In developing countries, the need for clean water is a necessity, and the unfortunate reality is that millions of people around the world are without this resource. Over the last several years, APP has been on the front lines of providing clean and safe water to those in need. Most recently, we have had the wonderful opportunity to work with the the UNESCO-led Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB Indonesia) to address the basic needs of the community, like access to clean water, and help them to use natural resources in a more sustainable way.
We will do this by creating locally-based water treatment systems to address the problem of limited access to clean water in remote parts of Indonesia, starting in the heart of Sumatra.
One of our goals is to correct the clean water problems that still exist in lowland forest areas where high levels of unhealthy materials are often found. Scientists from MAB Indonesia and the Research Center for Limnology-Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and my APP colleagues are working with communities to install water purification systems that can transform peat water into drinkable water suitable for all.
After the installation of these systems, we will teach members of the local communities to use and maintain the units and operate them for their own use. Each unit can provide up to 60 litres of clean water per minute, enough to supply approximately 100 families!
Although many of us in developed countries take clean water for granted, millions are in need of it every day to survive. The outcome of this project means supplying clean and usable water to communities around the Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu (GSK-BB) Biosphere Reserve in Riau and ultimately to millions of people in Indonesia.
The water treatment project is just the first stage – we will continue to develop the bio-village in the GSK-BB so that communities will be able to manage their own resources in a sustainable manner. This will include training members of the community in agriculture, food production and fishing to contribute to the economic development of their people.
This is fundamental to APP’s vision of sustainability – limiting the depletion of natural resources by showing communities how to live and prosper by using the resources at their disposal in a sustainable way. Neither the community nor APP can go at it alone. It is essential we work with the public and private sectors, and the scientific community, to help advance the interests of our country’s citizens.