Improving Hygiene in Indonesia
Poor sanitation is a serious problem in Indonesia. Much of the
country's population lacks access to adequate latrine facilities, and in some
rural areas, open defecation is still practiced by many people. This poses a
major threat to public health, and preventable diseases like diarrhea can be
a risk to the lives of children living in poverty. Many child development
agencies like ChildFund are working to improve sanitation in Indonesia, as
without access to sufficient toilet facilities and clean water, poor sanitation
will continue to be a barrier to a better life for many families.
In some parts of
Indonesia, societal norms do not place great emphasis on the importance of
sanitation and good hygiene. This can cause a range of issues, such as the
transmission of preventable disease and other health conditions stemming from
dirty water. However, as a result in part due to ChildFund's local health
program, which emphasizes handwashing, one community in Kulonprogo, Central
taken a proactive approach to solving this problem by building a water
facility outside its early childhood development center.
enjoy playing here," says Sriyatun, a tutor at the ECD center in Kulonprogo. "It
isn't healthy to wash your hands using water from a bucket, as the water gets
dirtier the more people use it. Also, as we should always use running water and
soap when we wash our hands to prevent illnesses such as diarrhea, we thought
this idea would work."
Sriyatun and other volunteers built a water
dispensing unit outside the ECD center to enable children to wash their hands
using running water. Although the water itself still has to be fetched from
elsewhere, it is a much more efficient solution than using the running water at
the neighboring mosque. Now, children can play and wash their hands before
meals, reducing the risk of contracting and transmitting diarrhea and other
One of the key
challenges in improving sanitation throughout Indonesia is engaging
communities that may not have sufficient resources to contribute to shared goals
and projects. However, according to the World Bank,
several entrepreneurial programs have not only improved sanitation in rural
also provided local people with a means of income.
Warga, a former
farmer, is one such individual. Thanks to funding from the World Bank Water and
Sanitation Program, Warga now runs his own business building and installing
septic systems. Warga's entrepreneurial spirit has not only provided a better
life for his family but also reduced open defecation in his community.
am very happy with my life now," says Warga. "Not only has my new business
boosted my family income, but I am also helping make my village become
Projects like this one have had a tremendous impact on the
quality of life for these communities. In some cases, incidences of diarrhea in
children has decreased by as much as 30 percent.
Data from the World Bank
suggests Indonesia's population is growing at a rate of approximately 1.3
percent every year. As the population rises, the need to maintain the momentum
we have established will become greater.
One of the best ways you can
help us continue our work to improve sanitation in Indonesia is by becoming a monthly
giving partner. Your support and generosity will enable us to provide
ongoing support to children in need and their communities, as well as implement
new initiatives to help even more people. Our Essentials
for Survival fund provides people living in some of the poorest countries in
the world with vital necessities like clean water and medical care that they
need to survive. Please consider joining us in the fight against inadequate