Pandemic Urbanism

May 14, 2020

Water Provision for Hand-washing in Jakarta’s Slum Settlement

By Angelika Fortuna
Urban Researcher, Rujak Center for Urban Studies

The author will give this presentation at the Pandemic Urbanism Symposium in a session titled “Peripheries and Centers,” from 3:15 – 4:15 PM on May 29, 2020.

Water Provision for Hand-washing in Jakarta’s Slum Settlement

About 30% of settlement in Jakarta is in a form of slum settlement. In general understanding, slum settlement is a type of settlement that lacks in sanitation facility, the drainage system and water provision. When it comes to COVID-19 pandemic, this condition brings irony to the suggestion that urges the people to regularly wash their hands as a mitigation response against the Coronavirus. In the slum settlement, washing hands regularly is rather difficult due to water deficit, as water for other basic necessities like bathing and cooking are limited, let alone for the other needs.

One of the fisheries slum settlement in North Jakarta, Indonesia, Kampung Muara Angke has never received formal water provision service by the state due to its informality. As now hand-washing becomes a public responsibility in order to combat the Coronavirus, for the first time in 31 years, advocacy to the Jakarta government to help the community provide the water installation is working.

In this case, the COVID-19 pandemic becomes an opportunity towards a more engaged political will to slum settlement. Eventually, basic infrastructure is human rights regardless of the informality framework and the COVID-19 pandemic brings a realization for such human rights implementation.