Indonesia water, sanitation sector needs a budget boost

by Andi Hajramurni

MAKASSAR, Indonesia (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - While the government has prioritised the development of adequate water and sanitation infrastructure in its policy agenda, budgetary allocations especially at the regency and municipality level for the sector remain below the desired levels.

A limited budget is one of the barriers that obstructs efforts to accelerate the availability of sanitation and water facilities in the regions.

This fact was revealed during the 2017 City Sanitation Summit held in Makassar, South Sulawesi, from Tuesday to Wednesday. Representatives of local administrations came together at the Regency/City Alliance for Better Sanitation (Akkopsi) and hundreds of officials from relevant agencies attended the event.

Balikpapan Mayor Rizal Efendi, chairman of Akkopsi for the 2014-2018 period, said sanitation-infrastructure procurement budgets allocated in the regional budgets (APBD) were often not supported by Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) members.

“[Limited] budgetary allocations have become one of the significant barriers in water and sanitation infrastructure development,” he said.

Therefore, Rizal said, regency and municipality administrations joining with Akkopsi recommended that the central government should fully hand over its authority in the procurement of sanitation and water infrastructure, as well as the management of budgetary allocations both from APBD and the State Budget (APBN), to local administrations.

Makassar Mayor Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto said sanitation and water facilities were the people’s basic needs that had to be fulfilled.

“Therefore, I agree that the central government must hand over its authority both in sanitation and water facility procurement and in budget management to regency and municipality administrations,” said Ramdhan, who was selected to be Akkopsi chairman for the 2018-2021 period on the sidelines of the summit.

As of today, around 24 percent of Indonesian people do not yet have sanitation and water infrastructure or facilities, even though they are the most basic needs that must be filled. East Nusa Tenggara, Papua, West Nusa Tenggara and provinces across Kalimantan are among the areas with the lowest water and sanitation infrastructure availability in the country.