A Small Group of Women in Kiabu Leading the Drive Towards Cleaner Village

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A Small Group of Women  in Kiabu Leading the Drive Towards Cleaner Village

Every Sunday morning in Kiabu Village there are around 12 women who walk around the neighborhood sweeping the narrow streets, cleaning up public places and picking up trash.

These women are part of a group called Komunitas Kiabu Bersih (Clean Kiabu Community), or KKB in short, which was formed in 2018 by our very own team members Project Coordinator Rodial Hudha and Kiabu Village Facilitator Geri Susanto, both of whom were born and raised in the village.

The group was established around the time when we first introduced the Integrated Waste Management (IWM) program in Kiabu. Part of the waste management program is educating and raising the community’s awareness on types of waste, waste sorting at home and waste problems. Through this community-based approach members of KKB, and the village, gain an understanding of why inorganic waste like plastics, rubber and electronics should not be dumped into the ocean, a harmful practice they used to do in the past.

“I join this group because I want to improve kerja bakti (community work) activity here and make the village cleaner,” says ibu Norasikin who is the head of the KKB.

She further elaborates that by joining KKB she feels more engaged with the Kiabu commmunity and she learns new things like waste upcycling and composting.

Apart from the clean-up activity, members of KKB also routinely invite other residents of Kiabu to take part in their weekly neighborhood clean-up.

“First, we need to set an example to the community by picking up litters we see on the streets, and then we invite other ibu-ibu to join the clean-up activity every Sunday,” tells ibu Norasikin.

Yet despite all the campaigning efforts, the turnout is still so low among the Kiabu community. Other than a few village kids who partake by doing an underwater clean-up near the jetty area, the Kiabu residents are still uninterested in spending their Sunday morning cleaning up the village. Some even think that they no longer need to do the kerja bakti because there’s the KKB who does the job for them.

It’s quite a challenge for the KKB members to change the mindset of the Kiabu community. As an organization that has programmes in Kiabu, we help the KKB members by initiating new interesting activities that can attract more participation from the Kiabu community such as upcycling trainings and the waste bank initiative.

KKB is a grassroots movement that can bring real change when it comes to managing and reducing waste not only in Kiabu Village but also in the Anamabas archipelago. The group is a real example of what happens when a small community is provided with the necessary knowledge and facilities to do proper waste management. However, they can’t do the work alone, their members need support not only from organizations but also local government. The success of their work will have a ripple effect in the Anambas Islands and inspire other villages to do the same.