At Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), we take the management of water very seriously and have just signed a second memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia (HFHI) to implement water and sanitation programmes in three priority areas surrounding APP facilities in Karawang, West Java and Perawang, Riau.
With many local communities located in Indonesia’s rural areas still isolated and with poor infrastructure, the pulp and paper industry plays an important role in the management of water used by local communities. Pulp and paper companies must take responsibility not only for the management of water used in industrial processes, plantations and pulp factories, but also for the water used domestically by the communities in which they work.
The new agreement with HFHI, an organization committed to developing a sustainable and high quality water supply with suitable housing and providing public sanitation facilities, will last three years. The first year will include initiatives to improve water and sanitation facilities as well as work with communities to redevelop houses in the Siak District in Perawang, Riau (Teluk Rimba, Kuala Gasip and Tualang Village in Tualang Sub-district) and in Karawang (Cikonju – Kutapohaci Village in Ciampel sub-district and Taman Mekar Village in Pangkalan sub-district).
This investment will go a long way to improve water management in Indonesia’s rural regions, many of which suffer poor sanitation. In Karawang, for example, only two hours from Jakarta city, more than 50% of the population are still living under the poverty line, with almost 60% of houses lacking basic lavatory facilities. As such, residents resort to dumping their waste outside their houses, meaning that disease spreads easily. In Perawang again, a majority live under the poverty line – a level much higher than the national average – and still use water from Siak River for bathing and washing because public facilities are too far away.
Aida Greenbury, Managing Director, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at APP signed the MoU alongside James L. Tumbuan from HFHI.
Commenting on the work that will be undertaken, Mr Tumbuan said, “Easy availability and access to clean water is a basic human right, an essential element to healthy living and should be present in all houses. We are therefore delighted to be in partnership with APP, who are taking responsibility for the implementation of water resource management and the development of water facilities, as well as teaching the local communities about the management and efficient use of clean water, in Perawang, Riau and Karawang, West Java.”
Through this partnership, APP hopes to demonstrate the positive impact collaboration between the private sector and NGOs can have on communities by providing access to clean water, sanitation facilities and education.
In addition to this programme, APP is the first pulp and paper company in Indonesia to commit to the UN CEO Water Mandate, an initiative that assists companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. Since 2012, APP has also been appointed Chairman of Indonesia Water Mandate Working Group.