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Monday, 11 September 2017

Innovation and Collaboration: Pak Neli’s Tips for Sanitation in Probolinggo

Work hard, do it gradually and patiently, and promote collaboration and innovation; those are Pak Neli’s strategy who has served as the Head of Technical Implementation Unit for Waste Treatment (UPT PSL) of Probolinggo since March 2015. This strategy is applied to introduce the Scheduled Desludging Service (LLTT), while supporting the achievement of the Universal Access 2019 target for water supply and sanitation in Probolinggo City.

Since the enactment of the Regional Regulation No. 4 of 2014 on Domestic Wastewater Management, UPT PSL of Probolinggo City has been actively introducing LLTT that is part of safely-managed domestic wastewater service. LLTT includes containment of sludge in septic tank that complies with SNI, desludging, and transporting sludge/wastewater to the Septage Treatment Plant (IPLT).

The implementation of LLTT, which is known in Probolinggo City as the LLTT System or SLLTT, has challenges because even though the residents already have private latrines, unfortunately the septic tanks are not sealed, not complying with the SNI, and it is not desludged. In addition, the sludge is directly discharged into the river body, which leading to water pollution caused by E. coli. Based on the research data from the Health Office of Probolinggo City in 2017, the samples collected from 15 wells in 2 sub-districts in Probolinggo showed that high concentration of E. coli bacteria are still found in 6 wells. This condition urged Pak Neli to start making changes, especially in the sanitation sector.

Pak Neli and his staff are aware that scheduled desludging is one of the solutions to keep the groundwater sources from being contaminated by domestic wastes. Therefore, his first strategy is to work hard and never give up promoting LLTT to the community. “I realize that the success of this activity requires a long process, especially if you want to change people’s behavior to live healthy by implementing safely-managed sanitation through LLTT,” said Pak Neli.

Pak Neli’s effort to introduce LLTT to the community is conducted gradually and patiently. This can be seen from the performance process of UPT PSL Probolinggo in the LLTT dissemination. Since 2015, Pak Neli has embraced the community by conducting the LLTT dissemination activities from kelurahan to sub-district level. “To deliver the information to the community, we always work with the experienced resource persons. For example, we involve the sanitarians from the Health Office to explain the risks of E. coli and the importance of using latrines with septic tank to the community,” said Pak Neli.


The next two strategies applied by Pak Neli are collaboration and innovation. The UPT PSL, which is under the Environment Office of Probolinggo City has conducted a number of LLTT dissemination activities through collaboration with various parties, namely the Health Office, Public Works and Spatial Planning Office, PDAM and USAID IUWASH PLUS. Each institution plays an important role in introducing and making LLTT activities successful in Probolinggo.

Pak Neli also acknowledged the role of USAID IUWASH PLUS in this LLTT activity. “From USAID IUWASH PLUS, I learned a lot about managing domestic wastewater well and correctly,” said Pak Neli. “In the future, I also hope that USAID IUWASH PLUS can facilitate GIS training, which can be used to monitor LLTT customers accurately,” Pak Neli added.

Innovation has significant roles because for most people LLTT is a new thing and its implementation is costly. This cost issue is often considered as a major obstacle. To facilitate the community to have access to LLTT service, Pak Neli innovates through the establishment of Waste Bank. This means that the LLTT payment can be done by using recyclable waste which is then deposited to a Waste Bank. The result is worthwhile. The innovation is warmly welcomed. In addition to the community, several government agencies are also interested in using that pattern to use the LLTT service in their environment.

Currently, Pak Neli and his staff can see the results of their hard work. Until mid-2017, the LLTT in the Probolinggo City has served as many as 415 customers. From the financial side, the LLTT program of Probolinggo City UPT PSL has become one of the contributors of the Regional Revenue (PAD) of Probolinggo City. In 2015, the contribution from the LLTT activity to the Probolinggo City PAD was 94 million rupiah and it became 95 million rupiah in 2016.

The results achieved certainly does not make Pak Neli self-satisfied. “We are determined to continue working to improve sanitation access for the people of Probolinggo City, and to support the achievement of Universal Access 2019 target,” said Pak Neli vigorously.

(Firman Soelijanto/USAID IUWASH PLUS East Java)

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