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World Water Forum 2024

Tackling Indonesia's Water Challenges Through Collaboration

(Dok. World Water Forum)
(Dok. World Water Forum)

Bloomberg Technoz, Jakarta - Representatives of industry, government, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) gathered on Thursday (23/5) in a panel event organized by one of the representatives from the Industry, namely Coca-Cola Indonesia at the 10th World Water Forum in Bali. This activity was held to highlight the role of innovation in addressing water challenges in Indonesia. At this forum, a representative from the Government, Firdaus Ali as Senior Advisor to the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing for Water Resources Management, emphasized the need for creative water management strategies to address the impacts of climate change, such as floods and droughts, to ensure good water management.

Firdaus Ali appreciated the partnership between the Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) and the Obor Tani Foundation in providing water for the community. The collaboration between TCCF and a number of stakeholders, he said, is a prime example of joint efforts to solve Indonesia's water problems.

“Through this partnership, we are pooling resources and knowledge, aiming for a more optimistic future for Indonesia. By mobilizing collective expertise, we are poised to make significant strides in overcoming the water challenge," said Firdaus Ali.

TCCF as a global philanthropic body, has provided support for access to clean water for vulnerable communities in Indonesia, including the provision of safe drinking water and access to water for agriculture and livelihoods.  TCCF's partnership with Yayasan Obor Tani, to support the livelihoods of farmers across Indonesia by protecting water for agriculture through the construction of reservoirs for storage areas in Java and Sulawesi.
Supporting water security is a top priority for TCCF globally. With a presence in more than 200 countries and territories, the company's Water Security Strategy 2030 focuses on accelerating actions to improve water security. This includes Indonesia, where innovative water projects aim to benefit local communities and ecosystems.

Coca-Cola ASEAN & South Pacific Director of Water and Climate, Lynn Hong, stated that TCCF supports water-related partnerships across Indonesia and Southeast Asia that benefit nature and society.

“The Coca-Cola system have a strong legacy of working with partners to address water challenges in Indonesia, using innovation, technology, and new ways of investment funding to progress water security for future generations," said Lynn Hong.

TCCF globally has returned more than 100% of the water used in finished beverages every year since 2015. "Thanks to the support of The Coca-Cola Foundation we have built six embungs (water reservoirs) and use durable and flexible materials that act as a waterproof shield, effectively cutting down on water loss that often happens due to seepage in embung," said Pratomo, Executive Director of Yayasan Obor Tani
In addition, TCCF has also supported the Master Meter program with USAID through USAID IUWASH PLUS, which has been instrumental in ensuring access to clean water for communities in Medan and Surabaya. The program focused on shared metering for piped water for low-income families and supported the development of these systems to help manage and distribute water.

"Access to quality water is fundamentally linked to a country's economic and social growth. Our support for the Master Meter program exemplifies a key strategy to overcome water supply and sanitation challenges in remote communities, aiding the government's mission to expedite water distribution in Medan & Surabaya and provide effective solutions," said Alifah Sri Lestari, Head of USAID IUWASH Tangguh Program (a continuation of the USAID IUWASH Tangguh project) on the panel.

As a note reported by Antara, the issue of water has not received attention in budget allocation by various countries. Based on data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on April 22, 2024, the value of military spending will reach 2.4 trillion US dollars in 2023. That amount is approximately 2.3 percent of gross domestic product or global GDP.

This attracted the attention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, Puan Maharani, to highlight the large budget allocations by various countries for military spending. At the same time, water sector spending in developing and poor countries is only 0.5 percent of their GDP. This imbalance in budget allocation shows that the water sector has not occupied the priorities of stakeholders, especially those with political positions as policymakers. This inequality is very contradictory to the needs of the world. Today, the world is faced with tremendous threats, such as natural disasters posed by climate change and water scarcity.

These threats have a domino effect, most clearly seen from the impact of El Niño on agriculture in Indonesia. The drought led to rice imports because domestic rice production declined so that it could not meet domestic needs.

Puan also regretted the attention of the international community which focused more on geopolitical issues, power competition, and economic competition. In fact, there is a water security issue that is very important to overcome.

Seeing this situation, the collaboration of TCCF and Yayasan Obor Tani in the Water challenge sector is very important and needed for Indonesia.