The absence of healthy and proper sanitation for the residents of Kawangu and Watumbaka villages in East Sumba is finally going to be resolved. As many as 12 units of toilets built by Yayasan IDEP with support from PT HM Sampoerna through Collaborative Habitat Advancement Management Program (CHAMP) in both villages were finally inaugurated and handed over to the residents on April 19, 2018.
Located in Kawangu, the inauguration and handover that was preceded by the traditional ceremony of Marapu (local belief) was attended by all residents of two villages, public figures, local government representatives, PT HM Sampoerna representatives and journalists.
It's such a long wait for them. However, both in Kawangu and Watumbaka where the majority rely on farming and raising livestock as the main source of income, access to clean and healthy sanitation is very limited. For years, residents in these two villages rely solely on nearby river, both for daily needs of water and for the needs of their gardens and livestock. The problem is that river is very polluted by chemical pesticide residue, household waste and livestock waste carried from upstream.
Similar to climatic conditions in some parts of NTT, East Sumba is generally a dry area. The rainy season in East Sumba lasts only about four months a year. The remaining eight months are dry season. This long drought condition makes them have no choice but to use water from nearby river as their main water source.
To help residents of Kawangu and Watumbaka overcome the condition, PT HM Sampoerna Tbk. and IDEP Foundation (IDEP) work together to run the Collaborative Habitat Advancement Management Program (CHAMP). The program is basically intended to provide community with access to safe and healthy water and sanitation. Having previously provided access to clean water through the construction of drilled wells with solar power at several points in the two villages, the program was then continued with the construction of sanitary facilities in the form of toilets connected to the wells. In addition to more healthy, feasible and "natural", the toilets built since October 2017 were designed using the Waste Water Garden system (WWG) to be environmentally friendly. In WWG system that is the only one built in Sumba, polluted water waste from the toilet will be filtered firstly through a number of plants planted in the toilet before it pollutes the soil and environment.
As it stated by the representative of local Government, this CHAMP initiative is very synergistic with the Government program to actualize Clean and Healthy Behavior (PHBS) of residents. Through the provision of toilet facilities like this, he continued, the practices of off-handed defecation (BABS) that has been a habit can be reduced. In that way, people can live healthier lives.
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