Access to Sanitation and Drinking Water for the Poverty-stricken Must Be Funded

water-dot-org Photo by: Tribun

Source: Tribun
Date: March 25, 2022

TRIBUNNEWS.COM, JAKARTA - There are still many Indonesian people who do not have access to drinking water and proper sanitation. Financing the poor for access to sanitation and drinking water needs to be supported.

Water.org Senior Program Manager Aldi Surianingrat explained that there are 38 million people who do not have access to sanitation and 20 million people who do not have access to proper drinking water.

Whereas access to drinking water in developing countries can encourage a more productive and healthy quality of life for people.

"Those who do not have access to drinking water and proper sanitation are many from the community, especially those with low incomes," said Aldi in his statement, Thursday (24/3/2022).

Aldi said microfinance could provide wider access for the community to proper water and sanitation infrastructure.

"Water.org continues to encourage financial institutions to have financial products that target people with access to drinking water and sanitation," he said.

Since 2014, Aldi explained, more than 600 thousand households have received financing facilitated by Water.org. Of the 600 thousand households, around 3.3 million people benefit from financing to access drinking water and sanitation.

"Interestingly, the number of funds circulating for credit, to help households, especially low-income people, to pay in installments, is up to Rp 1.4 trillion from 2014," he said.

Aldi hopes that in the momentum of World Water Day which falls on March 22, more people will understand that sanitation and drinking water issues are still not resolved.

Moreover, in May 2022, Indonesia will host the Sector Minister Meeting (SMM) which is present to strengthen cooperation between the ministers responsible for water, sanitation, and hygiene from 50 countries.

"SMM 2022 will be held in tandem with the Sanitation and Drinking Water Conference (KSAN) as a strategic forum for binding commitments between stakeholders in improving access to water and sanitation," he said.

Meanwhile, the Head of the National Madani Capital Mekaar Business Management Division (PNM), Wisnandi Habang, said that the main problem at this time was poverty. And poverty is related to access to drinking water and sanitation.

"So to solve the problem of access to drinking water and sanitation, of course, we have to solve the problem of poverty itself," he said.

According to Wisnandi, PNM seeks to overcome the problem of poverty in low-income communities by supporting a productive economy in the community.

"And in society, there is a family. And family is very closely related to women," he said.

PNM also disburses financing to low-income communities, for access to sanitation and family drinking water. The amount ranges from Rp 500 thousand to Rp 2 million.

"Currently there are 40 thousand active financings, with a total distribution of more than Rp 120 billion," said Wisnandi.

Meanwhile, from the government's perspective, the Cross-Sector Coordinator of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Directorate of Housing and Settlements, Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, Nur Aisyah Nasution, explained that the government has a target so that all Indonesians have access to proper drinking water by 2024.

Meanwhile, the achievement of Bappenas until the end of 2021 for access to safe drinking water is 90.8 percent. The government also targets 15 percent of the total population of Indonesia to have access to safe drinking water.

"If access to drinking water is safe, this is actually part of the SDGs agenda. If we travel abroad, there are people who can drink directly from tap water. It's safe water. The target in 2024 is 15 percent, safe drinking water," he said.

Looking at the current reality, according to City Planning Observer Yayat Supriatna, the problem of drinking water, especially in the regions, is still happening. In fact, based on his observations, there are three types of regional drinking water companies from the aspect of water quality.

Special Staff to the Minister of State Secretary, Faldo Maldini, admitted that the country still has problems with access to drinking water and sanitation.

To overcome this, microfinance can be done. "In addition to access issues, what needs to be improved is in terms of quality," he said.

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