Saturday, April 20

Poor get free water purifier system in Pontianak


PONTIANAK, WEST KALIMANTAN: The residents of Siantan Tengah in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, can now count on a regular supply of potable water after a new water purifying installation came on line, Jakarta Post reported.

The installation, which can produce 8,000 liters of clean water a day, was built by Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) and 20 Japanese companies for Rp 500 million (US$53,000).

WVI turned the facility over to the Cahaya Maju Reliant Community Group at a ceremony on July 17 in Pontinanak attended by Mayor Sutarmidji.

Sutarmidji said that he hoped the facility would be managed carefully to promote healthy living.

“The city administration strives to continue improving its sanitation program. I hope this [facility]will become an example in the production of clean water for other areas,” Sutarmidji said.

WVI general manager Emilia K. Sitompul said that for years the residents of Siantan Tengah who were unable to buy clean water collected rainfall or used water from gutters that had been contaminated by
industrial waste.

“This has caused outbreaks of several diseases, like diarrhea, skin infections and dengue fever among the residents,” Sitompul said.

Tsuneji Suzuki, the president director of Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing, one of the corporate sponsors of the installation, told people at the ceremony that the plant would be easy to operate.

“We’ve trained members of the Cahaya Maju group on how to operate and maintain the machine,”
Suzuki said.

Meanwhile, Djoni Paryadi, a representative of the firm’s Jakarta office, said that the facility could make potable water from almost any type of water.

“All the processes are done without any chemical substances except chlorine, which has been used as consumers have not yet been used to using sterile containers,”
Djoni said.

Residents would have to go to a central tank to obtain potable water from the facility; direct pipelines were not part of the project,
he added.

Kristinus Runtung of the West Kalimantan Public Works Agency said that the agency took part in the installation of the facility by providing data and preparing a plot of land for the plant through a community-based planning.

WVI Pontianak manager Amron Gultom said that his office would continue to provide assistance to the local community to enable them to manage the facility sustainably.