Though it’s often taken for granted in the western world, clean water is still considered a luxury in much of Indonesia. And by drilling wells, building pumping stations and constructing public washrooms in the communities where they operate, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and its partner companies provide their neighbors with exactly what they covet: safe, clean and reliable sources of water.
For example, villagers near the PT Tjiwi Kimia paper mill in Mojokerto once drew water from old-fashioned wells using buckets and pulleys. In the dry season, fresh water was tough to come by and its quality was poor.
Those issues are history.
Working with community leaders, Tjiwi Kimia built a clean-water delivery system, linking the mill’s water treatment facility with water towers, pumps and wells in surrounding communities. As a result, residents like Siti Halimah have pretty much retired their buckets and pulleys.
“We still have the old well, but the Tjiwi water is much cleaner and more plentiful,” Halimah said. “I use it for washing, drinking, bathing, cooking and all other household needs.”
Like Halimah, Daman, who lives in a village outside the PT Pindo Deli paper mill in Karawang, is grateful to have access to a clean water supply. In Daman’s village, that supply takes the form of a public washroom installed and funded by Pindo Deli.
“We asked the company for a public washroom because it was so hard for my people to obtain clean water,” said Daman, the village’s leader.
Daman’s neighbor Iyoh was more blunt: “We used to have to go to the river to defecate,” she said, adding that villagers used the same river for bathing and brushing their teeth. “We’re so glad that we don’t have to do that anymore.”
Iyoh’s sentiments are similar to those of Haji Muhammad Tharmin, a villager from outside the PT Lontar Papyrus Paper mill, where the company drilled a deep water well and pumping system. Before the system was installed, Thamrin and his neighbors had to wait for water to be delivered in tanker trucks. Today, they just turn on the tap.