Press Release; “Public Goods need Public Accountability”

25 March 2008

Water crisis in Indonesia has become a burden to Indonesian People. Water has become a luxurious product which you have to pay to get it. This condition reflected from testimonies of urban people, such as Umi from Bekasi stated “In order to get clean water, I have to pay Rp1000,- up to Rp. 2000,- per bucket, that I usually use for cooking only. While I use salty water  for taking a bath and washing”.

This condition caused ADB offered a project, called Integrated Citarum Water Resource Management (ICWRM). This project amounted USD1,7 million as a grant  for the preparation stage, while the proposed loan itself amounted USD500million which supposed to be approved on September 2007. ICWRM is a 15-year program (starting from 2008) designed to address the multiple and inter-related concerns of water supply sustainability and water quality degradation within the Citarum (West Java, Indonesia) river basin. The basin covers 13,000 square kilometers and is home to more than 9 million people. It is considered one of the most strategically important for Indonesia—the basin supplies 80% of Jakarta’s water needs, provides irrigation for 240,000 ha, and generates 1,400 MW of electricity. Based on analysis done by the civil society toward ADB related documents (TAR INO37049-01, TAR INO37049-02, TAR INO37049-03), there are some findings:

  1. ADB claimed on the 3 times socialization which involving stakeholders. But there is no further clarification upon the reasons and criterias of involvement.
  2. There were no public notifications.
  3. This project is potentially threatening 11 protected areas within Citarum River Basin Area, and taking off the clean water resources for 17 million citizen in 2 provinces (Jakarta and West Java), including for the agricultural needs.
  4. Not all of documents are available for public’s scrutiny, such as Environmental Impact Assessment, and reports on the Technical Assistance 1, 2, and 3.
  5. There is no clarity on the output of the grant, which has brought the possibility on the corruption.

For those reasons, we urged that:

Water is a public goods, so that every process which is related to water management should be open to public.

Postpone the loan approval until the point number one is fulfilled.

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debtWATCH Indonesia, ELAW Indonesia, Perkumpulan Boemi, KruHA (People’s Coalition on Right to Water), KoAGE (Anti Globalization Community)

For your further information, please contact: Ratna Yunita 

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