East Lombok is the regency with the largest area in Lombok island, or 1,605.6 km2 with the largest number of villages at 254. Statistics in 2016 recorded East Lombok as the biggest population in West Nusa Tenggara or 1,173,781 people in 344,358 households.
The highly populated areas of Kota Selong and Sukamulia, Masbagik, and Labuhan Haji have triggered the emergence of crowded settlement that posed pressures on the environmental quality. The decreased quality is because of increased demand of clean water, drainage system, and sanitation.
“All has the potential to cause groundwater vulnerabilities related to pollution and contamination from domestic waste,” said Baiq Liana Widiyanti, S.Si., M.Si in her doctoral promotion at UGM Graduate School on Friday (26/10).
She observed that just 44.33 percent of households in East Lombok have implemented the Clean and Healthy Living Programme. This indicated that the behaviour in sanitation is still low and many communicable diseases - including water borne diseases - occurred during the rainy season.
“There has been a decrease among society to maintain the clean environment, especially in housing complex and settlement. An in-depth analysis is hence required on the dominant factor of behaviour on environmental sanitation that affects directly the groundwater in the research area, particularly the cultural aspect,” she said.
The research by the Geography lecturer from Universitas Hamzanwandi showed the poor quality of groundwater was because values of all parameters were not in the same class based on allotment of drinking water. Meanwhile, society behaviour on sanitation was considered good.
Liana Widiyanti said the most dominant factor in sanitation behaviours that directly affected the groundwater quality in the research area was the enabling factor, i.e. economic.
Strategy for environmental health promotion based on local community characteristics in improving behaviour needs to be done through health education. Health Education is conducted by the use of local mass media that serves as distributor as well as promotions agent.
“To promote a healthy behaviour to society is by collaborating with religious leaders who become cadres in health promotion programme,” she said.
Liana Widiyanti further suggested monitoring of groundwater quality to be done by Health Agency, Environment Agency, and community health centres as well as making cooperation with stakeholders to provide sanitation facilities with simple technology at low costs.