Clean Water and Renewed Hope in Indonesia
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has helped nearly 20,000 people over the last three years to have better access to clean water and sanitation through its office in Indonesia. And the work continues. In the next three years, UMCOR anticipates helping 75,000 more with this basic need.
Nusret Osmanspahic, UMCOR Indonesia’s head of mission emphasizes the importance of these programs, “80 million Indonesians live without proper sanitation facilities, which contributes to the diarrhea-related deaths of over 100,000 Indonesian children each year.”
UMCOR’s past water and sanitation projects included rehabilitating two water treatment plants, providing water access for two UMCOR-constructed schools and installing septic tanks and water connections to nearly 550 UMCOR-constructed or repaired homes.
International Year of Sanitation
UMCOR Indonesia is using this “International Year of Sanitation,” as declared by the United Nations, to bring additional focus on its water and sanitation work. On March 24, World Water Day, UMCOR kicked off this celebration. At the event UMCOR recognized local students who demonstrated leadership on sanitation issues and broke ground for a new water and sanitation facility.
This latest project will serve 21 schools in the Bireuen District—a tsunami-affected community in Aceh Province. The new facilities will include latrines and hand washing sinks that will be connected to the local water supply or newly-dug wells. The project is funded by both UMCOR and UNICEF.
While the impact of UMCOR’s work thus far has only begun to address the larger water and sanitation needs throughout Indonesia, these UMCOR-constructed school facilities will provide nearly 5,000 children with improved access to sanitation. “UMCOR has greatly improved my school’s sanitation and hygiene,” said one school principal. “I hope UMCOR can expand [these] programs to other needy schools.”
How You Can Help
UMCOR opened its Indonesia office in 2005 in the wake of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. UMCOR Indonesia rebuilds homes, schools and, community infrastructure, and helps communities develop more productive livelihoods.