Read the Indonesian version on Green Network Indonesia: https://greennetwork.id/kabar/air-bersih-untuk-semua-bukan-hal-yang-sulit-dipahami/

For we who live in the city, where clean water comes from the tap and access to drinking water is a matter of opening a bottle or pushing down the tap of a mineral water dispenser, is difficult to imagine having to walk miles for water.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 states “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. The reality is that with less than a decade towards 2030, despite some progresses, still one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water and 637 million people still practice open defecation.

I have just returned from a visit to two districts in East Nusa Tenggara province. In both TTS and Nagekeo districts which are located in Timor and Flores island respectively, access to clean water is still a big issue.

In Nagekeo, in 2018 only 39.2% of the population had access to clean water (RPJMD Nagekeo 2019- 2023). In TTS, in 2020 the situation is not much different; 44% still did not have access to clean and safe drinking water (RPJMD TTS 2018- 2024).

In both districts, agriculture is the backbone of the economy. Water is essential for agriculture, and without its adequate supply, agriculture cannot grow to its full potential, as we see in both districts. High rate of stunting, in Plan’s experience and observation is also linked to lack of clean water and sanitation.

From 7 to 13 November, I went to visit these two districts, and I saw first- hand how Plan Indonesia’s intervention in building clean water facilities and help establishing community water management have helped over 5000 children and their families.

“Our kids now can have shower everyday,” said the head of Nggolonio village in Nagekeo. “I don’t have to go out before dawn at 4am to fetch water,“ cited one mama. In TTS, in addition to building pipes and installing pump, Plan staff promote sanitation & hygiene and water.

We won’t stop until all children in TTS and Nagekeo have access to safe and clean water, because water is an enabler and prerequisite condition for social, gender and economic justice. We won’t stop until all our children can say “ Air bersih su ada” (clean water is here). It’s a no brainer!

Written by Dini Widiastuti, Executive Director, Plan Indonesia


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