Water is irreplaceable, and it is the source of life and the key to sustainable development
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono highlighted the importance of water resources as the key to achieving sustainable development.

"Water is irreplaceable, and it is the source of life and the key to sustainable development. Good water management will support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce poverty and (address the problem of) lack of resources, including water," Hadimuljono noted in a written statement received here on Tuesday.

Hadimuljono affirmed that Indonesia is a large archipelagic country, with a population of around 271 million people and potential volume of surface water of around 2.78 trillion cubic meters. However, this potential is considered uneven.

"To ensure water and food security during the 2015-2024 period, the Indonesian government is committed to building 61 dams to achieve inclusive resilience in water, food, and energy transportation. Construction of as many as 29 dams has, so far, been completed," the minister stated.

Construction of the 61 dams will increase water capacity for the irrigation system, from 11 percent to 20 percent. With a continuous supply of water available from the dam, the cropping intensity can be increased.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has also completed the construction of irrigation facilities in an area of three million hectares and rehabilitated three million hectares during the 2015-2019 period. For the 2020-2024 period, the Indonesian government remains committed to continuing to build 500 thousand hectares of irrigation areas and rehabilitate two million hectares of irrigation networks, such as food estates in North Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara, Central Kalimantan, and other places.

The Indonesian government is also working to strengthen drinking water and sanitation resilience, wherein it targets 100 percent drinking water safety and 90 percent sanitation access eligibility during the 2020-2024 period.

"Currently, the percentage of households that have access to safe drinking water reaches 92 percent and access to domestic waste is 78 percent. By achieving this target, we will reduce the stunting rate and poverty rate nationally," the minister remarked.

Hadimuljono is optimistic that the World Water Forum (WWF) would intensify cooperation and develop action plans in the health and education sectors, reduce inequality and poverty, encourage economic growth, as well as tackle climate change and preserve the environment.

"I sincerely hope that this forum would generate new ideas, identify and outline new initiatives needed, and encourage collaborative action for better and more cooperation to solve water problems on a global, national, and local scale," he stated.

The 9th WWF Forum in 2022 in Dakar focuses on four priorities: water security and sanitation, water for rural development, cooperation and development financing, as well as governance and innovation in finding solutions to various water issues.

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Translator: Katriana
Editor: Sri Haryati
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