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Sanitation Business Lifts Up Family’s Economy: Story of Karim Saber from Tangerang District

Karim Saber, a resident of RT 007/RW 001in Pekong hamlet, Saga village, Tangerang district, had never thought of running a sanitation business before.

Karim decided to begin sanitation entrepreneurship eight years ago after he had participated in an urban STBM training organized by the Health Office of Tangerang District and USAID IUWASH (the predecessor project of USAID IUWASH PLUS).

In 2013, Karim formed a Sanitation Entrepreneurs Group (KWS) Anggrek, which composed of local masons. Since then, Karim and other members of KWS Anggrek have participated in sanitation entrepreneurship trainings held by the Health Office of Tangerang District and USAID IUWASH. The capacity building sessions provided by USAID IUWASH continued during the USAID IUWASH PLUS program.

Since 2017, USAID IUWASH PLUS has conducted refresher trainings and shared updates on the business and marketing skills, and septic tank construction, with Pak Karim and his colleagues in KWS Anggrek. Furthermore, USAID IUWASH PLUS trained KWS Anggrek on digital marketing in the end of 2020, to help the enterpreneurs survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Both USAID IUWASH and the current USAID IUWASH PLUS have taught me a lot about the importance of safe access to sanitation for the community and has given me the motivation to undertake this business,” said Karim.

With his new business skills, Karim markets septic tanks to his surrounding communities through word-of-mouth and usually charges 2-3 million rupiahs for the construction of one septic tank. The price excludes the construction fee.

To attract more customers, Karim allows his customers to pay the septic tank including construction fee in installments. In addition, Karim, with assistance from USAID IUWASH and IUWASH PLUS, has built a network with Kopsyah BMI and Koperasi Abdi Kerta Raharja.

By working with the cooperatives, Karim is able to provide his service to the members of Kopsyah BMI and Koperasi Abdi Kerta Raharja who receive sanitation credit from the cooperatives.

Karim sold 39 septic tanks from March 2020 to March 2021, and five of them were sold between January and March 2021. In addition, Karim also provides construction services to build septic tanks funded by the government grants.

Available in idIndonesia (Indonesian)