YUM’s health projects are centered in Central Kalimantan and West Java, where there is a desperate need for proper health education and resources. A lack of good healthcare also impacts the economic and social aspects of these communities. YUM’s leadership in disease prevention has led to major milestones particularly in the areas of sanitation, clean water, health promotion and malaria.
Members of the United Nations have agreed that access to water and sanitation are basic human rights, which are included amongst the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But the need is immense. An estimated 315,000 children worldwide die each year from preventable illnesses (chiefly diarrhea), which are directly caused by poor sanitation and dirty water supplies (“A moment to celebrate progress on water and sanitation”, Margaret Batty, Huffington Post UK, 1 June 2016). In Central Kalimantan, the use of contaminated water for drinking, cooking and washing correlates directly with the high incidence of a wide range of preventable diseases. During 2014, 35% of the patients treated at the local Community Health Centre (Puskesmas) suffered from illnesses that may be related to poor sanitary conditions. These include typhoid and partyphoid, diarrhea and gastroenteritis.
Between 2000 and 2011, six Clean Water projects were carried out in Bukit Batu, Central Kalimantan, serving 45-50 households with clean water. For each project, YUM embraces community participation and responsibility in decisions such as bore well location, management group election and installations. The running and management of the towers are the responsibility of community-led management groups.
“Before we had the clean water network installed by YUM, we had so many difficulties obtaining water! There are a lot of ampar stones in the ground so we had to constantly ask for water from our neighbors who had drilled wells.”
Ibu Nurmiatun (Member of the Banturung community)