Lack of access to healthy drinking water has become a major concern for 300 households on Perumahan TKBM (a settlement for the loading and unloading workers) of Belawan Seaport in Sei Mati urban village, Medan city.
The housing is located about 12 km from the Belawan Sea, and thus the residents are challenged to access clean and safe water for consumption.
“Our family has to spend Rp90,000 every month to purchase drinking water because our shallow well water has a yellow color and is not consumable so we only use it for bathing and laundry. Even so, the water still needs to be filtered to make it cleaner,” said Kasihadi—a Belawan seaport worker who lives in a house with six family members, including himself.
To address this issue, the PKP2R (housing, settlement areas, and spatial planning) Office of Medan city built a communal SPAM with capacity of 10 lps with 300 house connections using the 2018 APBD amounting to Rp1.5 billion in Perumahan TKBM of Belawan Seaport.
Understanding that community plays a key role in managing and sustaining the communal SPAM, the PKP2R Office of Medan city, with assistance from USAID IUWASH PLUS, established a CBO (community-based organization) through a meeting held on February 14, 2019. On the same day, the PKP2R Office of Medan city and USAID IUWASH PLUS also trained the CBO care-takers on organization and financial management, the SPAM technical operation and maintenance, and bylaws development. This knowledge will help the CBO to perform their responsibilities in managing the communal SPAM.
The communal SPAM construction at Perumahan TKBM of Belawan seaport took place from July to December 2018. As of March 2019, 150 houses have connected to the facility and the water has flown to those houses.
“I am happy to receive the communal SPAM. I do not need to filter water to get cleaner water anymore,” said Kasihadi.
The Secretary of Sei Mati Urban Village, Daniel Simanjuntak, said that the urban village government plans to allocate budget to support the communal SPAM maintenance.
“In the future, we will also encourage more residents of Perumahan TKBM to connect to the communal SPAM,” said Daniel Simanjuntak.
Similarly, the Head of Sei Mati urban village, Ari Ismail, also highly appreciates the communal SPAM construction.
Ari Ismail said, “We are grateful for receiving the communal SPAM to improve water access in this urban village. Moreover, the community members are also involved in managing the facility. I hope this communal SPAM will be sustained.”
-Melani Miranda/Rezeki Sitorus (contributors)-
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