World Water Day 2018 asks, “How can we use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century – floods, droughts and water pollution?”
Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) aims to answer this question, testing nature-based solutions to water management in 26 settlements across Indonesia and Fiji. Increasing resilience against pollution, flooding, spread of disease, and the effects of climate change, program success will be measured by improved human health and environmental biodiversity.
On World Water Day, RISE hosted a workshop for community representatives – Kelompok Pengelola Lingkungan (KePoLink) – from the 13 RISE settlements across Makassar, Indonesia.
The workshop provided an opportunity for the KePoLink to learn more about RISE, share their experiences, and discuss the health and environmental challenges facing their settlements. Participants included the RISE Makassar Team, key representatives from RISE partner – Hasanuddin University (UNHAS), and local government officials.
RISE Indonesia Coordinator, Jane Wardani, emphasised the importance of bringing the KePoLink together to exchange experiences, discuss ideas and share common challenges. “The workshop provided a valuable opportunity for the RISE KePoLink to gather together for the first time and discuss the program,” said Ms Wardani.
“The KePoLink play an important role as community representatives, building strong cooperation between the program and the communities. They are excited about the RISE research – how it will improve their understanding of community health and of the surrounding environment. RISE is very grateful for the ongoing support the program has received from the communities, local leaders, our government counterparts, and UNHAS.”
Professor Budu, UNHAS Vice Rector for International Collaboration, said, “UNHAS is excited to be part of the global RISE team, collaborating on an ambitious program with the potential to significantly improve the lives of thousands of people in Makassar.”
The Makassar City Government is providing ongoing support for the RISE research, collaborating with numerous government agencies to streamline the implementation process. Pak Imbang Muliyanto, from the Makassar City Government, said, “The City of Makassar welcomes and fully supports RISE for handling the water sanitation issues in the informal settlements.”
Working in 12 main informal settlements and one demonstration site in Makassar, RISE is trialing nature-based solutions – such as constructed wetlands and bio-filtration gardens – to reduce pollution in the environment and human contact with pollution. The program aims to deliver research-based evidence that a localised, water sensitive cities approach can deliver sustainable, cost-effective health and environmental improvements.
Led by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, RISE brings together global expertise from five Monash University faculties (Art, Design and Architecture, Business and Economics, Engineering , Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science), Monash University Malaysia, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Stanford University, Emory University , The University of Melbourne, University of Cambridge, Fiji National University, Hasanuddin University, The University of the South Pacific, Live & Learn Fiji , United Nations University, Melbourne Water, South East Water, Oxfam, WaterAid, and Wellcome Sanger Institute.