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WASH – der Schlüssel zu einem gesunden Leben

written by Alice Pidgeon


Sauberes Wasser, sanitäre Einrichtungen und Hygiene sollten kein Privileg sein. Es sind einige der grundlegendsten Anforderungen der menschliche Gesundheit, und alle Länder tragen die Verantwortung dafür, dass jeder Zugang zu ihnen hat

– Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

Der Mensch braucht Wasser, um zu überleben, Hygiene, um gesund zu sein, und sanitäre Einrichtungen, um in einer sicheren Umgebung leben zu können. WASH ist das Akronym für Water And Sanitation Hygiene, ein von UNICEF ins Leben gerufene Konzept. Es ist gleichzeitig eine einprägsame Erinnerung daran, dass saubere Hände, hygienische Standards und unbelastete Umgebungen der Schlüssel zu einem gesunden Leben und Wohlbefinden sind. Die Botschaft und Forderungen von WASH sind klar und deutlich: Sauberes Wasser, sanitäre Einrichtungen und die Verfügbarkeit von Seife und Wasser zum Waschen, alltägliche Grundlagen unseres Lebens. Was wie eine einfache Botschaft und Alltag für die meisten von uns klingt, ist für andere oft nur schwer zu erreichen, da die notwendige Infrastruktur und benötigte Einrichtungen und damit auch das Nötigste eines gesunden und sicheren Alltags fehlen.

Obwohl Indonesien in den letzten Jahren ein positives Wirtschaftswachstum verzeichnet, ist es nicht ungewöhnlich, dass viele Gemeinden immer noch unter einem schlechten Zugang zu sauberem Wasser und sanitären Einrichtungen leiden. Eine von UNICEF iniziierte Studie zu WASH in Indonesien zeigt, dass sanitäre Einrichtungen, wie beispielsweise Toiletten im privaten und öffentlichen Bereich sowie der Zugang zu sauberem Wasser, zentrale Treiber für das gesunde Wachstum von Kindern und deren kognitiven Entwicklung darstellen. Ein ungleicher Zugang zu diesen grundlegenden Leistungen kann das Wachstum und die Entwicklung eines Kindes negativ beeinträchtigen. UNICEF berichtet, dass Unterentwicklung von Kinder in Indonesien um das 1,4-fache wahrscheinlicher ist, wenn eine sichere Hygiene- und Sanitärversorgung in Gemeinden nicht gewährleistet ist. Dies führt zu starken intergenerationellen Unterschieden, die zu vielfältigen, zukünftigen Problemen führen können. Um faire Rahmenbedingungen für alle Kinder zu gewährleisten, müssen Gemeinden und Kinder über die Bedeutung von WASH und dessen Auswirkungen auf ein gesundes Leben und gesteigertes Wohlbefinden aufgeklärt werden.

Im Rahmen des Programms “Sekolah Sungai” (Schule am Fluss), arbeitet Project Child Indonesia (PCI) mit drei Gemeinden in Yogyakarta zusammen. Ziel ist es, Kinder durch projektbasiertes Lernen zu aktiven Akteuren des Wandels und Vorreiter für ihre Gemeinden auszubilden. Dazu unterstützt PCI die Kinder, Belastungen und Probleme ausgelöst durch schlechtes Wasser und mangelnde sanitäre Einrichtungen und Hygiene zu verringern, indem Lösungen und Verbesserungen für bestehende Missstände aufgezeigt und erarbeitet werden. Das von PCI vermittelte Wissen basiert auf den Grundlagen der drei Komponenten von WASH – Wasser, Sanitärversorgung und Hygiene. Die Lektionen im Rahmen von WASH vermitteln den Kindern alltagsnahes Wissen und handfeste Fähigkeiten, die ihnen dabei helfen sollen, physisch, mental und sozial gesund heranwachsen zu können.

Im Detail werden folgende Inhalte vermittelt:

Wasser

Wasser ist überlebensnotwendig für jeden Menschen, was zum Problem wird, wenn in Gemeinden der Zugang zu “sicherem” Wasser nicht gegeben ist. Ist Wasser nicht sicher, weil es beispielsweise verunreinigt ist, kann es nicht ohne Bedenken genutzt oder gar getrunken werden, somit mangelt es den Menschen dort an einer der wichtigsten Lebensgrundlagen. Verunreinigungen können an der Quelle (z.B. in Flüssen oder Brunnen), während des Transports (z.B. in einem schmutzigen Eimer) oder zum Zeitpunkt des Verbrauchs (z.B. durch schmutzige Hände) auftreten. Um Wasser “sicher” zu machen, müssen Zugangs-, Verarbeitungs- und Speichermethoden auf lokale Bedürfnisse zugeschnitten werden, um den Menschen Zugang zu sauberem Wasser zu ermöglichen.

Sanitärversorgung

Sanitäre Anlagen garantieren das sichere Sammeln und Entsorgen von menschlichen Abfällen. Dazu gehören grundlegende sanitäre Einrichtungen, wie beispielsweise Toiletten, aber auch Maßnahmen, die die Verunreinigung von öffentlichen Gewässern und Straßen verhindern. Ein Mangel an sanitären Einrichtungen kann zu ernsthaften Gesundheitsrisiken durch Fäkalien führen, die in die Umwelt gelangen und zur Verbreitung von Krankheiten wie Durchfall, Cholera und Ruhr beitragen. Darüber hinaus steigern sanitäre Anlagen das Sicherheits- und Selbstwertgefühl, insbesondere von Frauen und Kindern. Wenn “die Natur ruft”, ist ein sicherer und privater Ort erforderlich. Eine ordnungsgemäße Sanitärversorgung trennt die menschlichen Abfälle von öffentlichen Bereichen und garantiert so, dass andere Menschen nicht mit diesen in Berührung kommen. Infektionen und Krankheiten werden verhindert und Leben gerettet.

Hygiene

Bei Hygiene geht es in erster Linie um Maßnahmen, die ergriffen werden, um die Sauberkeit und Gesundheit von Menschen, Häusern, Schulen und Gemeinden zu gewährleisten. Eines der einfachsten und effektivsten Mittel ist das Händewaschen mit Seife, das die Übertragung von Bakterien und Viren einschränkt. Nur weil Keime nicht sichtbar sind, bedeutet das nicht, dass sie nicht existieren. Da kontaminierte Hände eine der Hauptursache für die Übertragung von Durchfall sind, ist es wichtig, Kinder, insbesondere aber auch Pflegekräfte, über die Bedeutung des Händewaschens aufzuklären.


WASH kann nur dann erfolgreich umgesetzt werden, wenn alle drei beschriebenen Komponenten in ihrem Zusammenhang betrachtet werden. Eines kann ohne die anderen nicht verwirklicht werden, genauso, wie Einzelpersonen, insbesondere Kinder, die Probleme nicht ohne Hilfe und gemeinschaftliche Zusammenarbeit überwinden können. Ein jeder innerhalb einer Gemeinschaft muss seinen Teil dazu beitragen. Auch wenn beispielsweise sauberes Wasser zur Zubereitung von Speisen verwendet wird: Wäscht die Person, die die Speisen zubereitet, nicht ihre Hände, kann das Essen mit lebensgefährdenden Bakterien verunreinigt werden, die über die Nahrung von der Gemeinschaft aufgenommen werden. Verunreinigen menschliche Abfälle öffentliche Plätze, an denen Kinder spielen, bringen die Kinder durch die Fäkalien übertragene Krankheitserreger mit nach Hause. Beide Beispiele zeigen eindrücklich, wie wichtig ein gemeinschaftliches Verständnis über den Zusammenhang von WASH ist.

Betrachtet man die Grundgedanken von WASH in Bezug auf die von der UNO aufgestellten Nachhaltigkeitsziele, wird die Bedeutung der drei Komponenten noch deutlicher. So beeinflussen diese das Erreichen von Nachhaltigkeitsziel 6 (sauberes Wasser und sanitäre Einrichtungen), Ziel 3 (gute Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden) und Ziel 13 (Klimaschutz) positiv. Durch den voranschreitenden Klimawandel und immer häufiger auftretende Naturkatastrophen werden Gesundheitsrisiken durch verunreinigte Lebensmittel und durch Wasser übertragene Krankheiten stetig erhöht. WASH sowie die Umsetzung der Nachhaltigkeitsziele und die damit einhergehende, verbesserte Bildung, Ernährung sowie Armutsbekämpfung leisten einen wichtigen Beitrag, um die Risiken einzudämmen.

Gesundheit ist eine Voraussetzung dafür, dass alles gedeiht – eine Chance, die jedes Kind verdient. Verunreinigtes Wasser sowie schlechte sanitäre Einrichtungen und Hygiene sollten heute kein Hindernis mehr darstellen, das Kinder in Indonesien und auf der ganzen Welt an einer gesunden Entwicklung hindert. WASH unterstützt die Armutsbekämpfung, das Wirtschaftswachstum und gesunde Ökosysteme, indem es zum sozialen Wohlbefinden, integrativen Wachstum und nachhaltigen Lebensgrundlagen beiträgt. PCI leistet mit dem Programm “Sekolah Sungai” einen wichtigen Beitrag, um WASH in Gemeinden erfolgreich umzusetzen und Kindern auch in benachteiligten Gemeinden ein gesundes Wachstum und Wohlbefinden zu ermöglichen.

References:

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/28505/W17018.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

https://www.unicef.org/indonesia/wes.html

WASH: Back to Basics

written by Alice Pidgeon

Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege… These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.

– Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

The basic principles of WASH, along with busy lifestyles can mean that people become immune to remembering the importance of what, when and why of WASH. Humans need water to survive, hygiene to be healthy, and sanitation to live in safe environments. WASH is the acronym for Water And Sanitation Hygiene created by UNICEF. It’s the catchy reminder that clean hands, hygienic habits and uncontaminated environments are key to maintaining a healthy life and wellbeing. The message of WASH is sharp and clear; clean water for consumption, the presence of sanitation facilities, and the availability of soap and water for handwashing are all needed. While it may sound like a simple message, it can often be forgotten or difficult to achieve as the facilities needed aren’t available. Despite Indonesia having positive economic growth in recent years, it is not uncommon for citizens to still suffer from poor access to safe water and sanitation.

New evidence from the World Bank’s report on WASH in Indonesia shows that owning a toilet, drinking clean water, and living in a community where most of one’s neighbours own a toilet are important drivers of child growth and cognitive development in Indonesia. Unequal access to these services can stunt a child’s growth with impairment to their development, learning and earning. UNICEF reports that stunting odds are 1.4X greater for children in Indonesia without improved sanitation. This causes intergenerational factors that can lead to greater future problems. To level the playing field, children need to be educated on the importance of WASH to lead healthier lives and enhance their wellbeing.

Project Child works with three communities in Yogyakarta in their Sekolah Sungai (river school) program to empower the children to be the agents of change using project based learning. They become positive influences in their communities, working together towards alleviating the incidences and burdens from poor water, sanitation and hygiene they may experience through finding solutions and making improvements. The lessons of WASH translate into life based skills that can help to the children to become healthy citizens physically, mentally and socially. Project Child educates the children based on the three components of WASH including water, sanitation and hygiene;

Water

Water is needed to survive, but if it isn’t safe to drink and use it isn’t helping to survive. Water can be become the problem when it is ‘dirty water’, referring to it being contaminated, unsafe, or if there is an inadequate supply. Contamination can occur at the source (such as rivers or wells), during transportation (being carried in a dirty bucket), or at the time of consumption (dirty hands touching the water). To make water safe, treatment and storage methods can be tailored to meet local needs allowing people access to clean water.

Sanitation

Sanitation refers to safely collecting, treating and disposing of human waste. This includes basic sanitation facilities such as toilets, latrines and stopping open defecation in spaces such as waterways and streets. A lack of sanitation can cause serious health risks from faecal waste making its way into the environment as very serious health risks including diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery can be transmitted. Sanitation also addresses safety issues and undermines feelings of self-dignity, particularly for women and children. When nature calls, a safe place is needed to answer. Proper sanitation that is separated from other people coming into contact with the waste. Infections are prevented and lives are saved.

Hygiene

Hygiene is primarily about health and the actions that are taken to ensure cleanliness of people, homes, schools, communities and other people. One of the most simple and effective means for hygiene is handwashing with soap to prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Just because germs cannot be seen, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. With contaminated hands being one of the main ways diarrhoea is spread, it’s critical to educate children and caregivers on the importance of hand washing.


While the three components of WASH can be looked at separately, the success of them cannot be reached without understanding how they all connect. Essentially one cannot be realised without the others; and without the others, heavy burdens can be placed on individuals and communities, particularly children. For example, despite clean water being used to prepare food, if the person preparing the food hasn’t washed their hands the food can become contaminated with bacteria making the people eating it sick. Or, open defecation leaves excreta where children are playing, and then children bring it into the households. The connection between the three components of WASH also exemplifies the connection for how meaningful progress on the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation) cannot be achieved without an inter-sectoral approach to Goal 3 (good health and wellbeing) and Goal 13 (climate action). Poor WASH heightens health risks that will be further exacerbated by climate change as natural disasters become more prevalent increasing the risk of food and water borne diseases. These are further reinforced by achieving the other SDGs including education, energy, nutrition and ending poverty.

Health is a prerequisite for everything to flourish; an opportunity every child deserves. Poor water, sanitation and hygiene should not be the barrier that prevents Indonesian children, and children around the world from developing, learning and earning. WASH underpins poverty reduction, economic growth and healthy ecosystems by contributing to social wellbeing, inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods. Project Child works collectively in their sekolah sungai program, recognising and educating that WASH is a prerequisite for the children and their communities to flourish healthily and maintain their wellbeing.

References:

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/28505/W17018.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

https://www.unicef.org/indonesia/wes.html

Better Drinking Water Access for Children’s Better Future

Human needs clean water to live. Polluted water is not only dirty and not suitable for consumption, but can also be harmful and even cause death. To improve the quality of life of the community and fulfill the basic rights of all the people, provision of guaranteed access to drinking water needs to be seriously considered as one of the national development priorities. Limited access to water can rob children of education and economic opportunities and prevent them from getting out of poverty. Due to distant access of water from home, children in remote areas often get the task to obtain water for their families too. This responsibility will take up their time which should be used for learning and playing. Safe and accessible water access will give them extra time so they can play like children in general and use the time to study for their future.

Infrastructure development is one of priorities in President Joko Widodo’s administration. Mr. President emphasized on various occasions how important infrastructure is for the progress of a nation, including as a basic foundation in economic growth and increasing the independence of a country. This also applies to the construction and development of drinking water infrastructure or commonly referred to as the Sistem Penyediaan Air Minum (Drinking Water Supply System) or SPAM.

Another challenge beside the lack of SPAM providers in rural areas is that the infrastructure used to distribute water in Indonesia is usually outdated, poorly maintained and prone to leakage. If the distribution system is damaged, water could be contaminated with waterborne disease organisms. The rapid rate of population growth also resulted in a gap between population and service coverage. Lack of local experts is often a barrier to creating more modern water treatment distribution system as well, which requires trained personnel for operations and maintenance.

Based on the performance appraisal conducted by the Agency for the Improvement of the Implementation of Drinking Water Supply Systems (BPPSPAM) towards 371 Regional Drinking Water Companies (PDAM) in 2016, they found that the number of PDAM in healthy condition was 198 (53%), 108 in unwell condition (29%), and 65 ailing (18% ) This condition is different from 2015, where 368 PDAMs were assessed and resulted in 196 (53%) PDAM in healthy condition, 100 unwell (27%), and 72 (20%) ailing. Whereas in 2014, of the 359 PDAM assessed, 182 (51%) were in healthy condition, 103 unwell (29%), and 74 (21%) ailing (BAPPENAS 2017). It can be concluded that from 2014 to 2016, the number of healthy PDAM increased only slightly, the number of unwell PDAM increased and the number of ailing PDAM decreased slightly. Another challenge for SPAM in Indonesia is that there are still many improvements needed from the government to maintain SPAM.

In accordance with Law No. 23 Year 2014 concerning Regional Government, drinking water supply is one of the main responsibility of regional government in regards of providing basic compulsory services. Along with the government development program, the funding aspect for the development of SPAM must also be the commitment and concern of the regional government. Nevertheless with limited local government funding and other development priorities, the central government also supports the development of SPAM in local regions through APBN, hence the SPAM infrastructure development gets joint funding from the regional government and the central government.

In addition to the APBN and APBD, the government also opens opportunities for business entities to support the development of SPAM through the mechanism of Public Private Partnership (PPP) listed in Government Regulation No. 122 Year 2015 concerning Drinking Water Supply Systems. The advantages of the PPP scheme include providing other financing alternatives due to limited government funding, more efficiency, getting new technology used by the private sector, and accelerating the increase of coverage and quality of public services. PPP scheme is expected to optimize investment costs, especially in urban areas where population growth is increasing rapidly. The ability of people in cities to pay which tends to be bigger is a strong reason for investors to invest, but what about people in remote areas who cannot afford it? The lack of conducive business climate has caused the private sector to be reluctant to develop SPAM in rural areas. As a result, the piping network and drinking water supply for the rural poor have received little attention from the government or the private sector.

One of the efforts to develop SPAM in Indonesia can be started from schools by providing drinking water installations to build habits and increase awareness to children, teachers, parents, and people around the school environment. The water filter system guarantees the cleanliness of water so it minimizes potential disease due to contaminated water. Children will also be able to set aside a portion of their pocket money to buy other necessities other than drinking water. This system is also easy to learn so that anyone can operate and maintain it. Application of Drinking Water Programs in schools can offer drinking water supply options to assist the government in both urban and remote areas, especially for children. With a good and affordable drinking water supply system, children will have the opportunity to develop their potential because they have more time to learn and play, so the hope of having a brighter future is greater as well.

Everyone Can Participate to Support SDGs

As a follow-up to the past 15-year Millennium Development Goals agenda, in September 2015 the United Nations launched a new, more universal, inclusive and comprehensive resolution called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs have 17 new goals to encourage sustainable development based on human rights and equality to encourage social, economic and environmental development. SDG number 6 aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of clean water and sanitation which one of its targets is to provide access to safe and affordable drinking water that is universally and evenly distributed to everybody in 2030.

Indonesia has committed to support the Sustainable Development Goals by adopting most of the SDGs targets and indicators into the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024. The integration of the global agenda into the RPJMN shows that the government is paying great attention to legitimizing and providing a legal basis for the implementation of the SDGs agenda in Indonesia.

In July 2017 President Jokowi has signed Presidential Regulation No. 59 of 2017 concerning Implementation of Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals that establish the structure and mechanisms for national SDGs management for planning, budgeting, financing, monitoring and reporting. In this regulation it is stated that one of the national targets of the 2015-2019 RPJMN is to increase access to safe drinking water for 40% of the lowest income population in 2019 to 100%.

The regulation is also a commitment to the implementation and achievement of SDGs carried out in a participatory manner by involving all parties. In accordance with the main principles of SDGs namely inclusion and participation, the importance of the role of non-government actors such as mass organizations, philanthropy, business actors, academics and other related parties is explained there. Various platforms at national and regional levels are needed to bring these non-government actors together and realize a real partnerships.

Non-governmental organizations have an important role in communicating SDGs to the public by making the policy process more transparent and easily accepted. One of the goals of increasing public awareness about SDGs is to empower communities to participate in solving problems around them and contribute to the SDGs.

Besides NGOs, the participation of various parties is a constituent part of sustainable development which is crucial for the realization of the agenda’s objectives by combining various sources of information, knowledge and expertise to generate new ideas, foster commitment for all parties involved, increase awareness of an issue and understand what challenges need to be resolved together.

Project Child Indonesia can be one of the platforms for the meeting of governments, investors, civil society and academics to achieve the goals of the 6th SDGs with the implementation of the Drinking Water Program (DWP). Since its implementation in 2016, DWP has had a positive impact on 29 schools in Yogyakarta, 4 schools in Fakfak, and will continue to be developed in various regions in Indonesia.

This program guarantees the availability of safe and affordable drinking water in schools with funds obtained from investors who care about this issue. Counseling in schools regarding the need for access to drinking water for all communities, the importance of getting enough drinking water for children, and the advantages of the water filter system in terms of health, financial and environmental are also provided by young volunteers who come from various universities in Indonesia and abroad.

The 2030 Agenda emphasizes on “integration” and “unity”, where goals and targets will not be achieved if all parties are working individually. A coherent and holistic approach involving various parties will improve the implementation of SDGs and contribute to the coherence of policies for sustainable development in order to create a civil society.


written by Hidayati Dwi Kusuma Pratiwi