JAKARTA — At least 168 people, mainly children, have died after falling into abandoned mining pits across Indonesia over the past seven years, according to a new report. The report by the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), an industry watchdog, identifies 3,092 abandoned mining pits scattered throughout 13 provinces. Most of them, 1,735 pits, are in East Kalimantan province, the coal heartland of one of the world’s biggest producers and exporters of the fossil fuel. By law, mining companies are required to rehabilitate and restore the site of their operations once they have finished mining. But many fail to do so, leaving the pits to eventually fill up with rainwater and become a drowning hazard for nearby residents. Between 2014 and 2020, 168 people died after falling into these pits, according to Jatam; 24 of the deaths were recorded in 2020 alone. Jatam legal researcher Muhammad Jamil singled out Samarinda, the provincial capital of East Kalimantan, as one of the deadliest regions in Indonesia for people living around coal mines. “There are 39 people who died in mining pits [in Samarinda], the majority of them being children,” he said in a recent online discussion for the release of the report. “And there were some who died because of drowning in the pits, there were also those who died because they were burned as these kids fell into the pits which still have coal in them.” But while East Kalimantan had the highest number of abandoned mining pits, the island province of…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer