WASH Coordination in Indonesia during COVID-19 Pandemic
Through the Australian Government’s Australia Assists program, RedR Indonesia and RedR Australia deployed Fauzan Adhitia to assist UNICEF Indonesia as WASH Global Coordinator Assistant. During his six months deployment, Fauzan supported the WASH Cluster Coordinator with meetings that involved 55 organizations, CSOs, related ministries, as well as disseminating information and engaging with the private sector. This weekly meeting was held 18 times in his deployment period, where on average 140 participants attended the meeting.
He also supervised distribution of 750,000 soap bars to areas with high rates of COVID-19 as part of the partnership between UNICEF and Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) to help local communities in protecting themselves against the pandemic.
Although he joined after three coordination meetings had been conducted, he found that it was easy to catch up. “As I have been working in emergency WASH clusters prior to this assignment, I am quite familiar with the tasks as WASH Global Coordinator Assistant and the workflow that is already in place.” This familiarity, Fauzan added, was also due to his involvement in the Humanitarian Work Core Training – WASH held by RedR Indonesia in 2019. The training provided new insights and opportunities to engage with other humanitarian activists so that he did not encounter many difficulties in his assignment.
Deploying a local humanitarian actor like Fauzan also provides an advantage, especially in emergency where it is important that actors hit the ground quickly. “The meetings are usually conducted in Bahasa Indonesia, so fluency in Bahasa Indonesia and familiarity with the socio-cultural situation in Indonesia really help strengthening our communication and partnership with other organizations and government agencies,” Fauzan added. It is hoped that Fauzan will be the first of many local humanitarian deployees in responding to emergencies in Indonesia and global.
As WASH Global Coordinator Assistant, he was also responsible for compiling information and reports related to the needs and activities of partner organizations and CSOs to help ministries in the decision making process, identifying the gaps and issues that need to be addressed, as well as engaging with non-government actors.
“Private sector can also be a great partner in humanitarian response, so it is important that we engage with them.”
Outside the WASH cluster, Fauzan also assisted UNICEF WASH programs, such as advocating the importance of 3Ms (washing hands, wearing mask, and social distancing) not only at national level but also working with UNICEF local offices at the provincial level.
Fauzan’s deployment is part of RedR Indonesia’s contribution to strengthening coordination in humanitarian response in Indonesia, particularly in the fight against COVID-19. While the pandemic is new, COVID-19 highlights that safe, clean water, proper sanitation, and hygiene promotion is crucial in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and protecting human health. We must work together to ensure no gap is left unaddressed during the response, including the needs of marginal and vulnerable group such as women, children, young or elderly, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities.