MANILA, PHILIPPINES - ADB will provide clean water and sanitation facilities to about 1,500 communities of rural Indonesia, including tsunami-affected areas, through an assistance package approved today comprising loans amounting to US$64.7 million and $16.5 million in an emergency assistance grant.
The Community Water Services and Health Project will target 1,000 communities in 20 districts in the provinces of West and Central Kalimantan, Jambi, and Bengkulu, where the project will provide about 1.2 million people with safe drinking water and about half of these with improved sanitation.
An additional five districts consisting of 500 communities in Aceh and Nias-North Sumatra affected by the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami disaster will be covered under a complementary emergency assistance grant package.
The Government's National Policy for the Development of Community-Managed Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Facilities and Services highlights the need for a demand-responsive approach to rural water supply and sanitation.
Although Indonesia has made progress in providing water and sanitation to its people, standards remain below those of its neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Only about 15% of rural households and just 13% of poorest households obtained drinking water from pipe or pump sources in 2002, according to a Government survey. The great majority rely on shallow groundwater abstraction, rainwater collection, or use of water from nearby rivers or springs.
Inadequate access to clean water and sanitation facilities combined with poor hygiene have resulted in high rates of diseases such as diarrhea, intestinal worms, skin diseases, and other water-related disease such as malaria and dengue. Poor people in remote rural areas, particularly women, children and the elderly, suffer the most.
"In line with Government policy, the project addresses four major issues that have led to unsatisfactory results in similar projects in the past," says Peter Fedon, Director of the Social Sectors Division in ADB's Southeast Asia Regional Department.
The project will give local governments the capacity to plan sustainable investments. It will also conduct advocacy and awareness training among the communities to build capacity for them to operate and maintain new water and sanitation facilities that will be built through the project. To maximize the health impact of the project investments, the project will finance hygiene promotion at schools, religious facilities, and among the communities.
"The project takes a holistic and participatory approach driven entirely by community needs so that the communities themselves determine what kind of technology is appropriate, plan the facility, and take change of operation and maintenance," Almud Weitz, Project Implementation Specialist who is now based at the Indonesia Resident Mission, adds.
"Communities are selected using a screening process that will target the poorest locations and households within districts, as well as based also on their health conditions, available facilities, and commitment to civil society involvement and transparent management, among others. The incidence of poverty among project beneficiaries is expected to be well over 50%."
Reliable and safe water and sanitation facilities will save time and effort required to obtain good quality water, allowing scope for more income generating activities. Better quality water and improved hygiene will also reduce the incidence and severity of waterborne diseases.
The project will be financed by two loans - one of $34.1 million from ADB's ordinary capital resources. This has a 25-year term, including a grace period of eight years, and interest determined in accordance with ADB's LIBOR based lending facility.
The other, $30.6 million, from ADB's concessional Asian Development Fund, has a 32-year term, including a grace period of eight years. Interest will be charged at 1% per annum during the grace period and 1.5% per annum subsequently.
The emergency assistance grant of $16.5 million will be financed through contributions of $4.0 million by the Canadian International Development Agency, $5.0 million from the Government of the Netherlands, and $7.5 million by the Department for International Development of the Government of the United Kingdom.
The Directorate General of Communicable Disease Control and Environmental Health of the Ministry of Health is the executing agency of the project, which is due for completion around June 2011.