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UI Researchers Strengthen Community Knowledge Along the Brang Biji River in Sumbawa Through a Community-Based Sanitation Program

Universitas Indonesia > News > Faculty of Medicine News > UI Researchers Strengthen Community Knowledge Along the Brang Biji River in Sumbawa Through a Community-Based Sanitation Program

Two lecturers from the Universitas Indonesia (UI), the Environmental Engineering Study Program (PSTL) Faculty of Engineering (FT) and the Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine (FK) conducted research entitled Implementation of One Health in the Ruminant Livestock Sector: Integration of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Biosecurity to Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance Bacterial Infections in Farming Communities. This research was carried out together with the Environmental Engineering study program and the Communication Science study program at Sumbawa University of Technology (UTS).

With financial support from the Research and Community Service Information Base (BIMA) of the Ministry of Education and Culture, this research team focuses on strengthening livestock farming communities’ knowledge of healthy behavior through the Community-based Sanitation Program (STBM). Research was carried out from August to December 2023 along the Brang Biji River, Sumbawa. This river is 33.2km long, flows from Sumbawa Bay to the Flores Sea, and passes through 7 villages in the district. The existence of this river is very important for people along the river because it is used for daily needs, such as toilet.

From the research, the team got a picture of the livestock community’s behavior based on the implementation of STBM by the district government in the last five years. Sumbawa was chosen because it represents livestock activities in Eastern Indonesia, with the number of livestock farming households (RUTP) total 0.64% compared to the number of RUTPs throughout Indonesia.

“The people of Sumbawa and the livestock farming community, in particular, are very dependent on the Brangbiji River ecosystem considering that the river is used for toilets and agricultural irrigation activities. Cattle, buffalo, and horse farming which are cultivated extensively or semi-extensively on the banks of the Brangbiji River by livestock farming communities is a differentiator compared to livestock farming communities on other riverbanks in Indonesia,” said Edi Nusantara, S.Sos., MT., the Head of Sumbawa District at the research dissemination event (27/03).

Head of the Faculty of Engineering UI Environmental Engineering Study Program, Dr. Cindy Rianti Priadi, ST., MSc., said, “The health impacts that arise from not implementing STBM can be very serious, both for the environment and society. Open defecation and untreated wastewater can pollute water supplies and support the spread of diarrheal diseases such as cholera. Children are vulnerable to being exposed to cholera, according to UNICEF. A quarter of all children under the age of five in Indonesia suffer from diarrhea. “Adults can also be exposed to diarrhea because the water has been contaminated by fecal bacteria, one of which is E. coli.”

According to Edi Nusantara, this research aligns with the results of routine studies carried out by Bappeda. He also provided additional information regarding the socio-cultural conditions of the livestock farming community on the banks of the Brangbiji River, “The majority of the tribes living along the Brangbiji River are not local tribes, so the values ​​and norms are different from the indigenous Samawa tribe. This makes communicating with breeders who live along the riverbanks difficult.”

One of the PSTL Faculty of Engineering UI research members, Dr. Iftita Rahmatica, ST., M.Eng., added, “The livestock community and the general public who live around the Brangbiji River can be exposed to bacteria from feces, namely E. coli. Now, E. coli is resistant to antibiotics, especially those from the beta-lactam group, and can directly or indirectly enter the human body through river water for toilets. Those who are exposed will find it difficult to cure with the usual antibiotic treatment because they already have resistance to antibiotics. As a result, the risk of death is higher.”

Water quality surveys with E. coli parameters resistant to beta-lactams have also been carried out at points representing seven villages crossed by the Brangbiji River. The survey aims to confirm the suspicion that the Brangbiji River is polluted due to anthropogenic activities. Based on the survey, E. coli resistant to beta-lactams was at 24% of survey points.

Dean of Faculty of Engineering UI, Prof. Dr. Heri Hermansyah, S.T., M.Eng., IPU., hopes the team’s research can provide information for STBM program policyholders. “There are several points of input from the team that need to be considered and improved in the future, such as inadequate communication regarding awareness of the sustainability of the STBM program to the livestock farming community and the general public along the Brangbiji River and the lack of application of technology for handling livestock excreta. Thus, policyholders must be committed to funding the STBM program from government and non-government budget sources,” said Prof. Heri.

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