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Grassroots Collaboration for Piped Water Service: A Lesson From Mojo Urban Village

Grassroots Collaboration for Piped Water Service: A Lesson From Mojo Urban Village

Having a clear stream of water at home is like a dream for 106 households in RT 09/RW 02 and RT 01/RW 03 in Mojo urban village—a slum in Surakarta city. The community’s well water is dirty, yellowish, and causes itchiness when used for bathing, so it forced the people to purchase water from water vendors or use public hydrants.

The people have to spend more time to queue when fetching water from the public hydrant. During the busy hours in the morning and evening, the people crowd the public hydrant location and jostle each other to get the water.

Therefore, the City Office for Housing, Settlement, and Land Affairs (DisPerumKPP) built a master meter with a capacity of 150 house connections in December 2020 using the local government budget (APBD). The master meter construction is a result of the advocacy of KSM Mojo Waras and other stakeholders—including USAID IUWASH PLUS, to the DisPerumKPP KSM Mojo Waras—a community-based organization established in 2019 to promote safely managed water and sanitation, and hygiene practices.

The master meter would initially be connected to 40 houses in a gradual effort to provide safely managed water to all of the 106 houses. Yet, an issue arose when the beneficiaries had to build house connections, which would cost up to 40 million rupiahs in total or about 800,000 – 1,000,000 rupiahs per house. “That is a big amount of money for many of us, whose incomes are precarious,” said Jumadi, the Chairperson of KSM Mojo Waras, with a heavy heart.

To solve this problem, USAID IUWASH PLUS invited another KSM from a neighboring area, KSM Dabagsari Makmur, to a meeting with KSM Mojo Waras. Formed in 2014, KSM Dabagsari is considered more experienced and it has strong financial performance.

From that meeting, KSM Dabagsari Makmur decided to lend 38 million rupiahs that the people under KSM Mojo Waras can pay back in installments for ten months. The Chairperson of KSM Dabagsari Makmur, Mr. Sudrajat, assured, “there is no need for a collateral, like when taking a loan from the bank.”

According to Mr. Sudrajat, there were a couple of reasons behind this charitable gesture. First, KSM Dabagsari could empathize with the plight of KSM Mojo Waras because they also manage a master meter system. KSM Dabagsari also trusted KSM Mojo Waras because they could see how determined and dedicated KSM Mojo Waras was.

Thanks to the loan from KSM Dabagsari, 38 of 106 houses in RT 09/RW01 and RT01/RW03 of Mojo urban village have been connected to the master meter since January 2021. In addition, two houses built the connection using their own fund in December 2020. To provide piped water for the remaining houses,

DisPerumKPP plans to the master meter networks in mid-2021 and the house connection construction will be funded either with the additional loan from KSM Dabagsari or using the beneficiaries’ fund.

“Now this village is far cleaner. Because water is easily obtained just by turning on the tap, people take care of their hygiene more easily. Now, we hardly see children having a stomachache,” ended Mr. Jumadi.

Available in idIndonesia (Indonesian)