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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Bio Filter for Future: Colaboration of government, community, USAID IUWASH PLUS for sanitation access

Bio Filter for  Future: Colaboration of government, community, USAID IUWASH PLUS for sanitation access

Dense Settlements
The bad smell is the first impression found in the settlements in the banks of Kasin river, Malang City. The unpleasant smell comes from sludge, waste water, until the cooking oil which are disposed by residents not to septic tanks, but it is channeled through pipe directly to the Kasin river.

Why are people reluctant to build septic tanks? The settlement located in RT 04 RW 07 is a densely populated area. Homes are built and separated only by a one meter width alley.

Dense settlement with narrow alley

The situation will certainly have a negative impact, especially in the sanitation sector. Domestic waste water (ALD) which is flowed directly into the river without being processed first will certainly cause contamination. In fact, if the pipes leak, then the ALD will go into the soil and pollute the water in the wells. That’s what happened to Mrs. Agus Sutrisno. Based on the results of water quality inspection, water supply in her home does not meet the standard. “Off course I am worry, considering that I have grand daughter, how about her future,” complained Mrs. Agus worrying Rasya, her 10 month granddaughter related to the environment condition.

This condition ultimately encourages citizens, governments, and USAID IUWASH PLUS to work together to find solutions for citizens. Kelurahan Kasin itself is one of the locations that are classified as slums and entitled to receive assistance from the government through the Kotaku Program. The aid is channeled to BKM (Community Self-Help Agency) which will be used for the benefit of the people. “BKM allocates assistance to the community in 3 sectors, namely revolving economy, affordable staple and infrastructure. The latter then disseminated to RT RT in Kelurahan Kasin, “explained M. Syaiful Ansori, Coordinator of BKM. The aid was immediately received appreciation from Hari Budiyanto, an entrepreneur who also served as Head of RT 04 RW 07. “Because the assistance from BKM can benefit the people here, I am immediately interested and like to receive that aid,’ said Hari.

Collaboration Builds Bio Filter
As an implementation of the aforementioned assistance is the development of bio filter septic tank. “With the septic tank, the households who had just disposed ALD into the river, it would be channeled to the septic tank. “The bio filter septic tank was chosen because it has been proven successfully installed in Kelurahan Ciptomulyo,” explained Syaiful
The septic tank construction plan was initially questionable by the residents. But thanks to the assistance of USAID IUWASH PLUS, the residents finally agreed. Prior to development, USAID IUWASH PLUS has been actively assisting residents and explaining the technical and benefits of the bio filter. Finally the construction of the septic tank began in October.
To oversee the course of construction, it takes the involvement of the community. Thus formed a supervisory group called Bio Filter RT 04 Self-Help Group (KSM). As head of the KSM, Samsul Arifianto, a local resident, was selected. “I am getting Samsul for this position, because I see Samsul as a dedicated citizen,” explained Hari, Head of RT 04. “I am ready to be chosen because I see the construction of this septic tank can provide benefits for the community. In addition I am interested because I want to learn how to build the bio filter septic tank, “said Samsul.

Hari Budianto, Samsul Arifianto, Elfa, and Syaiful Ansori discussing the operation and maintenance of septic tank

As a result, in November, 2 units of bio filter septic tank were successfully constructed. Each tank has a capacity of 6m3 to serve 8 households/HH (equal to 30 people). While 1 unit with the capacity of 3m3 for 3 HH has not been built. The septic tank was built by being planted in the soil. The land used is itself a land for public facilities. Because it is built underground, then the land above can be used to accommodate community activities.

Bio Filter Guarantees the Future
Currently, the existence of this bio filter septic tank gets a warm welcome. As Mrs. Agus Sutrisno, a resident who got the home connection to the septic tank, said, “With this septic tank, I see a better future especially for my granddaughter.”

As a follow up, USAID IUWASH PLUS will continue to assist residents. As part of its commitment to increase access to sanitary access, USAID IUWASH PLUS will provide assistance in the operation and maintenance of the septic tank.

(Andrio Adiwibowo/USAID IUWASH PLUS)

Available in idIndonesia (Indonesian)