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Siti Cholipah, The ‘SPAM Komunal’ Caretaker: The Hero Among Us

Siti Cholipah, The ‘SPAM Komunal’ Caretaker: The Hero Among Us

“Since 2018, I have promoted SPAM Komunal to community in my neighborhood and collect due for SPAM Komunal users,” Siti Cholipah or known as Ipah, a resident of RT3/RW5 in Margahayu urban village, Bekasi city, began her story.

“I do all these jobs as a treasurer of KPP Rawa Cupu,” said Ipah, who makes a living from being a housekeeper.

“I am interested in becoming a KPP caretaker because I feel the benefits after connecting to SPAM Komunal. Just like many other families in RT3/RW5, I used to wash and bathe using yellow, rusty and smelly well water. I also had to buy refill water at a price of Rp4,000/19 liter to eat and drink for my family of four. So, every month we spent an average Rp40,000 only to buy refilled water,” said Ipah.

“After connecting to SPAM Komunal, we have cleaner water at home and we can use it for any purpose. We do not need to buy refilled water anymore,” she added.

KPP Rawa Cupu is a community user group formed by KOTAKU program and supported by USAID IUWASH PLUS. KPP Rawa Cupu’s tasks include manage, promote, and maintain the SPAM Komunal with designed capacity of 50HHs that the KOTAKU program built in 2017 in RT3/RW 5, Margahayu urban village.

In 2017, there were only 32HHs of a total of 67HHs that were connected to SPAM Komunal, including Ipah’s household. Therefore, more intensive promotion was required.

Ipah admitted that being a KPP caretaker is not easy. “Frankly, I initially was not sure and doubted myself whether I had the capability to do the caretaker role because I am only a housekeeper and a junior high school graduate,” said Ipah.

Yet, Ipah did not let her inferior feelings stop her from being a caretaker. She regularly attends trainings on safe water and sanitation, SPAM Komunal organization and finance management, WASH promotion and advocacy skills that puskesmas and USAID IUWASH PLUS have facilitated.

“Thanks to trainings and assistance from puskesmas and USAID IUWASH PLUS, as well as solid support from my team, now I am more confident talking to other community members to promote safe water and sanitation, and hygiene behavior,” beamed Ipah.

Since then, Ipah and the other KPP caretakers have actively promoted the benefits of SPAM Komunal connection to the community members and leaders through community meetings and an informal approach.

Gradually, Ipah and other caretakers reaped the fruits of their hard work. Additional eight families connected to SPAM Komunal in 2018 after receiving promotion from Ipah and team.

The SPAM Komunal users also trust Ipah and the KPP to manage the SPAM Komunal user contribution, which accumulatively amounted to Rp6 million to be used for maintaining and operating the system.

“KPP Rawa Cupu will continue to encourage more people to connect to the SPAM Komunal. In addition, we will also continue to promote other issues related to clean and hygiene behavior,” Ipah promised.

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