Jakarta water privatization a major failure: NGOs

Water privatization in Jakarta has entered its 12th year, but there has been little improvement in water services to residents, activists said on Thursday.

“[Privatization] has severely harmed Jakarta residents, especially the poor,” Hamong Santono, the national coordinator of the People’s Coalition for the Right to Water (Kruha), told a press conference, which was also attended by the Amrta Institute for Water Literacy.

The current contract between the city-owned public utility PD PAM Jaya and its two private operators, PAM Lyonnaise Jaya and PT Aetra Air Jakarta, will end in 2022.

Many residents pay high rates but have to buy clean water for drinking due to the poor quality of tap water. They sometimes experience water disruptions and lack of water supplies for days.

The NGOs called for the termination of the water privatization and urged PD PAM Jaya to revamp its management of the company to improve public services.