Indonesia’s clean drinking water crisis worst in Southeast Asia says expert

July 6, 2012

INDONESIA –  a freshwater researcher at the Indonesian Research Institute (LIPI) said that Indonesia has the worst drinking water in Southeast Asia.

“Only 30% [of city residents] have access to clean water,” Ignasius DA Sutapa said in Bengkalis, Riau. “[That number] drops to only 10% in villages.”

Indonesia needs to ensure that 50% of the population has access to clean drinking water if the nation hopes to meet the targets set by the United Nations’ (UN) Millennium Development Goals. Participating countries have committed to improving their overall health, environment and quality of life — focusing on eight targets addressing issues like poverty, malaria, HIV and hunger.

Reaching Indonesia’s clean water target it too large a goal for the state-owned water company PDAM to meet alone, Ignasius said.

The government should focus on building more peat water processing plants in peatland-heavy areas like Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua, he said.

“In those peatland areas, the water is not safe enough to be consumed,” Ignasius said.

A peat water filtration program running in Tanjung Leban village, in Bengkalis, Riau has successfully provided local residents with clean drinking water, he said. The government should fund the development of additional processing plants, Ignasius added.

Source: Jakarta Globe

Category: Health alert

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