This couple lives in Tangerang, an urban city in the Province of Banten, Indonesia. Twenty-nine percent of the urban population in Indonesia still lack access to improved sanitation. This poses a challenge for thousands of people living in this, the sixth largest city in the nation. Of those who do not have toilets at home, Hartati and her husband have always struggled to find safe, clean places for their family to bathe and relieve themselves. Often their only option was to do these things in a nearby pond.
Realizing the illnesses they suffered were likely due to the unclean pond water, the couple sought a solution. After learning about how Water.org's WaterCredit loans could help them affordably construct a toilet - in the same way other microloans had helped the couple start their small food business - Hartati and her husband welcomed the opportunity to build a washroom.
The family's previous washroom.
In anticipation of the construction, Hartati described a situation of which she was hopeful to never face again, “My desire for a toilet and bath increased when my daughter had some friends stay over at our house. At the time we did not have a bathroom. To urinate we had to cover an area in our home with a bamboo fence for privacy. I heard my daughter’s friends say, ’Let’s not stay here. It’s difficult to take a shower, and we are scared of being peeked at, and, we have to go to the pond to defecate.’ As a parent, I was so sad to see my daughter being ashamed in front of her friends.”
The family's new toilet and water tap.
Now the illnesses, and shame, and embarrassment are no longer issues because the family has a new toilet and water tap of their own. Pleased with the improvements Hartati shared, “I have gained the comfort and health that I had long desired for our family.”
The success of this story was made possible by a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation.