Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo credit: Jhon Alfa Tumbelaka

Making Sanitation Services Affordable in Indonesia’s Cities

"Wastewater should be managed well for a better quality of life,” said Vice Mayor Syamsul Rizal in August 2015, as his city, Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi, became the first in Indonesia’s history to implement a regular septic tank cleaning service. Our city “should be at the forefront of good sanitation,” he asserted. “It is meaningless to have a nice house when the environment around us is smelly.”

Half of Indonesia’s population now lives in cities — double the percentage of just 30 years ago. This demographic transformation has severely strained sanitation services. To address this challenge, USAID Indonesia’s flagship water development initiative — the Indonesia Urban Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (IUWASH) project — has been prioritizing improvements to urban water and sanitation service delivery since 2011.

The USAID IUWASH program behind Makassar’s historic milestone is the Regular De-sludging Service — a collaborative effort between USAID, the Government of Indonesia, and various municipal governments that has been laying the groundwork for improved urban sanitation since 2012. Inspired by the De-sludging Service’s success in Makassar, the city of Surakarta in central Java followed suit in October 2015, while other cities across Indonesia have shown an interest in introducing the service.

Read the full article in USAID's Global Waters magazine.

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Russell Sticklor
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