Jakarta (ANTARA) - The 10th World Water Forum (WWF) is an opportunity for Indonesia and archipelagic countries to improve access to drinking water for communities, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing.

The statement was delivered by the ministry's spokesperson, Endra S. Atmawidjaja, at the Forum Merdeka 9 online discussion held by the Ministry of Communication here on Monday. The discussion was entitled "Global Collaboration to Anticipate Water Crisis as Impact of Climate Change."

"Indonesia plays a role as facilitator, as host, and one of the countries that have been committed to achieving the target of 100 percent access to drinking water by 2030," he said.

According to him, providing access to drinking water for all has been agreed upon under Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation for all.

"It is necessary in this event that we play a role in instilling the importance of collaboration to respond to the challenges," he said.

Based on data from the United Nations (UN), in 2022, there were 2.2 billion people who did not have access to safe drinking water. Of the number, around 673 million lived in South Asia, while 263 million were in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN has predicted that the number of people globally who do not have access to drinking water could potentially increase due to the water crisis caused by extreme climate change.

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Atmawidjaja underlined that a water crisis could likely occur in Indonesia as well.

To this end, as host, Indonesia has invited leaders and representatives from 172 participating countries to discuss and seek solutions to the threat of water crisis at the 10th WWF, which will be held in Bali in May 2024.

The Indonesian government has launched several programs to improve access to drinking water, such as the Community-Based Drinking Water Provision and Sanitation Program (Pamsimas) and the Community-Based Total Sanitation (STBM) program.

Under the Pamsimas program, the government aims to improve access to drinking water and sanitation in villages. The program has so far improved access to drinking water in 58 thousand villages in the country.

Meanwhile, the STBM program is aimed at improving access to sanitation across Indonesia. It aims to end open defecation.

"We must also see the innovation and creativity of other countries in handling the water crisis in their countries," Atmawidjaja said.

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Translator: M Riezko, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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