ACTNews, BANYUWANGI - The drought that hit Java has resulted in a clean water crisis in most regions, especially the places whose soil condition is barren and rocky, for instance in Sidowangi Village, Wongsorejo Subdistrict, Banyuwangi Regency.
To date, the residents of Sidowangi Village often use the water supply from Kebun Pasewaran River. The river is located around 12 kilometers away from the settlement area. The water is distributed through pipes and deposited in the residents' water reservoirs. Even though the water of Pasewaran River is unfit for use because of the river is also used for bathing livestock animals and a place for the locals to bathe and defecate. The water is murky and must be precipitated before being used for daily needs such as bathing, washing and consumption.
Rumila, one of the community leaders in Sidowangi Village explained that before the pipeline, the residents had to walk to the river and collect water that was not suitable for consumption. "Since 1990, the residents have used this dirty water. Many people suffer from stomachache and other illnesses because the water from the mountain is used to bathe ducks and cows. When it arrived below, it was drunk by the locals. Around 250 families use this water. We really need clean water supply for drinking and cooking," Rumila said, Monday (7/21).
Head of Wongsorejo Subdistrict Sulistyorini explained that the northern part of Banyuwangi which was most severely affected by drought includes Bengkak, Alasbuluh, and Sidowangi Villages. "In Banyuwangi Regency, a severe drought has negatively affected the people of Bengkak Village, Alasbuluh Village, and Sidowangi Village in Wongsorejo Subdistrict," explained Sulistyorini.
Sidowangi Village and Alasburuh Village became the target areas for clean water distribution by Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Jember on Monday (21/7). A total of 15 thousand liters of clean water were distributed to the two villages. The water distribution was a collaboration between ACT Jember, PUDAM Banyuwangi Regency, and BPBD Banyuwangi Regency.
ACT Jember Branch Manager M.R. Warang Agung, during his visit to Sidowangi Village, said that in the future, hopefully, there will be an effective and long-term solution in order to be able to meet the residents' clean water needs. This is essential because the local villagers can suffer from various diseases if they continue to drink the dirty water.
"If the locals continue to consume this water, we are afraid that there will be more diseases that infect them. For this reason, the construction of a borehole well for the residents of Pancoran Hamlet, Sidowangi Village must be proposed and fought for, so they do not have to rely on water sources outside their villages, especially from dirty rivers," explained Warang Agung.
In addition to Banyuwangi Regency, ACT Jember plans to distribute clean water to areas affected by drought in other regencies within ACT Jember’s working area. "This activity is not only conducted in Banyuwangi, but also in Lumajang, Situbondo, Probolinggo, Bondowoso, and Jember. This is because the easternmost part of Java will be worst-affected by the drought," concluded Warang Agung.