Surabaya – People’s health awareness is still low; random defecation (BABS), for instance, has attracted the attention of Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) Surabaya, to help improve conditions by launching an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) program for residents in three sub-districts around the campus: Gebang Putih, Kejawan Putih Tambak and Keputih.
ODF is a protocol where every individual or community prohibits random defecation. Ir Eddy Setiadi Soedjono Dipl SE MSc PhD, Chairman of the Healthy Latrines Program for ITS Regional Potential and Community Empowerment Study Center (PDPM) admitted there are still many BABS residents in those three villages.
“Clearly, we know that human waste contains many toxins, such as typhus, cholera and hepatitis, often transmitted by flies. If human waste is not disposed of properly, it will be very dangerous,” explained Eddot’s lecturer, in a discussion at the Environmental Laboratory of the ITS Environmental Engineering Department, Monday (28/5).
Since 2016, PDPM ITS, through this ODF program, has been socializing this matter about the dangers of such continuous BABS behavior with local residents. In collaboration with Departments of Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning (PWK), and the Faculty of Science, PDPM ITS has been implementing latrine facilities for residents around the ITS campus. “In 2017 we’ve managed to set up 21 healthy latrines in Gebang Putih and Kejawan Putih Tambak Area,” said the doctorate alumnus from the University of Birmingham, England.
His efforts to solve this domestic hygiene problem can be perceived as having yielded proud results. Last year, Gebang Putih Village was declared by the Health Department (Dinkes) of Surabaya City as the “60th BABS-free area”. “I’ve just returned from Dinkes, and this year Kejawan Putih will be declared as a free-open-defecation village too,” said the lecturer, who is also concerned about sanitation matters.
This year, PPDM ITS will continue to build healthy latrines in Keputih village. “Our target this year is for Keputih can be declared free of random defecation,” said the man from Kalimantan.
This Environmental Engineering graduate also said that the ODF program in three districts around ITS was one of the steps in support of a Surabaya City Government program which started in 2015, and also launched a Surabaya Open Defecation-Free Community Program.
“In Surabaya there are 154 villages, but not more than 60 are BABS-free; therefore, this can also be said to be a real contribution of ITS to Surabaya City,” observed the man who will also be the recipient of a Mayor’s Sanitation Activist Award at the birthday celebration of Surabaya on 31 May.
Not only ODF: for the environmental health problem, PDPM ITS this year also targets healthy food certification for street vendors (PKL) around the ITS perimeter. “Once the ODF program is successful, the environment will become healthier. We will also manage PKLs around the ITS area and we expect existing PKLs to assure the hygienic quality of their food,” he explained.
ITS side will also facilitate laboratory testing of foodstuffs for PKLs to be certified. “As an environment that will determine the health of ITS students, we also want the food sellers here to confirm the cleanliness of their food,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, ITS Rector Prof. Ir Joni Hermana MSc ES PhD said this program is a manifestation of ITS contribution for the people of Surabaya, especially in three urban villages around ITS. The “Healthy toilet program” is a step that must be taken, especially as related to the quality of people’s lives around ITS. “The existence of a healthy latrines program should be mutually supported, so that our community will be more qualified and more productive,” said the Master of Environmental Engineering. (ITS)