The Country of Indonesia
Indonesia faces grave challenges in the access and supply of clean water. Although Indonesia is a wealthy country with many water resources, the severe lack of clean water and poor sanitation presents a negative image of Indonesia. There is a need to address the clean water challenges in Indonesia. This research evaluates general information about Indonesia and discusses a mega project to address the challenges of clean water supply in Indonesia.
Indonesia General Information
The republic of Indonesia comprises of 13466 islands located in Southeast Asia (Saunders, 2007; Oxford Business Group, 2013). The country has 33 provinces covering all the islands (Saunders, 2007; Oxford Business Group, 2013). The country is one of the most populous in the world, and it is ranked fourth largest (Saunders, 2007; Oxford Business Group, 2013; Geoffrey, 2014). The population of the republic of Indonesia is approximately 238 million people (Geoffrey, 2014; Oxford Business Group, 2013). According to Geoffrey (2014), the population growth rate is estimated at 1.9% and the largest population lives on Java Island. Java Island is also one of the heavily populated islands in the world (Geoffrey, 2014). The population is comprised of approximately 300 ethnic groups (Geoffrey, 2014; Oxford Business Group, 2013). The largest ethnic group is Javanese that consists about 42% of the population (Geoffrey, 2014; Oxford Business Group, 2013). The Javanese dominate both cultural and political sectors in the country. Some of the other larger ethnic groups include Malays, Sundanese and Madurese (Geoffrey, 2014; Oxford Business Group, 2013; Yuki, 2012). Moreover, there are about 742 different dialects among Indonesia population (Geoffrey, 2014; Oxford Business Group, 2013; Yuki, 2012). The national language is Malay (Geoffrey, 2014). There are six religions acknowledged in the constitution. These include Islam, which is the dominant religion, Hindu, Buddhism, Roman Catholic, Protestantism, and Confucianism (Geoffrey, 2014; Yuki, 2012).
The country has the largest economy amongst the Southeast Asian countries. In 2012, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Indonesia was estimated at US$928.274 billion (Thee, 2012; Lewis, 2009). The estimated per capita GDP is US$3797 (Thee, 2012). The Indonesia is a member of G-20 countries (Thee, 2012; Oxford Business Group, 2013). The government and private sector intervene in the economy though private sector has more control as compared to the government (Thee, 2012).
Indonesia has a central government with a presidential system of governance (Yuki, 2012). Thus, Indonesia is a unitary country. The president is the head of government, assisted by the vice president (Yuki, 2012). Indonesia has three arms of government, which include the legislature, judiciary, and executive (Yuki, 2012; Felix, 2014). The legislature has a main body called People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), which has a role of amending the constitution (Felix, 2014). According to Felix (2014), the MPR comprises of two bodies, which include Peoples Representative Council (DPR) and Regional Representative Council (DPD). The two houses comprise people’s representatives elected by Indonesians. Thus, Indonesia has a liberal democracy that allows representation of citizens in governance. The utmost arm of judiciary is the Supreme Court (Felix, 2014). Although the constitution came into force in 1945, the amendments in 2002 enhanced presidential system and transformed Indonesia from autocratic t democratic leadership (Felix, 2014). The first presidential elections were held in 2004 where the Indonesians elected a president and vice president (Felix, 2014; Yuki, 2012). The elections in 2004 were the last elections where the Susilo Yadhoyono won the elections against Abdurrahman Wahid (Felix, 2014). Since the Constitution allows president to serve a maximum term of two terms of 5 years, the next elections will be held in 2014. There are many political parties in Indonesia and the competition is relatively high since the political parties fight for dominance in the legislature representation. The Indonesians above 17 years age qualify to participate in the voting process (Felix, 2014). One of the key changes in political environment is improvement in democratization process in Indonesia where citizens elect their representatives in government in a democratic manner. The social challenges facing Indonesia include terrorism, corruption, and violation of human rights by the government forces (Felix, 2014; Yuki, 2012).
Indonesia has a liberalized economy whereby the private sector dominates the economic environment in Indonesia (Oxford Business Group, 2013; Pepinsky, 2009). The government has little control in the economy mainly involved in regulating and developing policies to enhance investment and economic growth. The industrial sector contributes approximately 46% of the economy making it the largest sector in the Indonesian economy (Oxford Business Group, 2013; Thee, 2012). The services sector is second largest contributing approximately 38% and agriculture the third contributing about 14% of the economy (Oxford Business Group, 2013; Thee, 2012). The economic policies encourage foreign investment, which enhanced the development of the industrial sector. There are also good relations between Indonesia and trading partners in Asia, America, and Europe regions (Oxford Business Group, 2013; Thee, 2012). However, the Asian financial crisis in 1997 affected foreign investment causing a decline in investment in Indonesia (Thee, 2012; Lewis, 2009). Currently, the country is regaining foreign investment due to strong economic performance despite the challenges of the global financial crisis. The improvements in communication infrastructure have enhanced foreign investment in the country. Indonesia has rail, road, water, pipeline, and air transport systems making mobility of people and goods within and outside the country appropriate (Thee, 2012). Furthermore, Indonesia has satellites making it easy to communicate and pass information. Currently, Indonesia is the largest exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and one of the leading exporters of petroleum oil (Lewis, 2009). The challenges affecting foreign investments include corruption, insecurity, terrorism and high labor costs among others.
Lack of Clean Water in Indonesia
Although Indonesia is endowed with many and large water resources spread throughout the country, there is a serious problem regarding the supply and access to clean water. Many Indonesians lack access to clean water for consumption and domestic uses. Cribb and Ford (2009) estimate that water availability is approximately 15000 cubic meters per person per year. Indonesia has more than 5500 rivers and high rainfall annually estimated at 2000mm per year (Cribb & Ford, 2009; Abdi, 2007). There are also lakes, such as Lake Air Siku, Palaguna and Kolong Kac among others (Abdi, 2007). This shows that Indonesia has plenty of water throughout the year despite the challenges of accessing clean water. Irrigation accounts for the largest water usage consuming approximately 93% of the water use (Abdi, 2007; Soedjono & Setiadi, 2012). There are challenges facing the construction of water reservoirs such as river siltation and lack of appropriate sites to build reservoirs.
Causes of Inadequate Supply of Clean Water
Various factors make the availability of clean water a challenge in Indonesia. According to Bakker (2007), one of the outstanding factors is the forces of demand and supply. In urban areas in Indonesia, the demand for clean water outstrips the supply (Bakker, 2007). This factor makes clean water inaccessible to any urban dwellers in the country. Abdi (2007), states that the rapid population growth is one of the causes of high demand for clean water. The population growth rate is higher in comparison to the growth and development of clean water supply in urban centers. However, Bakker (2007) argues that the issue of population growth and limited water supply is not valid. This is because Indonesia has plenty of raw water that is used by a majority of the population. Therefore, according to Bakker (2007), the strategies are to blame when considering the lack of clean water supply in Indonesia urban centers. There should be appropriate mechanisms to build and improve the existing water plants to enhance the distribution of clean water in urban centers.
The other factor causing lack of clean water in Indonesia is inefficient use of water. There is inefficiency in water uses resulting in wastage of water and thus demand of clean water surpasses the supply (Achmad, 2006; Justin & Garrick, 2011). Achmad (2006) states that the average water usage in Jakarta city outstrips many large cities in the world. While the average water use is 200 liters per capita per day in Jakarta, the average water usage in many large cities in Europe is 130 liters per capita per day (Achmad, 2006). This shows inefficient use of water in Jakarta in comparison to other cities in the world. There is also water wastage through poor plumbing causing leakages and pipe breakages in homesteads (Achmad, 2006). There is also spillage of water through the overflow of storage tanks, lack of appropriate water harvesting during rainy season and water conservation technologies (Justin & Garrick, 2011). These factors result to increased water wastage that cause inefficient supply of water.
According to Suharyanto (2011), the low water tariff contributes to inefficient and poor supply of clean water in Indonesia. The water tariff is approximately US$0.05 per cubic meter (Suharyanto, 2011). In this respect, since the tariff is low, the users do not feel the financial impact of water wastage that would trigger conservation of available water. Many people can afford to pay water tariffs causing insensitivity in water wastage. Alternatively, the low tariff creates an impression of high supply of water in relation to demand that makes water users insensitive to water conservation. Although the aim of government is enhancing water availability among the poor people, the poor people do not benefit from the low tariffs because of lack of access to piped water. The poor people purchase water from water vendors whereby they pay between US$073-2.42 per cubic meter (Suharyanto, 2011). Therefore, the low water tariff benefits the rich residing in urban areas.
Water pollution is the other factor causing limited supply of clean water in Indonesia. There is high pollution of water resulting from domestic and industrial effluent that seep or drain to rivers and water bodies (Susan & Anggun, 2014; Elisa & Paul, 2010; Suharyanto, 2011). The lack of sewage systems in suburbs of many urban centers causes domestic effluent to be drained into rivers through runoff (Susan & Anggun, 2014). Alternatively, the residents in suburbs rely on private septic tanks that dispose the waste in rivers. The sanitation is poor in Indonesia and fall below the minimum standards required for Asian countries (Susan & Anggun, 2014; Suharyanto, 2011). According to Susan and Anggun (2014), only about 42% of Indonesians have access domestic water treatment. Agricultural activities also contribute towards water pollution through drainage of agricultural chemicals to river bodies (Elisa & Paul, 2010). The other factors that cause inadequate supply of clean water include intermittent supply of water and low coverage of piped water in the country. These factors have resulted in inadequate supply of clean water in Indonesia despite the presence of big water resources.
Impacts of Inadequate Clean Water Supply
One of the impacts of inadequate clean water supply in Indonesia is health related impacts. Since many people consume raw, untreated water, it increases chances of suffering from waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, and dysentery among others (Susan & Anggun, 2014). These diseases may cause death and increase health care costs for the government and citizens. It is estimated that about 120 million people die annually across the globe due to poor water sanitation and 50000 are premature deaths (Susan & Anggun, 2014). There are also direct and indirect economic costs resulting from poor water sanitation. The death of productive people due to water sanitation causes loss to the economy. Poor sanitation also increases health care costs due to increase in preventable diseases. Indonesia lost approximately US$6.3 billion in 2006 because of poor sanitation (Susan & Anggun, 2014). This is equivalent to about 2.3% of the country’s GDP (Susan & Anggun, 2014). The other estimated economic losses include US$1.2 billion trying to improve sanitation in the country.
Solution to Clean Water Problem in Indonesia
Indonesia requires large water treatment plants to help solve the problem of clean water supply in the country. A large water treatment plant will help in treating and purifying raw water and piping the water to residential areas for consumption by Indonesians. The large water supply plant will help overcome the existing differences between demand and supply of water. The water supply plant will ensure that the poor have access to clean water regardless of their location in the country.
- To increase the supply of clean water in Indonesia
- To improve water quality used by Indonesia nationals
- To increase access of clean water to low-income class in Indonesia
- To encourage Indonesians to conserve water through efficient use of water
The first step will be fundraising to get funds to implement the water supply plant project. The fundraising will involve all stakeholders, donors, and beneficiaries of the project. The involvement of project beneficiaries in the initial stages of the project helps to sensitize the beneficiaries to own the project.
The other step will be selecting the appropriate site for the water plant. There is a need to select an appropriate site to make it easy to distribute water to residents. A central point would be an appropriate site to locate the water supply plant. The project will hire technicians and engineers to help in citing the appropriate site for the water plant. The positioning of the water treatment plant will take two months. The water supply plant will obtain raw water from the water reservoir of one of the largest rivers in the country. This will ensure water is available throughout the year, even in dry season. The raw water from the river will be pumped to the water treatment plant for filtering and treatment and then supplied to residents in Indonesia, especially the low-income earners who have no access to clean water.
Project Design and Construction
The technical team and engineers will help in designing the water supply plant. The water supply plant should provide water to approximately 70 million Indonesians. This will increase access of clean water for domestic uses. The technical team will also help in constructing the water supply plant according to the design. The design and construction of water treatment plant will take approximately 2 years.
The project stakeholders will help in monitoring the project at different stages of project unfolding process. This will ensure the proper implementation of the project within the time schedule and that the project meets the anticipated goals.
This is the stage to assess the implementation of the water treatment plant project. The assessment will be done in relation to the project goals. Apart from addressing the prevailing problem, the project should meet the project objectives. This will also involve testing of the water treatment plant before handing over the project to the stakeholders.
Benefits of Water Treatment Plant
The water treatment plant project will help in improving the access of clean water used for domestic purposes in Indonesia. Indonesia has been facing challenges in accessing clean water for domestic use, which has negative health impacts, such as the outbreak of waterborne diseases (Justin & Garrick, 2011). However, when there is increased access to clean water, it will help to reduce the negative impacts that result from the use of raw water. The low-income class is the main beneficiary of this project. The low-income class is vulnerable to waterborne diseases since they do not have access to clean water despite low tariffs on water in the country (Malisie, Prihandrijanti & Otterpohl, 2007). Since the amount of clean water supply is inadequate, the rich have access to clean water supply and low-income class is sidelined in clean water supply. However, the project on large water treatment plant will help increase access to clean water.
The other advantage of the project is encouraging water conservation by Indonesians. There is inefficient use of water in Indonesia resulting in water wastage and spillage. The low tariffs charged on water causes inefficiency use of water since many people can afford the charges. However, in this project, the beneficiaries will be encouraged to use water efficiently and conserve available water. Apart from reducing the domestic costs on water, it will also help in making the consumers sensitive to the importance of water.
The management of the water project will be independent of government interference. This is to help in improving the management of the project and applying modern management techniques. One of the causes of inequality in water supply in Indonesia is mismanagement of the available clean water (Soedjono & Setiadi, 2012). The clean water is limited to urban areas where rich people reside. There is sidelining of the poor, and thus poor people purchase water from water vendors at high prices as compared to tariffs charged by the government. When the management is independent, it is possible to address these challenges and ensure equitable distribution and access of water by Indonesians. The management of the project will also plan to expand the project in relation to increase in demand of clean water. This will ensure demand does not outstrip supply by huge margins causing inequalities in clean water distribution in Indonesia. Currently, the water supply expansion rate is less than an increase in the demand for water causing challenges in supply of water.
Indonesians experience increased economic costs due to challenges of accessing clean water for domestic uses. The low-income class purchase water at high prices from water vendors, which decreases the disposable income of the low-income class. On the other hand, some of the water vendors sell raw untreated water, which increases the risk of contracting waterborne diseases (Klock & Sjah, 2007). The project on water supply plant will help in reducing the overall economic costs to the Indonesians and government. Since there will be no increase in water tariff charged by government, the low-income class will access clean water at low prices as compared to prices they buy water from water vendors. Furthermore, access to clean water will reduce vulnerability to waterborne diseases, which increases healthcare costs for Indonesians and government. Therefore, in the end, the disposable income of Indonesians will increase and government will save on expenditures incurred in addressing water related diseases.
Indonesia is one of the most heavily populated countries in the world. Indonesia is made up of 13466 islands in the Southeast Asia region. Indonesia has a central form of government led by the president. There are three arms of government including legislature, executive, and judiciary. The three arms of government are independent and help in implementing the roles of central government. The country is split into provinces that help in delivering government services to the citizens. The citizens elect the president and representatives in the legislature during elections. Indonesia has large economy and is a member of the G-20 countries. The economy is liberalized and private sector controls the large part of the economy. There is good communication infrastructure in Indonesia, which improves mobility of goods and people throughout the country. However, Indonesia faces challenges of lack of clean water supply. Various factors, such as high demand and low supply of water, low water tariffs, water pollution, and inefficient use of water cause inadequate supply of clean water.
The project on water supply plant in Indonesia aims at addressing the challenges of water shortage in the country. The project aims at enhancing availability, access, and equitable distribution of clean water among the residents of Indonesia. This will also help in reducing economic costs at domestic and national level incurred in seeking medical care due to infections of waterborne diseases. The sensitization of the communities on the importance of water conservation will help in encouraging efficient water use in Indonesia. The government of Indonesia and project beneficiaries should help in implementing the project on water supply and overcome the water challenges.
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