The UN recognizes access to the clean water as one of the basic human rights. However, the access to safe and affordable drinking water is still a country-wide problem in Indonesia. There is still no free drinking water installation system available in primary schools in Indonesia. Thus, the cheapest way to get drinking water is by boiling tap water. This becomes an issue when the tap water itself is contaminated, so boiling won’t ensure its safety. The safer option is to buy mineral water sold in plastic bottles or gallons which is costly and will generate a significant amount of plastic waste.
Clean water access is one of the leading concerns that made us start the Drinking Water Program in 2014. Considering that children do not have access to the clean and free drinking water during their time at school, we came up with an idea of providing safe and affordable drinking water access for school children. We installed water filters in our partner schools and encourage children to bring their own tumbler, therefore minimizing trash from single-use plastic bottles. We also hold weekly classes to give lessons about healthy living and environment preservation.
The program currently runs in 12 schools in Yogyakarta and 8 schools in Pacitan. By 2017, we have successfully installed 28 water filters in Yogyakarta and Pacitan, and help give access to clean drinking water to more than 2000 school children. In 2018, we are planning to expand our program to partner with more schools in Indonesia. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there is a total of 234.711 primary and secondary schools across Indonesia, attended by a total of 52 million students. While 77% of the schools have access to clean drinking water, it is estimated that there are 50.000 schools still lack access to clean drinking water. Our long-term goal is to reach out to double the number of children we have currently impacted and raise awareness of the importance of safe and affordable drinking water access to local and national government. Our closest plan in the near future is to bring this program to Fakfak Regency in West Papua Province. Depending on the number of students present in 3 chosen schools, we aim to impact approximately more than 500 students aged 7-13 years, in the time span of one year.
We are going to use a similar approach that had been successfully implemented in our partner schools in Java. After researching the geographical and economical challenge in each school, we will build an active collaboration with primary schools and community administrators, especially in communities living near the shore and under the poverty line. The next step will be installing water filters in our partner schools and launch training sessions for local communities on water filtration, sanitation, and maintenance. We will also hold regular classes on water, sanitation, and hygiene in collaborating schools for one year.
To ensure the sustainability of this program, we will form the water committee in each school, consisting of teachers and parents. The water committee will be responsible for the usage and maintenance of water filters installed, making sure that the program will still last even without our direct assistance. We also plan to collaborate with local youth organizations, health government clinics and the official health department working in the field of drinking water to perform monitoring on the program. We are hoping that this program will grow bigger and become one of the local health government clinics or health department programs. Hopefully, this will be a positive start for this program to expand to more places in Indonesia, helping people in remote islands who still lack access to drinking water.
You could help make this plan come true by donating via
All your donation will be used for installing the drinking water filter in schools in Fakfak Regency, West Papua.
by Margareta Danastri, Media Intern at Project Child Indonesia