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Jakarta Post

Clean water still a pipe dream for most people

  • Sausan Atika


Jakarta   /   Sat, August 15 2020   /  01:00 am
Water crisis: Residents of Citapen hamlet in Weninggalih village, Bogor, West Java, carry away water taken from a well during the dry season on July 25, 2019. Prolonged droughts in many parts of the world have been linked to climate change. (The Jakarta Post/P.J. Leo)

In the 19th century, then East Indies lieutenant-governor Thomas Stamford Raffles wrote in the History of Java that Javanese people commonly boiled water and drank it while it was still warm.   That practice remains relevant two centuries later, as more than half of all Indonesian families consume water from sources that provide water deemed unsafe to drink. The rest, or four of 10 families, buy bottled water.   Indonesia’s Independence attained 75 years ago has not done much for access to water.   Water (never) for all Michelle Kooy, an associate professor of the Politics of Urban Water at IHE Delft, told The Jakarta Post in an interview in 2009 that even piped water in Jakarta had not been designed for all in the first place.   “During the Dutch era, it was for the Dutch people. During the Sukarno period, it...