Saturday, October 19, 2019

Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia

Thanks to the progressive thinking of the village head of Ponggok (Indonesia), the polluted pond in this locality has turned into a "social network star," where guests take surreal photos and check-ins that stirred social networks.

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Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia

Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia
Located in the village of Ponggok in the center of Java Island (Indonesia), the Umbul Ponggok pond, with a size of 20x50 m, quickly became a check-in point to attract visitors when owning clear water, colorful fish and a variety of strange props submerged underwater. Photo: Snoppysnoopy, Dolan Yok.
Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia
With an entrance fee of 15,000 rupiah ($ 1), visitors can dive to the bottom of the pond and pose for photos next to jets, sleds, tents, motorbikes or TVs ... Visitors can rent a camera below water or pay for a photographer to take a picture. Photo: Umbul_ponggok.
Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia
With the best underwater photos, the Instagram account of this emerging destination has more than 40,000 followers. Even the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, was impressed with the interesting scenery at Umbul Ponggok. He posted a picture of a tourist riding a motorbike underwater on his personal Instagram and received more than 640,000 likes. Photo: Umbul_ponggok.
Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia
15 years ago, Umbul Ponggok was just a dirty and polluted pond, where villagers bathed and washed their clothes. Ponggok was also very poor at the time, with a high unemployment rate. Few lucky people have jobs in local farms or quarries. Photo: Umbul_ponggok.
Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia
In 2006, newly elected village chief Junaedi Mulyono realized the tourism potential of the pond if renovated. Umbul Ponggok has very good natural conditions, which is home to 40 streams. He persuaded the villagers to invest in cleaning the pond, "changing the skin" of this place into a tourist attraction. Photo: Ellzelly.
Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia
Under the direction of Mulyono, the villagers joined hands to set up the Tirta Mandiri project, turning the Umbul Ponggok pond into a "money-making place". Out of 700 families in the village, 430 households have invested in the project. They own nearly 40% of Umbul Ponggok's shares. Mulyono village chief responded to the press: “At first many people did not want to invest but after seeing the development of the pond, they changed their minds. Tourists to Umbul Ponggok help the local economy grow ”. Photo: Umbul_ponggok.
Turning polluted ponds into a social networking star in Indonesia
Now, the village unemployment problem has been solved. Locals work at Umbul Ponggok or sell souvenirs, clothes, and food to visitors. With this proud success, Ponggok has been recognized by the Indonesian government as one of the 10 model villages in the country. Photo: Wonderfulsoloraya.

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