Mekar Sentosa urban village in Tebing Tinggi city started to implement market-based sanitation. The market-based sanitation a concept driven by USAID IUWASH PLUS to help the government accelerate the improvement of community sanitation access. This market-based sanitation targets families who have yet to have access to safely managed sanitation and they are able to pay for micro-credits.
The implementation of market-based sanitation in Mekar Sentosa urban village involves sanitation cadres selling toilets with septic tanks, such as Puspasari Hutapea and Suryawati. They both are the cadres whose tasks include promoting safely managed sanitation in Lingkungan 1 and 3 in Mekar Sentosa urban village.
Both areas have serious sanitation issues. Based on the participatory M&E data in September 2019, of the 345 HHs in Lingkungan 1, only 25HHs have toilets and septic tanks, 248 HHs have toilets with unsealed fecal containment, 31 have toilets without any fecal containment, and 4 HHs still practice open defecation.
Similarly, of 225 HHs in Lingkungan 3, only 46 HHs are connected to IPAL Komunal, 168 HHs have toilets with unsealed fecal containment, 3 HHs have toilets without any fecal containment, 2 HHs shared a toilet, and 6 HHs still practice open defecation.
“We are sad to see many families who still don’t have a septic tank at home. They just dispose of human waste directly into the river, which makes the water smell. We want more people to have septic tanks to keep our neighborhood clean and healthy,” Puspasari Hutapea explained why she and her colleague, Suryawati, become sanitation sales officers.
To help Puspasari Hutapea and Suryawati carry out their duties as sanitation sales officers, the Mekar Sentosa village office, Puskesmas Rantau Laban, and USAID IUWASH PLUS trained them how to effectively promote sanitation. Since February 2020, Puspasari Hutapea and Suryawati – the sanitation sales duo – have been very active in selling the toilets with septic tanks to the people in Mekar Sentosa urban village.
“We come to community meetings or places they usually gather and inform people about the benefits of toilets with septic tanks. We also tell them that the city government is very serious about making the citizens build septic tanks.” Puspasari Hutapea explained the promotion method she did with Suryawati.
With their hard work, Puspasari Hutapea and Suryawati have successfully convinced two families, Jumiati’s and Murni’s, to build septic tanks. The two are low income families in Mekar Sentosa and are unable to afford the construction cost in one-off payment.
Thus, Puspasari Hutapea and Suryawati advocated Mekar Sentosa village government to help Murni and Jumiati to build the septic tank. As a result, the village government through the village financial institution (LKK) disbursed a loan without interest to Jumiati’s and Murni’s families in March 2020.
Each of those families received Rp1.8 million and they will pay an installment of Rp150,000/month for 12 months. Puspasari Hutapea and Suryawati have also registered Jumiati and Murni families as the LLTT customers to UPTD PALD Tebing Tinggi. To help more people build septic tanks, the government of Mekar Sentosa urban village plans to allocate a budget through the LKK to build 10 septic tanks per year.
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