The Jakarta Post
Residents of 13 villages in Kemalang district, Klaten, Central Java, are being forced to buy clean water, as the dry season has caused wells and rivers in the area to dry out.
The villages, which are remote and geographically difficult to access, have seen the price of water skyrocket up to Rp 300,000 (US$ 22.49) for each 5,000-liter tank. Clean water usually costs from Rp 100,000 to Rp 150,000 per tank.
The water in each tank lasts only two weeks, because villagers use it not only for bathing, cooking and washing clothes, but also to water their livestock.
“The more livestock they have, the more water they will need,” Sidorejo resident Sukiman said on Sunday.
Sidorejo is one of the villages hit by the water crisis. The others include Kendalsari, Panggang, Talun, Tegalmulyo and Tlogowatu, all of which are located on the slopes of Mount Merapi and prone to drought.
The villagers are forced to buy water because their rainwater reservoir has run dry, while the water supplied by the Klaten Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) is inadequate to cover their needs.
“Residents here have bought water from private suppliers several times. In August, one tank containing 5,000 liters of water cost Rp 230,000,” said Sukiman.
Each household in Sidorejo village spend between Rp 600,000 and Rp 1 million per month on clean water.
“Before, there was always water from Brebeng spring in Sleman. After Mt Merapi erupted in 2010, there is no more,” said acting Kemalang district head Hajoko. (foy/ebf)