Theresia Sufa, Bogor, West Java – Bogor city administration has expanded the campaign against open defecation to a total of 21 subdistricts.
The campaign involves collaboration between the city administration, government agencies, private sector players, hospitals, academics, organizations and community members.
"The community must actively participate in protecting the environment. Do not throw waste into the river, as it will pollute the environment," said Bogor deputy mayor Dedie Rachim.
Each subdistrict head was asked to monitor the process and efforts to achieve an open defecation free (ODF) status. The campaign is expected to be completed later this year or in the middle of next year.
Budi Susetyo, an environmental science lecturer from Ibnu Khaldun University Bogor, said one of the main causes of this problem was that many residents cannot afford to install proper latrines with bio-septic tanks.
"In other cases, it is also related to some people's habit of defecating directly into a river or a ditch," Budi told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
He said that open defecations increase the spread of serious diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, skin diseases and stunting.
Budi called on the local administration to strengthen the infrastructure development program, such as by building a communal wastewater treatment system equipped with a bio-septic tank, especially for densely populated communities that are located near riverbanks.
The 21 subdistricts joining the campaign include Rangga Mekar, Genteng, Pasir Mulya, Kertamaya, Cibadak, Lawang Gintung, Empang, Kencana, Loji and Pamoyanan. (dre/gev)