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Small scale community based sanitation technology: An Indonesian case study

Suriptono, (1999) Small scale community based sanitation technology: An Indonesian case study. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The sewerage situation in large Asian cities is deteriorating. There are only rudimentary septic tanks in most areas which are polluting waterways and threatening public health. Piped sewerage is generally only in areas developed by former European colonial administrations or in wealthy cities like Singapore and Tokyo. There appears to be little prospect for installing traditional Western centralised sewerage as the cost is too great and it would be highly disruptive to the dense cities of Asia. It is not, therefore, a social and political priority despite the interest of major international funding agencies.

This thesis examines the potential for developing a different approach based on the social realities of life in Asian cities, particularly at the community level.

In a riverbank squatter settlement in Malang Indonesia called Embong Brantas, a demonstration project was established using small-scale community based sanitation technology. Space was found to install two Australian technologies (BioMAX and Ecomax) in areas adjacent to the riverbank; community ablution blocks were built above the treatment systems. This meant that no sewerage pipes were required and the treated water could be reused locally.

The thesis concentrates on the social aspects of these new technologies as such smallscale systems can only work if the local community is able to incorporate their operation, maintenance and security into their lives. Thus the community spirit or Indonesian ‘Gotong Royong’ was required to be tapped. Surveys of key stakeholders indicate how this appears to have occurred in Embong Brantas. The thesis outlines the motivations and social processes involved before and after installation of the sanitation systems.

Conclusions are made on how the demonstration project can be further indigenised and extended to the whole region using the same approach of tapping community resources.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Science
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Newman, Peter and Ho, Goen
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