Ake Gaale spring, which is situated 300 meters from Sangaji beach, is the main water source for PDAM Ternate to serve around 400 houses or about 30 percent of the total number of PDAM customers.
However, Ake Gaale’s water debit is decreasing significantly and the water has turned salty because of salt water intrusion in the last few years. To make matters worse, the water has high e-coli levels due to domestic wastewater contamination.
If these issues are not addressed properly, Ternate city will face severe water shortages in the next nine years and the community’s health and life are threatened due to poor water quality.
To tackle the water crisis, Ternate city government, with assistance from USAID IUWASH PLUS, has conducted the spring vulnerability assessment and action plan (KKMA) activities through a KKMA team consisting of the representatives from local government, PDAM, NGOs, media, and community since 2018.
The KKMA team collected and comprehensively analyzed the problems contributing to the decrease of Ake Gaale’s water debit and quality as well as developed recommendations, which include law enforcement, construction of 1,300 infiltration ponds, safely managed sanitation promotion, and re-vegetation on Gamalama mountain slopes.
All the information was compiled into a KKMA document and a detailed action plan with budget.
Among those recommendations, Ternate city government prioritizes infiltration ponds construction because it is considered effective and efficient to increase water debit and quality. Therefore, Ternate city government, with support from USAID IUWASH PLUS, the private sector, and community built infiltration ponds in Ake Gaale’s catchment areas.
As of October 2019, they built 86 infiltration ponds. To ensure the KKMA recommendations receive full support from the decision makers, the KKMA team and USAID IUWASH PLUS presented the KKMA document to the Mayor, Vice Mayor, and regional secretary in mid-2018. After having these discussions, the Mayor signed the document in July 2018.
“KKMA is expected to give us directions and technology options to address the water crisis in Ternate city in effective, efficient, and measurable ways so that Ternate’s water supply is adequate to support the city’s sustainable development,” said M. Tauhid Soleman, the Regional Secretary of Ternate city.
The construction of 86 infiltration ponds has shown impacts on Ake Gaale spring. PDAM Ternate reported the water debit increased from less than 75 Lps before 2018 to 85 Lps in mid-2019 and the water salinity decreased from 1,501 mg/L in 2016 to 398 mg/L in 2019. Currently, the Ake Gaale’s water discharge is 7.01 Lps or equivalent with 221,536,000 liter per year after the construction of 86 infiltration ponds.
Seeing the benefits, the city government allocated Rp1.2 billion from the 2019 APBD-P and Rp800 million from 2020 APBD to build 500 infiltration ponds. The city government also requires a new house to have an infiltration pond. Safely managed sanitation promotion is also conducted to prevent water contamination from human waste.
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