Papua lowest on clean water supply

Papua lowest on clean water supply
, 5 July 2010

Papua has been declared the least effective province in reaching Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on clean water supply and sanitation, while South Kalimantan has been named the highest, an official says.

Public Works Ministry’s Cipta Karya director general Budi Yuwono said South Kalimantan reached more than 70 percent in achieving clean water and sanitation from the national target of 60.3 percent. Papua is at 34 percent, under the national average 47.6 percent.

He said several challenges hampered Papua from achieving clean water.

The challenging factors are, among others, the province being remote, and its poor infrastructure and management of the local state-run tap water company PDAM.

“Many customers don’t have water meter instruments. It shows that Papua PDAM still performs unfavorably,” Budi said at a technical meeting in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

The MDGs eye 60.3 percent of clean water supply nationwide by 2015. A survey showed that Indonesians’ have achieved 47.6 percent of clean water on average in 2009.

Meanwhile, on sanitation, most city residents gained 69 percent of adequate access last year, considered “secured” as compared to the 78 percent target by 2015.

Budi said the meeting required the Papua water company to improve its management and install water meter instruments for all its customers as well as improve services. Apart from Papua, he said many tap water companies in eastern Indonesia were poorly managed, resulting in poor service.

In South Sulawesi, he said only two companies were considered to provide clean water services above MDGs target. The two companies are located in Bantaeng and Enrekang regencies.

In 22 other regencies, clean water services were still below target.

On a national scale, he said the number of regions, which have met the average MDGs’ goals, were
still low.

“The number of regions that have yet to reach the national target average is still more than 50 percent,”
he said.

He said the implementation of the clean water supply program was under two authorities, PDAM in urban areas and the regional administration in rural areas.

Currently, only 35 percent of urban areas were covered by PDAM and only 14 percent had clean water distribution in villages. In a year, PDAM distributes water to 1 million homes.

Areas, which could not be reached by PDAM services, such as low-income residential areas, villages prone to water crisis, remote villages and islands, are under the government’s responsibility.

For rural areas, Budi said his office implemented a drinking-water supply and community sanitation. The program covers 4,500 villages across the country. He said the program, launched in 2009, was hoped to provide clean water distribution to all villages by 2011. The government has set aside Rp 300 million for each program.

“We have designed the program for rural areas. Some 4,500 villages join the program,” he said.

Apart from the central government-initiated program, he told local administrations to set up their own program to reach MGDs on clean water supply and sanitation faster. He said if all programs ensured clean water supply and sanitation from 2010 to 2014, MDG targets could be realized.

“An indicator of the program’s success is a decline in the number of people with access to clean, safe and sustainable water, as well improve sanitation,” he said.