Indonesian Water Warriors Flood Streets of Jakarta

Sumber:Jakarta Globe - 23 Maret 2010
Kategori:Hari Air Sedunia 2010

Some famous faces lent a touch of glitterati to a demonstration on Monday campaigning for nothing less important than the essence of life.

Miss Environment Indonesia 2009 Zukhriatul Hafizah and actress Paramitha Rusady joined 150 people at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle as they raised their voices to call for water conservation in recognition of World Water Day.

They passed out roses and pamphlets to cars passing through the city’s central hub.

“We want to reach the hearts of everybody to encourage them to conserve water. The United Nations has announced today as World Water Day to remind people all over the world that the problem of access to clean water needs our attention,” Fathoni, a coordinator from the National Water Resource Council, told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

Several government and civil organizations joined the action, calling themselves the Indonesian Partnership for Water. The Jakarta Environmental Management Agency, Public Works Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and students from the University of Indonesia, Pancasila University, and Trisakti University, demonstrated along with a contingent from regional water utility PDAM.

“The action is a part of the annual water celebration held from March 8 to April 24. We hold seminars and international workshops as well as activities such as planting trees, a trash-picking race and blood donations,” said Imam Anshori, secretary of the Indonesian Water Resource Council. He said the demonstration was to remind the public of the importance of maintaining water hygiene and conservation.

“Most in our society do not conserve water. The concept of re-use can actually be applied here,” he said.

According to 2009 statistics from the Development Finance Comptroller Agency (BPKP), only 38 percent of Indonesians have access to piped water through regional water utilities.

According to reports from international development organizations such as the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank, Indonesia is in the “slow lane” in fulfilling the UN’s Millennium Development Goal related to clean water supply and sanitation.

About 40 people from Muara Baru, North Jakarta, were also on hand. As previously reported by the Jakarta Globe, at least 220 households in the neighborhood did not have running water in their pipes for at least six years.

Neighborhood activist Sumarti, also known as Usum, claimed that local water utility PT Pam Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) had done nothing to resolve the case.

“We still have to pay Rp 1,500 [17 cents] for 40 liters of water,” she said.

In February, the residents tried to file a legal suit with the help of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), a legal action that was called off.

“Right now we are still trying to communicate our demands to Palyja, and are looking for another legal foundation to help us with the case,” said Muhammad Reza Sahib, of the People’s Coalition for Water Rights (Kruha).

The people of Muara Baru say they must buy water from local thugs who siphon it off from residential pipelines through illegal hydrants.

Post Date : 23 Maret 2010