Water is the most precious life source of all living things in this world. For a human, water is the essential thing that supports his life. Therefore, accessible water, clean water and proper sanitation for all human are things that we want to live in. However, these things have not been fully obtained by some of the Indonesian citizens in certain areas. Water scarcity and poor water quality may be caused by poor infrastructures, bad economics, overuse of water, pollution, and many more.
Worse, these issues will negatively impact sanitation. As these issues are the urgent issues that currently occurred in Indonesia, I believe that all Indonesian people are responsible to take action in coping with poor water quality, water scarcity and inadequate sanitation. And I think we can start it from ourselves- the nearest way to start from.
Managing the use of water is one of the solutions that we can do to cope with water scarcity.
Reported from Solar School’s page, we can start it from reducing the amount of water we use, such as turning off the water’s taps while we brush our teeth, soaping our clothes, body, or plates. Also, we may use a bucket instead of a shower to bathe, use a smaller flush tank, take a short shower, and fix any leaking water’s tap. Although these actions seem like simple things, they have a large effect on reducing water scarcity and improving the availability of water for other users in certain areas where water scarcity and poor water quality occurred.
Reported from Detik News’s page in 2017, people in border areas such as Sebatik Island, North Kalimantan only rely on rainwater to get the clean water. More tragic, they will not find any clean water for drink if it does not rain. Furthermore, poor water quality also occurred in post-disaster areas such as Palu, Donggala, and Lombok. After being hit by earthquake and tsunami in 2018, the accessibility to clean water and proper sanitation are being difficult for those who live in the refuge because the infrastructure has been damaged. Thus, if we can manage the use of water wisely, it is possible for us to provide clean water for them.
In addition, reclaiming or recycling water for some purposes is considered to be one of the solutions to reduce water scarcity and poor water quality. We can recycle wastewater for many purposes in many ways. For example, we can reuse the water we use for washing vegetables or fruits to water the plants in our garden. Also, we can do rainwater harvesting in order to reuse it for washing car, for example. Solar Impulse Foundation revealed that recycling wastewater and harvesting rainwater can recharge the groundwater, as it is a well-known process to reduce water scarcity. By recycling water, we can also reduce poor water quality caused by water pollution. The result of a water reclamation project in California strengthens this statement. Reported from USGS website, water reclamation project that worked by The East Bay Municipal Utility District can reduce pollution into San Francisco Bay. So, I think we can start to recycle wastewater and do rainwater harvesting from our household life.
Reporting the lack of toilets, which we found in anywhere, to many communities and government around us can be a solution for inadequate sanitation issue. Our voices will help the government find the areas that have lack of toilets. Because in fact, inadequate sanitation is still be perceived by many people. A data from Tirto.id shows that in 2016, Puan Maharani, a minister of Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Cultural Affairs, stated that there are 120 million people do not have access to proper sanitation. Thus, we can lend our voice to talk about inadequate sanitation to the government so that the government can follow it up immediately.
The last way, considered to be the most important one, to cope with all these problems is by improving awareness and education of ourselves. Although the government has made many efforts to cope with the problems, it will not be success if the individual itself does not have awareness of the surrounding environment. We can come to a training center or seminars related to water, sanitation, and hygiene to increase our knowledge and improve our self-awareness. If we are too busy or too lazy to go somewhere in order to improve our knowledge and awareness, we can read many sources discussing water and sanitation on online sites easily through our gadgets.
Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation cannot be overcome if it only handled by one individual. It should take the actions of all Indonesian people. We can start to take many simple actions from ourselves in order to cope with the problems. If all people have taken the action, water and sanitation problems will be coped quickly.