Indonesian Catholics are engaged in an environmental programme in central Java to help repopulate a local river’s fish stock. Some 1,000 Indonesian Catholics took part on Divine Mercy Sunday in an effort to spread 500,000 fertilized fish eggs into the Banjir Kanal Barat river in Semarang. The programme called, "Church Cares for River" was jointly conducted by seven parishes in Semarang to help preserve the 9.2-kilometer-long river, said Natalis Utomo, the event organizer. "The programme is a movement of repentance for ecological sins so as to remind all of us that our life is very supported by the womb of Mother Earth," he told UCANEWS. Utomo said that the program was aimed at spurring an interest in environment for all local residents, not just Catholics.
Jesuit Father Agustinus Sarwanto, an ecological expert and parish priest at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Bongsari, said that the river and the Jatibarang reservoir were chosen for the program because "the fish population in the river and reservoir has diminished." Gov. Ganjar Pranowo thanked the church for organizing the program, saying that local people find it difficult to catch fish in the river.
Agus Mohadi, who lives in nearby Krobokan village, said he looks forward to returning to the river in a few months in the hope that the parrotfish will be big enough to be caught. (Source: UCAN)