Access to sanitation, toilets remains low in Indonesia

Access to sanitation, toilets remains low in Indonesia

To find a person defecating in a river in Bali is not a difficult task. Many can be seen doing so, or washing their clothes, along the banks of the Tukad Badung River, which flows through the centre of Denpasar.

The same can be seen in relatively smaller rivers as well.

One of the main causes for this is people's proximity to the rivers. In north Denpasar, for example, people build houses along the riverbank, with many of them built over the water.

The Bali Health Agency recorded that to date, 12 per cent of the island's people has no access to toilets for sanitation. They rely on conduits, rivers or even gardens to defecate.

In Karangasem regency, only 61 per cent of people has access to toilets; the lowest number in Bali. Bangli follows with 76 per cent.

"Around 88 per cent of people has access to latrines," said Ni Wayan Yogianti, the agency's environmental restructuring head, on Tuesday. Yet, the provincial administration did not hold any programs during World Toilet Day, which fell on Tuesday.

Yogianti said that although Karangasem had the lowest incidence, the number was increasing from year to year. Last year, half of the regency's residents had no access to toilets, she said. "The highest number is in Kubu district."

According to Yogianti, a healthy toilet requires access to water and is located a minimum of 10 meters from a water source, with the availability of closets and septic tanks.

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