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Monday, 25 June 2018

Sanitation Index Improves Performance of Domestic Wastewater Operators

Sanitation Index Improves Performance of Domestic Wastewater Operators

To achieve Universal Access 2019, the Government of Indonesia has launched 100-0-100 program (100% access to water, 0% slum area, and 100% access to sanitation). This program is aimed to address the people’s need to access water, decent housings, and clean and healthy environment.

Although the data from the National Agency of Statistics Indonesia in 2017 showed that access to improved sanitation increased more than 70%, people’s access to safely managed sanitation – which covers the whole process of wastewater management from containment, transportation, to sludge treatment – remains low. According to data from the Minister of Public Works and Housing (2017), the nationwide achievement to safe sanitation was 63%. In fact, safely managed sanitation is one of the pre-conditions to create a clean and healthy environment.

The local government commitment and support to domestic wastewater management is needed to support more Indonesian people accessing and practicing safely managed sanitation.

Domestic wastewater management at district/city level is performed by various departments, such as section, UPTD (regional technical implementing unit), UPT BLUD (regional public services agency as the technical implementing unit), and regional company. However, the performance of these domestic wastewater operators has yet to be evaluated.

Therefore, USAID IUWASH PLUS developed a set of tools to assess performance of the local government units working in the sanitation sector in 32 project-supported cities/districts in North Sumatra, West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi and Eastern Indonesia, DKI Jakarta and Tangerang district.

The tool, known as Sanitation Index, is a mechanism to assess achievements of the domestic wastewater operators in managing the domestic wastewater system. The assessment resulted from this mechanism is also helpful for the domestic wastewater operators to develop a strategy to achieve wastewater services targets.

The sanitation index that USAID IUWASH PLUS developed has five indicators, which serve as a benchmark for the wastewater management success. They include institution, regulation, sanitation coverage, finance, and operations. Each indicator in the index is given a score to help assess the performance and identify which indicators need improvement.

Each indicator, except finance, is evaluated every year using data from the previous year. Finance is evaluated every three years because the national, provincial and local government provide the funds for the sanitation sector, and its amount may vary from year to year.

The performance evaluation using sanitation index is conducted by the government institutions responsible for the domestic wastewater management, such as Health Office, Public Works Office, Environment Office, Regional Technical Implementing Unit for Wastewater Management (UPTD PAL), and regional planning agency (BAPPEDA). They work collaboratively to assess sanitation sector performance using data from the respective institution.

One of the USAID IUWASH PLUS supported areas that has applied sanitation index to assess the domestic wastewater management performance is East Java. In 2017, USAID IUWASH PLUS team assisted Surabaya city, Malang city, Probolinggo city, Probolinggo, Sidoarjo, Gresik, and Lumajang districts to evaluate performance of their domestic wastewater operators using data from 2016. A similar assessment was also conducted in April 2018 using the data from 2017 in the aforementioned districts, except Surabaya.

Staff of the local government offices participated in the sanitation index and governance index workshop in Malang City, May 7, 2018. The workshop aimed to evaluate the performance of the domestic wastewater management offices in 2017.

The sanitation index in 2017 and 2018 in the six districts in East Java showed an increase of more than 10%, on average, from 2017 to 2018. It means that the total score for the sanitation index in 2018 is more than 10% higher than that in 2017. The result is indicative of improved performance of the domestic wastewater operators.

The increase is caused by various factors, among others, responses of the domestic wastewater operators to the previous assessment results. For example, Probolinggo built a septage treatment plant (IPLT) in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing as a response to the sanitation index assessment in 2017 using data from 2016. During the development process, the district administrator provided the land, and the ministry built the facility. In addition, Sidoarjo increased its regional budget allocation from 0.1% to 0.5% for sanitation, including development of a communal wastewater treatment plant (IPAL Komunal) as a response to its achievements in 2016.

The participants intently is attending each session of the workshop in Probolinggo City on April 11, 2018.

Many other measures to increase the sanitation achievement are still in progress. For example, Lumajang is working to accelerate the enactment of the regulations on Domestic Wastewater and Desludging Tariff to achieve targets of the regulation indicator. The district also plans to develop UPTD PALD to manage IPLT to achieve the target of institution indicator.

In the future, each district will communicate the performance assessment results to the decision makers. By doing so, it is expected that they will help the domestic wastewater operators to improve their performance to achieve the indicators, which fall short of the target, and to improve the indicators that have achieved good results.

Performance assessment using sanitation index also improves credibility of the local government officials. “The Head of District’s reports to the regional parliament for sanitation sector is highly acceptable because of assistance from USAID IUWASH PLUS”, said Tugas Husni Syarwanto, the Head of Gresik Planning Agency.

(Ristina Aprillia/ USAID IUWASH PLUS)

Available in idIndonesia (Indonesian)

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