If you’ve been to or gone past a river in Indonesia, you’ve probably spotted people using the muddy brown water to do all sorts of daily tasks like washing their clothes, bathing, or even doing a number two.
That is actually a small representation of a larger problem in Indonesia. According to a new data from the Public Works and Housing Ministry (PUPR), 39% of Indonesians still don’t have access to toilets. Furthermore, 50% of Indonesians in urban areas don’t have access to sanitary or adequate toilets.
“Nationally, as many as 60 million people still defecate in random places. As a result, 5 million babies in Indonesia are at risk of death [from unsanitary conditions],” said Rina Agustin, secretary director general at PUPR, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.
Rina added the she’s pessimistic the ministry can actually provide sanitary toilets for the people, as they were only granted 20% of their proposed budget to improve sanitation across the country.
At the current rate, it would take 30 years for the ministry to be able to provide proper sanitation for everyone in the country. By that point, the people who have proper sanitation now will probably have already moved on to using high-tech Japanese toilets that can flush themselves and clean our bottoms (some of us already use these), while the poor are still using the hole-in-the-ground toilets.
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