Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports on the continuing water crisis affecting residents and businesses located on Bali’s southern most areas of Jimbaran and Ungasan.
Liberally peppered with luxury villas and five-star resorts, sufficient clean water remains a daily struggle for those living in this area, particularly those of limited economic means who find the continual need to purchase water from outside source economically crippling.
The words of Wayan Sukamta, a resident of Buana Gubug in Jimbaran, serve to underline the daily struggle for water of the area’s poor: “It does not feel right to me that we have to fight with our friends and neighbors to get just one gallon of free clean water from the water tanker.” Sukamta, a former neighborhood chief, decries the lack of water in his area of the Badung regency, known worldwide for its flourishing tourism sector.
Exasperated, Sukamta adds,
“I can’t fight with them, I just choose to buy refill drinking water when there’s not enough water at home for bathing.”
Five of 14 hamlets in Jimbaran - Buana Gubug, Cenggiling, Mekarsari, Anggaswara and Taman Griya face a daily struggle for water for more than a year.
“The water distribution here has always been on and off, despite the fact that we have to pay a lot to PDAM for the water we scarcely get,” said Sukamta.
In all, nearly 4,000 families are affected by the inability of the State Water Board (PDAM) to provide a dependable.
“All of these families are customers of PDAM, which serves as the only source of clean water here. There’s no ground water because this is a limestone hill,” explained Sukamta.
Reni Susanti Radi of Cenggilling hamlet, located between Jimbaran and Pecatu, said she has purchased two gallons of water each day for showering and other basic needs. This leaves her without water for much of the day, with water from PDAM typically only available between midnight and 6:00 am.
A resident in Jimbaran for six years, Reni complains that there is little rhyme or reason to the schedule used by PDAM to turn off water supplies to the area. “During the dry season last year, only God knows how often PDAM shut down the water supply with no proper announcement. Water was only available, and only with very little pressure, for a few hours every day. Two to three days without running water is becoming a normal thing. During the last three days, I have barely had normal water supply. It was off for over 24 hours, then the pressure never came back to normal,” said Reni.
Many economically limited residents do not have the funds to install water tanks and auxiliary pumps, resorting to buying small amounts of water from local water suppliers.
PDAM freely admits it is overwhelmed with the large number of customers seeking water supplies in South Bali. Wayan Sukaryawan, the chief of PDAM for South Kuta, admits:
“Around 400 applicants as of January are still in our waiting list. We are postponing their approval to become customers until we can complete the installation of more water pipes.”
“Our current water pipe infrastructure is insufficient. Thus, since last October we have been installing additional pipe networks. But the installation work will take time, another three months.”
In the meantime, local residents are being urged to have a two-day supply of water to sustain them over the periodic shut-offs of water until a proper supply can be extended to the area.
“We will inform the neighborhood and banjar heads of the schedule,” said Sukaryawan, assuring water tankers would be sent to locations where residents most needed free water.
Requests for water delivery can be made via PDAM Kuta Selatan by calling 0361-701576.
Of some concern, the director of PDAM Badung, I Nyoman Sukanada, claims he had no knowledge of any water shortage in the Balagan area.
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