WORD WATER DAY 2012
Earth Water 2012
“Water and Food Security.” That’s the theme of World Water Day 2012 that commemorated on March 22. United Nations (UN) said there are still 11 percent of world population or 783 million people lack access to clean water.
In addition, a total of 2.5 billion inhabitants of the earth, do not have good sanitation facilities. The greater the challenge ahead: how to provide clean water for the poor and feed the nine billion people by 2050.
Challenges of providing clean water to residents is also experienced in Riau Islands Province. Thus described by Kherjuli, director of the NGO Water, Environment and People (pious) in Riau.
Provincial territory comprises 90 percent and three percent of the inland sea is a special challenge. Three percent of the land is scattered in islands large and small. Batam, Bintan, Karimun, Linga, and Natuna, the islands have a relatively large population.
For example, the island of Batam, an island adjacent to Singapore and Malaysia, the main challenge is the availability of raw water. Raw water is water used for bathing, drinking and so forth.
Population in Batam grow seven percent annually. “If population growth is not matched by the availability of raw water, the water crisis is expected to happen in 2016,” explained Kherjuli. “It’s just about drinking water only, not for irrigation and industry.”
Kherjuli continue due to its unique geographical location, there are no large rivers in the region such as in Java or Sumatra. Water availability is dependent on the water surface, which in turn is dependent on the carrying capacity of forests and land.
The problem, seiiring with increased development in the Riau Islands – where the Batam, Bintan and Karimun designated as free trade areas – the carrying capacity of forests and land are also threatened. Kherjuli thus explained.
Access to clean water in the islands is not uniform. In Batam, for example, as much as 90 percent of the approximately one million residents Batam has access to clean water, either through water provided by the Regional Office of Drinking Water or private.
But unlike the island of Bintan. The scope of services by the Regional Office of Drinking Water in Bintan has only reached 31 percent of the population. While in Karimun, only 21 percent of the population who can enjoy clean water. So people in these areas will meet the water through conventional means such as wells and utilize rainwater.
Overall water supply coverage in Riau Islands province is still below the average national coverage.
Their respective roles
Through this World Water Day, Alim NGO invites all stakeholders to play their respective roles. Government, private sector and the entire community kompenen should be raising awareness in various ways.
“Concern that should not just stop on March 22, but every time, every second.”