Written by Maria Olivia Laurent, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia
Water is something we see basically everywhere around us that we often forget not all have the same equal privilege as us to enjoy it. Lack of access to clean water is one of Indonesia’s most long-standing issues. This doesn’t only happen on the environmental surface, but almost all of our sectors, including public welfare. Today, on 22 March 2022, we celebrate World Water Day and the advocacy to raise awareness on the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year’s theme is “Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible”, a campaign calling us to explore and protect vital groundwater sources to adapt to climate change and use it to fulfill the needs of our people.
The issue we’re currently facing in Indonesia
As one of the most populous countries in the world, Indonesia has suffered from water shortage and pollution for decades. We may not realize it at first as we live in big cities with more accessible facilities, but our loved ones in rural areas have struggled to live as dignified human beings without water resources, going as far as walking hundreds of miles to get to the nearest source and drinking polluted water. About 18 million Indonesians lack safe water, and 20 million lack access to improved sanitation facilities. A 2017 survey of drinking water in Yogyakarta, Central Java, reveals that 89% of water sources and 67% of household drinking water are contaminated with bacteria. This is likely because our nationwide water treatment facility doesn’t operate as well as it should be, with only 7% of our wastewater being recycled and treated.
This horrifying fact is even made worse with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic where millions are denied access to life’s most vital resource—water. These people living in society’s poorest level are unable to afford clean drinking water, household sanitation, and hygienic healthcare.
This has to change. This has to change now.
Every person deserves clean water no matter who they are and where they come from.
How can I help?
So, how can we reflect on this issue and help our people? This is the question that I really hope more youths should find themselves asking. With the privileges and materials that we have, how can we contribute?
I understand we can’t really do much on a wider scale as this issue has been going around for years and demands a more serious effort from the government to solve this, but there are still things we can do. Recognizing this issue exists alone is already enough for us to spread awareness and voice our complaints louder so we can be heard by those in power.
Project Child Indonesia exists to solve this problem on a societal level and to give you the platform to directly help those in need through our programs. So look no further! If you want to become the next pillar in our generation helping to alleviate this water sustainability issue, join us in tackling this challenge together. We welcome every help we need and more.
Here are some of our water programs we developed with the help of our amazing donors and contributors:
- Sanitation and Hygiene Program
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Project Child Indonesia collaborated with Mercedes Benz in providing handwashing facilities scattered throughout 10 elementary schools in Sleman district, Yogyakarta. We also equipped the children with proper hygiene education in light of the pandemic’s health and safety measures by handing out digital booklets as well as educational posters and videos. This project is completed in December 2021 and is officially supported by Dinas Pendidikan Kabupaten Sleman.
Read more about this on: https://projectchild.ngo/blog/2021/12/21/project-child-indonesia-and-mercedes-benz-delivered-sanitation-and-hygiene-facilities-to-10-schools-in-yogyakarta/
- Drinking Water Program
Answering the demands of the lack of free drinking water facilities at schools in Yogyakarta, this program was created in 2016 where we provide water filter facilities to 63 elementary school partners spread in Yogyakarta, Pacitan (East Java), Fak-Fak (West Papua), and Lebak (Banten). We hope this initiative will combat the wasteful consumption of water using single-use plastic bottles. Our team also conducts an educational and environmental campaign where we focus on helping the students understand the importance of staying hydrated and avoiding sugary drinks. Additionally, providing free water at schools will help both kids and their parents save up money! Another yay for us.
Read more about this on: https://projectchild.ngo/our-program/drinking-water-program/
- Beach School and River School (Sekolah Pantai and Sekolah Sungai)
These programs are perhaps what we are most known for. Our work in the river schools in Kricak, Gajah Wong, and Code riverbanks concentrates on health and environmental campaign, community engagement, and development. We also improve the community’s local tourism, urban farming, sanitation campaign, and disaster management.
Our beach schools around Pacitan are created as an alternative education school offering a broad field of holistic learning experience both in Indonesian and English as well as promoting ocean conversation. We also partnered with various local high schools that would send their students here to learn how to be eco ambassadors.
Read more about this on: https://projectchild.ngo/our-program/sekolah-pantai/ & https://projectchild.ngo/our-program/sekolah-sungai/
Our journey is still far from over. Across Indonesia, organizations and individuals are working hard to ensure that our children can get the necessary clean water supply they need for a better future. We, too, are still working hard. But we know we can’t do this by ourselves. We need your help.
Today, on March 22, we celebrate the people behind this global movement who tirelessly fight for water equality.
Today, we celebrate us and you and our will to share this issue with the world.
Silitonga, A. (2021, April 13). Handwashing helps schools safely reopen across Indonesia. Unicef Indonesia. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/indonesia/stories/handwashing-helps-schools-safely-reopen-across-indonesia
Water.org. (2022). Indonesia’s water and sanitation crisis. Retrieved from https://water.org/our-impact/where-we work/indonesia/#:~:text=About%2018%20million%20Indonesians%20lack,sanitation%20is%20a%20growing%20need
World Water Day. (2022). World Water Day 2022. Retrieved from https://www.worldwaterday.org/