News / 14 oktober 2010

Telapak joins hands with Indonesian government

Written by: Boy Mochran and Sheila Kartika, Telapak, Indonesia

For the first time in Indonesian history, a public committee has been established to assist the government in water resource management. The Lamasi River Basin Committee is a platform for governmental and non-governmental representatives in the Luwu District in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Together with the local government, this committee will plan and monitor policy implementation, as well as coordinate water resource management.

Lack of clean water
The Luwu District is an area with abundant water resources, but not all members of the community have access to clean water. Many farmers can't get sufficient water to irrigate their fields. In the dry season, there are sometimes conflicts between farmers, because of this lack of water. Hisma Kahman, Water Program Coordinator of the local NGO Bumi Sariwegading Association says: 'Only certain people can enjoy healthy clean water. On the other hand, many farmers do not receive enough irrigation water. Especially during the dry season, these conditions lead to conflicts.'


Knowing this, Telapak, an Indonesian association that focuses on environmental issues, feels the need to solve the problem. Since 2001, Telapak and other NGOs have been developing the Negotiated Approach, a unique method to natural resource management. Gomukh in India and Both ENDS in the Netherlands, two civil society organisations, developed and described this approach. With the Negotiated Approach, we encourage people to think about what would be useful for their own hometown and to bring this into practice. It emphasises the need of a new design for policymaking, where the focus is to include key groups like local actors in the process. The Negotiated Approach means that the work starts from the bottom: at the local level.


Telapak successfully implemented this Negotiated Approach in the Luwu District. As a result, the local government founded the Lamasi River Basin Committee. The Lamasi River Basin is part of the Larona Pompengan River that has economic potential, especially for water supply, agricultural irrigation and for meeting industrial water needs in Luwu.


Lamasi River Basin Committee
The Vice Regent of Luwu inaugurated the committee, which will answer directly to the Regent of Luwu. As said, the members of the committee are not only from governmental institutions, but also from local and civil institutions. It consists of nine members: four representatives from local government and five NGO representatives. 'A selection team chooses the members of this committee based on competence and the level in which they represent the stakeholders,' said Antonius Dengen, Head of Department of Water Resources Management of Luwu District. The government recognises that the community and non-governmental institutions need to be involved, in order to successfully implement policies on water management.


Telapak is very excited about the establishment of the Lamasi River Basin Committee. Rita Mustikasari, from Telapak says: 'The right to clean water is a basic human right. This committee will help put this right in practice. If the community of the Luwu District has access to the water they need, farmers no longer have to worry and conflicts can be avoided. Fields can be irrigated and the economic activity in Luwu District will increase.'

For more information check the website of Telapak.


Photo by sutrisno2629

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