WATER SUPPLY MANAGEMENT IN COKRODININGRATAN COMMUNITY, INDONESIA
The Small Community Water Supply Management Project in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, aimed to develop and expand water supply services so that more households and individuals could access clean water easily. Community members were also expected to be empowered through their active participation in planning and implementation of the project.
The project area is in RW07, a low-income settlement by the Code River in Jetis sub-district, where basic urban infrastructure services are not distributed evenly. (An RW, or rukun warga, is a sub-neighbourhood.) Riverside residents obtain clean water via Perusahaan Air Minum Daerah (PDAM, a local government enterprise), local community initiatives such as RW07’s Usaha Air Bersih (UAB, or Clean Water Organization) Tirta Kencana, and shallow wells and riverbank springs. Before the project, most of the 265 households in RW07 did not have proper connections to water supply services, with just 65 connections (including several in nearby RW06). Many residents whose homes do not have bathrooms or toilets use designated public facilities, paying a monthly fee per family.
Funding for the project was awarded to UAB Tirta Kencana in 2005 through the Alumni Demonstration Projects (ADP) component of the Southeast Asia Urban Environmental Management Applications (SEA-UEMA) Project. The project’s main partners were SEA-UEMA, the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning of Gadjah Mada University (MPKD-UGM) and UAB Tirta Kencana. UAB Tirta Kencana operates under the umbrella of the RW07 board to distribute clean water, deal with operation and maintenance activities and set agreed tariffs.
The project began in January 2005 and construction was completed in March 2006. It has been fully operational since January 2006.
A rapid assessment was first conducted to investigate the needs and expectations of local people. Informal inquiries were also made among existing and prospective customers of water services. Customers’ representatives were invited to a committee meeting to voice their specific needs and the equal participation of women and men was encouraged.
SEA-UEMA disbursed US$17,769 for the project. Of this, US$14,207 was used for physical infrastructure to expand existing services and for capacity building for community members and UAB Tirta Kencana. The rest went toward project management and additional expenses. Community members contributed voluntary work and service (including pipe-laying and provision of refreshments for workers), ideas and suggestions, and infrastructure owned by UAB Tirta Kencana. MPKD-UGM mainly contributed technical assistance and petty cash.
Through the project, water is tapped from two springs, where water-capturing was installed to guard against debris and dirt and to ensure a clean water supply. The water is stored in a ground reservoir, where capacity was expanded to conserve nightly spill over that was previously lost. After the water is pumped to an expanded upper reservoir, it is treated with disinfectant to meet health standards. Clean water is then distributed to customers downhill. Untreated water in the ground reservoir is also piped to public washing areas and bathrooms, indirectly benefiting people who use these facilities for free, including women who run home laundry businesses.
UAB Tirta Kencana appointed a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer and technicians to run the operation from day to day, under the supervision of RW07’s board.
Several organizational and natural challenges arose during implementation. It proved difficult to ensure community members were equal partners and not just executors of a project designed by the local government or the private sector. Reporting and accounting were a minor problem due to a lack of skills. A landslide in February 2005 damaged the ground reservoir and water-capturing pipes, stalling project activities for almost a month. Additional costs accrued as a retaining wall was then built near the water-capturing pipes, while the ground reservoir was repaired and broken pipes were replaced. Activities were back on schedule by mid-April 2005, after a setback of almost two months, and the anticipated outcome was not affected.
Revenue collected for installation and usage covers daily operation and maintenance of the UAB Tirta Kencana service. Progressive tariffs apply so that higher consumption costs more, which helps to conserve supplies and educate the community about using water efficiently. The RW07 community decided to differentiate the installation fee on the basis of administrative area rather than socio-economic status. This means that customers in RW07 pay IDR300,000 for installation, regardless of their economic status, while people outside RW07 (such as those in RW06) pay IDR600,000. The installation fee is set at three to four times the actual cost (for all customers), an arrangement that helps to cover service provision for low-income households despite no differentiation on the basis of economic status.
2. Key outcomes
At completion, the project expanded clean water services to 115 households in RW07 and nearby RW06, compared with 65 household connections previously. Overall, water is delivered to three kinds of users: (i) UAB Tirta Kencana for further distribution, (ii) public washing areas and bathrooms, and (iii) women who run home laundry businesses. Average daily consumption is 60 cubic metres (m3), including water accessed at public washing areas and taps. About 54 m3 is treated before delivery.
People now need less time to obtain clean water for their daily use, allowing more time for other activities. The quantity and quality of clean water to households and public taps have improved, as have water conservation and the managerial capacity of UAB Tirta Kencana. Connected customers receive monthly bills and so far there have been no late payments.
With regard to gender issues, women’s participation increased gradually during implementation. Women, young people and other community members were invited to join the UAB Tirta Kencana committee. However, women remain under-represented, with only four women on the committee. The role of women in the project has centred more on traditional activities such as providing food for workers during communal work. Nevertheless, a significant change is apparent in comparison with the traditional approach of men making all decisions. The community is also starting to encourage active participation by other people, and formal and informal leaders do not dominate decision-making to the same extent as previously.
The project also generated temporary employment for some young people and unemployed people living in the area. The creation of jobs has increased the self-respect and confidence of previously unemployed people, especially the young, to contribute to the overall local development process.
The total benefits accrued (in terms of physical assets and accumulated adjusted profit) are expected to exceed the initial investment. Wages account for 25 percent of funding and could be expected to stimulate local economic development through temporary jobs. Other benefits expected over 10 years include more capacity building through workshops and field visits to other projects, increased community participation and greater gender equality. The subsidy system agreed upon was not directly focused on the poor, but it nevertheless benefits low-income families in RW07.
The scheme is expected to last for 20 years before upgrading and expansion, and is designed to be financially, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Although UAB Tirta Kencana provides free services for people using public facilities, it still enjoys considerable profits. The scheme is expected to generate adjusted profits of US$11,277.71 after 10 years on the conservative estimate of 10 new customers a year. After renewal of the physical infrastructure, there is still room for profit to be used for other purposes. Part of the investment goes toward salaries for the UAB Tirta Kencana manager and two staff as well as the creation of temporary jobs for young people.
Economic and social objectives were balanced by providing cross-subsidies for installation, and charging households for direct service while not charging for water accessed at public taps and washing areas. As well, local people could be expected to play a greater role in neighbourhood planning as a result of this experience. Over time, women are likely to become more involved in decision-making, and daily operation and maintenance. Community members have learned more about conservation and efficient use of clean water, which is indirectly enforced through higher tariffs for higher consumption.
Sustainability could be improved further if more parties become involved. Private sector entities such as banks and businesses could contribute to increasing UAB Tirta Kencana’s financial capacity while provincial and national agencies, along with NGOs, could provide more technical assistance for community empowerment and development.
4. Replication and expansion
The project serves as a model for basic urban infrastructure provision in other low-income settlements along the Code River and in nearby neighbourhoods, based on practicality and the involvement of various stakeholders, including research institutions or universities, NGOs, the public and private sectors, and local communities. Community-based organizations (CBOs) such as UAB Tirta Kencana could be further encouraged to provide services to local communities that have no or limited access to clean water. Local regulations could promote
such services while noting the distinction between areas covered by CBOs and professional entities such as PDAM. CBOs would need financial support to do this. As well, several basic prerequisites should be fulfilled, such as ensuring the presence of strong leaders with clear vision, an equal position among partners and active and equal community participation.
Any expansion of the UAB Tirta Kencana operation would require more professionals, leading to a likelihood of people outside the community replacing local people as managers and general staff. As such, a policy may be needed to protect the rights of local people to work in UAB Tirta Kencana management positions, while also allowing for capable workers to be hired from elsewhere as necessary.
5. Contact information
Dr. Ranjith Perera
Director, SEA-UEMA Project
UEM-SERD, Asian Institute of Technology
P.O. Box 4 , Klong Luang, Pathumthani, 12120, Thailand
Phone: +66-2-5245777, Fax: +66-2-5162126, +66-2-5248338
Ms. Henrika Retno Tyas Arum
Team leader, MPKD-UGM
Jl. Grafika No. 2 Sekip, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
Phone: +62-274-580095, Fax: +62-274-580852
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com