The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world comprising 17,508 islands with an estimated GPD (2007) of US$408 billion. While large investments have been made in the education sector, the water and sanitation sector, however, remains in a state of crisis and is arguably the weakest infrastructure sector in the country. The need for clean, accessible water far exceeds current supply.
According to recent Ministry of Health data, only up to 12% of children aged between 5 and 14 years old wash their hands with soap after defecating, 14% wash their hands with soap before eating and 35% wash their hands with soap after eating. It is therefore no surprise that 16.5% of children aged under-5 years of age and up to 9% of children aged between 5-14 years of age die of diarrhea each year in rural areas in Indonesia.
A Partnership with UNICEF, Care International & Save the Children
In 1984, the central government issued a joint statement from the Ministries of Education, Health, Religious Affairs and Home Affairs about the necessity for the establishment and implementation of a school health program - Usaha Kesehatan Sekolah program (UKS) - in every district. The program aimed at improving all health, educational and environmental conditions nationwide. The Dubai Cares program in partnership with UNICEF, CARE International, Save the Children and the National Planning and Development Agency (BAPPENAS), aims to build upon the success of the UKS program, reinforce the implementation of water and sanitation facilities and promote hygiene practices in schools.
The initiative is active in Papua/West Papua, NTT, South Sulawesi and provide adequate WASH facilities, training to children and teachers, as well as empowering the school to become ‘Centres of Excellence’ for sanitation and hygiene in their community and promoting the child to become ’Agent of Change’ in its own environment.