Ibu Siti’s Secret for Safe Water in Indonesia on a Tight Budget
21 Mar 2011
Ibu K. Siti Halimah Sadijah is always looking for ways to stretch her monthly budget. Indeed, running an orphanage for 25 children with little money is something she has perfected. As the head of the PSAA Yapista, she is responsible for the orphanage operations and ensures that the needs of the children living under her care are met. So when she heard of Air RahMat, a new way to get drinking water, she was both cautious and intrigued.
Air RahMat was launched in Indonesia in 2005 under the auspices of the Aman Tirta, Safe Water Systems (SWS) Project. The goal of this five-year USAID-funded project was to ensure widespread access to an affordable water treatment product (Air RahMat) for low income families with children under five years of age in Indonesia. Aman Tirta was led by CCP, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, CARE International Indonesia, PT Tanshia Consumer Products and Ultra Salur. The project used public-private partnerships to create the first fully sustainable commercial model for safe water systems.
Ibu Siti was introduced to Air RahMat through an Aman Tirta partner organization. She could immediately see the potential economic benefit from Air RahMat by switching from refill water to Air RahMat. The orphanage was consuming 3 gallons of water per day at a cost of Rp. 3,000 per gallon, so Ibu Siti was regularly spending close to Rp. 270,000 on drinking water every month.
Since starting to use Air RahMat, Ibu Siti has not looked back. She reports that she has not encountered any problems with the product, saying, “With 25 children living here, this savings goes a long way, and the kids are healthy, and also I don’t need to worry about the kids getting into accidents boiling the water.”
Ibu Siti has also integrated use of Air RahMat in the school canteen across from the orphanage. She had been going through 5 gallons of water each day, and again found the economic benefits of switching to Air RahMat especially great. At the canteen, she has also appreciated the ease of use of the product, explaining, “Using Air RahMat […] I don’t need to bother with all the hassle, especially when making ice, no more boiling and cooling and then packing. Just add Air RahMat and then pack and put into the freezer, practical and fast.”
Ibu Siti’s positive experience with Air RahMat has encouraged Aman Tirta partner organizations to introduce the product at a meeting for all orphanages in West Java. It is hoped that by sharing in Ibu Siti’s secret, they can also experience the benefits of using Air RahMat while keeping their children health and happy.