A prolonged drought in several parts of Indonesia has resulted in water scarcity, making it challenging for the local population to access clean water for their daily needs and activities.
One severely affected region in Yogyakarta is Gunungkidul Regency, where residents face limited access to clean water due to diminishing groundwater sources.
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), through the Disaster Response Unit (DERU) under the Directorate of Community Service, has distributed one million liters of clean water to the affected community in response to the clean water emergency.
In this program, the university collaborated with the UGM Alumni Family in Yogyakarta, the UGM Alumni Family in Gunungkidul, the Gunungkidul Regional Disaster Management Agency, and the Gunungkidul Tagana.
On Wednesday (October 18), 50,000 liters of clean water were sent to the residents of Tungu Hamlet in Girimulyo Village. This time, the collaborative parties delivered clean water to Melikan Village in Rongkop District and Tileng Village in Girisubo District.
During this event, the Head of the Gunungkidul Regional Disaster Management Agency, Purwono, mentioned that his party had successfully distributed 700 water tanks to the affected population.
“The Gunungkidul Regional Disaster Management Agency has prepared 1,300 water tanks with a capacity of 5,000 liters each, and so far, 700 water tanks have been distributed to the community,” Purwono said.
According to the Melikan Village government, out of 14 hamlets in Melikan Village, five hamlets, including Ngricik, Dondong, Kembang, Songwaluh, and Kendal, still lack access to clean water and depend solely on groundwater sources, which have started to dry up due to the prolonged drought.
“For daily water needs during this dry season, residents from these five hamlets can only rely on communal tanks and assistance from donors,” said Sri Mulyani, Secretary of Melikan Village.
Since clean water is one of the essential needs for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing, the distributed clean water will not be sufficient if provided only once.
Therefore, DERU and its partners have agreed to supply one million liters of clean water to the affected population until the end of this prolonged drought, which is expected to last until November, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency.
Amin Susiatmojo, Head of the Subdirectorate of Community Service, expressed gratitude to all parties involved in providing one million liters of clean water to the Gunungkidul community during the symbolic handover of the clean water in Ngricik Hamlet on October 18.
“May this clean water benefit the community and help them carry out their daily activities until the end of this dry season,” Susiatmojo hoped.
The Gunungkidul community will receive clean water through 17 villages in seven districts: Girisubo, Rongkop, Tepus, Saptosari, Ponjong, Semin, and Ngawen.
The distribution of clean water by DERU reflects the university’s commitment to continually assisting the community in addressing the challenges caused by climate change and weather conditions.
In addition to distributing clean water, universities are expected to educate the community about sustainable water management practices and offer long-term solutions for climate change adaptation.
This is done to support achieving one of the Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 6, which concerns clean water and sanitation for all.