
"Wait for me and I'll be back": a missing cat met its owner ...

The loss of a pet is a real grief for the owners. They try to find him by any means, and if this fails, they continue to hope that ...

Without embellishment: the new app gives you the opportunity to see the stars without makeup
Without embellishment: the new app gives you the opportunity ...

We are used to the perfect appearance of Hollywood beauties. But what is hidden under a thick layer of makeup? The new MakeApp ...