Half of Indonesians lack sanitation, clean water
September 22nd 2012
The gap between urban and rural areas has left nearly half of Indonesia’s 240 million people without proper access to sanitation and clean water, Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said on Monday [17 September]. In her opening speech at the Third East Asia Ministerial Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene, Nafsiah said about 55 percent of Indonesians do not have access to sanitation, while 43 percent don’t have access to clean water. She added that the number of people without either was 109 million. 'The disparity between access to sanitation and clean water in cities and in villages means that we are still far from achieving our accessibility targets,' the minister said. She said 76 percent of urban residents had access to sanitation and clean water, compared to 47 percent of rural residents, who account for the majority of the country’s population.
The government wants to ensure access to sanitation by 62 percent of the population by 2015. Similarly, it wants to increase access to clean water to 68 percent by the same deadline. Nafsiah said that under the government’s health development program, Indonesia would need Rp 56 trillion ($5.9 billion) in funding through 2020 to build the infrastructure for both, and improve access. Health experts at the conference stressed the need for improved sanitation, particularly in preventing waterborne diseases that fuel childhood mortality rates.
Read the full article: Jakarta Globe
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