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    Green Rusunawa, solution to improve the residents’ quality of life

    It is true that water available on earth is immense in amount, but even with its immense amount, not all human beings are blessed with sufficient clean water. The insufficiency of clean water is mainly caused by an increasing number of world population, unequal distribution of water, and inefficient use of water. Well, how do we solve this problem?

    To address this problem, the Center for Community Empowerment (CCE) of Atma Jaya Catholic University launched a program entitled “Green Rusunawa” (the word rusunawa refers to apartments rented to low-income people)  in Muara Baru, North Jakarta. The goal of this program was to utilize rainwater as a clean water supply for the residents of the apartment. Herman Yosep Sutarno, Head of CEE, stated that the program consists of three main activities, (i) utilizing rainwater as clean water supply or Rain Water Harvesting, (ii) managing the garbage, and (iii) running a learning center called Ceribel Learning Center (i.e., ceri comes from cerita which means storytelling and bel which comes from belajar which means learning).

    We see that in recent years the volume of garbage has kept increasing and this has motivated a group of communities to start thinking of ways to manage the garbage. To address this problem, the Green Rusunawa program initiated a garbage bank program in which the apartment residents may sort out garbage that can be resold and the one that cannot. With respect to the dissemination of this garbage bank program, it is hoped that the apartment residents can make use of the Ceribel Learning Center as a facility to educate fellow residents on how to manage garbage wisely.

    Mr. Sutarno states that the problem of clean water in Jakarta, especially in the Muara Baru apartment, has reached a critical condition. The apartment, which was intended for the people evicted from the Pluit Reservoir, was chosen as the site for the Green Rusunawa program because the area has limited water availability but is densely populated. As a result, the residents of the apartment are not able to get sufficient clean water for their needs. To help alleviate this problem, CCE launched the Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) program, namely a program that attempts to utilize rainwater as a clean water supply.

    According to Mr. Sutarno, RWH can be viewed as a water conservation method in households by harvesting rainwater. This is done by collecting, holding, and saving rainwater. In addition, RWH is a simple technology that can be used by anyone to convert rainwater into clean water.

    All this time rainwater has been regarded as a disaster. Maybe you are one of the people who still hold the belief that the rain only causes a flood, avalanche, and so forth. However, for CCE of Atma Jaya Catholic University, rainwater can be converted into clean or drinking water by using simple technology.

    The Green Rusunawa program, driven by the value of concern for fellow human beings, was hoped to help the society, especially the apartment residents living in Muara Baru, North Jakarta. The program may become a solution for the clean water problem and garbage management faced by society.

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