TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Public Housing and Public Works (PUPR) Ministry will prioritize the development of clean water infrastructure and sanitation to improve the quality of life of Asmat residents in Papua. This is done following observations in six districts of Asmat.
“Drinking water infrastructure and sanitation are urgently needed. Due to the highly-cost of living in Papua, it will minimally cost three-times more than if we construct it in other places. But we must build it,” Bina Marga General Director Arie Setiadi Moerwanto said in a press release on Thursday, February 8.
Arie explained that Asmat residents found the difficulty to get clean water due to the tidal swamp land in the area. “It’s difficult to get clean water due to its average 200-meter sedimentation. They have wells, but the water’s briny,” he said.
Arie revealed that Agats District has actually a water treatment plant (IPA) with a 10 liter per second capacity. But it is insufficient since it can only provide for a third of Agats residents that amount to 30,000 lives. Even with the IPA, the water it produces is still brown colored.
The PUPR Ministry will also build rainwater reservoirs that can be used during a drought or dry season. “Rain intensity here is very high and has also become the main source of clean water. However, the challenge is rainwater lacks the minerals,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PUPR Ministry’s Director of Integrated Settlement Infrastructure Dwityo Akoro Soeranto said that the IPA and sanitation development in Papua will be conducted under a community-based water supply and sanitation program (Pansimas).