Pamsimas Empowers 25.9 Million People with 37,000 Units

Learn about Pamsimas, a program that provides clean drinking water to millions of individuals through its 37,000 units currently in operation

Written by Rika Andini

Pamsimas has been at the forefront of Indonesia’s water supply initiative, providing clean drinking water to rural areas for the past 15 years. Since its establishment in 2008 with support from the World Bank, Pamsimas has been dedicated to achieving its goals and making a tangible impact on the lives of Indonesians.

The program recognizes the significance of ensuring access to clean water for Indonesia’s vast and diverse population. Pamsimas, as a government initiative, focuses on providing rural communities with safe drinking water. This has resulted in a remarkable improvement in the quality of life for millions of Indonesians who previously had to rely on unsafe water sources.

Access to clean water in rural areas is of the utmost importance in Indonesia. Many remote communities have had to travel long distances to fetch water from rivers and streams, which often contain harmful bacteria and parasites. This exposure puts them at risk of waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid fever. By providing clean drinking water, Pamsimas Indonesia has successfully reduced the incidence of such diseases and improved overall health outcomes.

Pamsimas currently serves an astonishing 25.9 million individuals through approximately 37,000 operational units. These numbers showcase the significant impact the program has had on improving access to clean water in Indonesia. Minister Basuki recently shared impressive statistics at the Pamsimas TA 2023 Kick Off Meeting, emphasizing the program’s accomplishments.1

One notable aspect of Pamsimas is its commitment to sustainability. The organization collaborates closely with local communities to develop sustainable solutions that ensure long-term access to clean water and sanitation facilities. By working in partnership with local governments, community members, and other organizations, Pamsimas aligns its efforts with the specific needs and priorities of the communities it supports. This approach enhances the program’s effectiveness and ensures its continued impact in the future.

This blog discusses the achievements and importance of Pamsimas in improving access to safe water in Indonesian rural communities.

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The history of Pamsimas

Pamsimas, a 15-year success story, has brought about transformative change in the lives of millions of people throughout Indonesia. This program’s inception marked a turning point in the water and sanitation sector, ushering in progress and prosperity. Its primary objective, initiated 15 years ago, was to enhance access to clean water and sanitation facilities in rural areas. Since then, Pamsimas has consistently expanded its scope, extending its reach to every corner of the country.

The triumph of Pamsimas can be attributed to its innovative approach and unwavering commitment to achieving its objectives. By actively involving local communities in the decision-making process and providing them with essential resources and training, the program has empowered these communities. Through this inclusive strategy, Pamsimas has effectively built the capacity of communities to independently manage their water supply systems and sanitation facilities.

Over the course of 15 years, Pamsimas has accomplished remarkable milestones that have revolutionized the water and sanitation landscape in Indonesia. It has significantly improved access to clean water and sanitation for over 10 million individuals across 32 provinces. Moreover, the program has delivered technical assistance to more than 12,000 villages, enabling them to autonomously manage their water supply systems and sanitation facilities.2

The success story of Pamsimas stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and partnership. The program has received extensive support from various government agencies, private sector partners, and international organizations. Their collective contributions have played a vital role in the growth and expansion of Pamsimas, amplifying its impact and ensuring its continued success.

Through its 15 years of existence, Pamsimas has made substantial strides in improving water access and sanitation for rural communities in Indonesia. As it looks to the future, the program remains committed to advancing its goals and building on its achievements. Pamsimas serves as an inspiring example of what can be accomplished when diverse stakeholders unite to address a pressing societal need, creating lasting positive change for millions of people.

Pamsimas program history

Over its 15-year journey, Pamsimas has achieved remarkable milestones that have made a lasting impact on the water and sanitation sector in Indonesia. The program is divided into three phases: Pamsimas I, Pamsimas II, and Pamsimas III, each with its own objectives and achievements.

The first phase of the program, aimed to improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities in rural areas. It provided technical assistance and financing to local governments, resulting in over 5,000 villages gaining access to clean water and sanitation by 2013. This phase was a significant success, making a significant impact in rural areas where access to clean water is a severe challenge. It also highlighted the importance of engaging local governments in promoting access to clean water and sanitation facilities.3

Pamsimas II was launched in 2013 with a focus on strengthening the capacity of local governments in managing water supply and sanitation infrastructure. It also emphasized hygiene practices through community-led campaigns. By surpassing the accomplishments of its predecessor, Pamsimas 2 improved water and sanitation facilities for over 6,000 villages by 2016. The implementation of community-led campaigns played a pivotal role in raising awareness and instilling the significance of clean water and sanitation among communities.

Pamsimas 3, launched in 2016, has set its sights on providing clean water and sanitation facilities to 1.5 million households in urban and peri-urban areas. This phase prioritizes strengthening the institutional capacity of local governments and fostering community participation in water supply and sanitation management. In its initial year, Pamsimas 3 made substantial progress, benefiting over 27,000 households with improved access to clean water and sanitation. The inclusion of urban areas in this phase recognizes the often overlooked need for development programs in urban settings.

After the completion of Pamsimas 3, the program will continue its efforts through two important components: incentive grants and technical support and management of program implementation.4

To further incentivize and sustain the progress achieved by Pamsimas, the program will introduce incentive grants. These grants will be provided to communities and local governments that demonstrate effective management of water supply systems and sanitation facilities. By rewarding successful implementation and adherence to best practices, the incentive grants aim to motivate and encourage ongoing commitment to maintaining the infrastructure and ensuring the continued provision of clean water and sanitation services.

The technical support component will play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth implementation of Pamsimas and its subsequent phases. It will involve providing expertise, guidance, and training to local governments, communities, and relevant stakeholders. This support will cover areas such as water supply management, sanitation infrastructure maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation of program outcomes. By offering technical assistance, Pamsimas will contribute to the capacity building of local institutions, enabling them to effectively manage and sustain the water and sanitation facilities in their respective areas.


Pamsimas has achieved a remarkable feat in Indonesia’s water and sanitation sector, significantly improving access to clean water and sanitation facilities for millions of people. The program’s success underscores the importance of community-led campaigns and strong collaboration with local governments.


The active involvement of communities has played a pivotal role in raising awareness and ensuring the sustainability of development initiatives. Pamsimas, through its three phases, has exemplified the transformative impact that can be achieved through collective efforts in addressing water and sanitation challenges across the country.


Looking ahead, Pamsimas is committed to maintaining its achievements and fostering long-term sustainability in the water and sanitation sector. By implementing incentive grants and providing ongoing technical support, the program will further empower communities and local governments.


These components will incentivize and reward effective management practices while equipping stakeholders with the necessary expertise and resources for continued success. Through these efforts, Pamsimas aims to strengthen community participation and ownership, ensuring the enduring provision of clean water and sanitation facilities even beyond the completion of Pamsimas 3.

Regions with Limited Access to Safe Drinking Water

As of 2022, 3.28% of households in Indonesia did not have access to drinking water, according to a report by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing. The majority of these households were located in rural areas, and access to drinking water varied significantly between provinces, with some regions having much lower access rates than others. This highlights the urgent need for increased efforts and investments to improve access to safe drinking water in Indonesia. 5

One of the most severely affected regions is East Nusa Tenggara, which has the highest shortage of water in the country. A staggering 13.74% of households in this region experienced a shortage of drinking water in 2022. Families and individuals in this area have to rely on untreated water sources, such as rivers or wells, which are often contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances. This situation has significant implications for the health and wellbeing of the population.

North Maluku is another area facing a shortage of drinking water, with 9.75% of households experiencing a shortage. Although this number is lower than in East Nusa Tenggara, it’s still alarming and highlights the urgent need for investment in clean water infrastructure in these regions. Lack of clean drinking water can lead to diarrheal diseases, which are among the leading causes of illness and death across the country. In young children, it can also lead to malnutrition and stunted growth.

West Sulawesi, West Papua, and Bengkulu are other regions in Indonesia that continue to experience a shortage of drinking water. With 8.53%, 8.08%, and 5.47% of households, respectively, reporting a shortage of drinking water, it’s essential to remember that each percentage point represents thousands of people who don’t have access to clean drinking water, which is a critical human right.

How to Support the Pamsimas Program

To support the Pamsimas program in its mission to provide clean water and sanitation facilities to rural communities in Indonesia, there are several actions that the community can take.


Raise Awareness: Communities should actively participate in raising awareness about the importance of clean water and sanitation. This can be done through community meetings, campaigns, and educational programs to ensure that every individual understands the significance of clean water for their health and well-being.


Participate in Program Activities: Community members should actively participate in the activities organized by the Pamsimas program. This includes attending workshops, training sessions, and community meetings. By actively engaging in these activities, communities can provide valuable input, share their experiences, and contribute to the program’s success.


Take Ownership: It is important for communities to take ownership of the clean water and sanitation facilities provided by the Pamsimas program. This involves actively maintaining and preserving the facilities to ensure their long-term sustainability. Communities should also establish systems for regular monitoring, reporting, and addressing any issues related to the facilities.


Foster Community Cooperation: Communities should foster a sense of cooperation and collective responsibility. This can be achieved through the establishment of water user groups or committees that oversee the management and distribution of clean water. By working together, communities can ensure equitable access to clean water and maintain a sustainable system.


Mobilize Resources: Community members can contribute their resources, such as time, skills, and materials, to support the Pamsimas program. This could involve volunteering in construction projects, providing local expertise, or even fundraising initiatives to supplement the program’s resources. Mobilizing resources at the community level can enhance the program’s impact and sustainability.

Air Minum Bersih’s Effort

Air Minum Bersih and Pamsimas are two initiatives in Indonesia that share a common goal of improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation. While Pamsimas focuses on rural areas, Air Minum Bersih targets schools, health centers, and remote communities. By joining forces and collaborating, these initiatives can maximize their impact and reach a wider population in need.


A significant step forward for Air Minum Bersih is its collaboration with KITA BISA, a prominent crowdfunding platform in Indonesia. This partnership aims to expand their efforts in providing clean drinking water to remote communities. Through crowdfunding campaigns on KITA BISA’s platform, Air Minum Bersih can raise the necessary funds for sustainable water supply projects in water-scarce areas.


By engaging a broader audience, Air Minum Bersih and KITA BISA encourage individuals and organizations to contribute to their cause. Through crowdfunding, they can implement crucial projects such as water purification systems, clean water initiatives, and WASH education in remote communities. This collective support enables sustainable solutions and improves the lives and well-being of individuals in dire need.


To support the Pamsimas program and Air Minum Bersih’s efforts in providing clean water, you can contribute through KITA BISA or in any other way possible. By joining the collective efforts, we can make a positive difference and bring safe drinking water to countless individuals in Indonesia. Together, let’s empower communities and create a sustainable future with access to clean water and improved sanitation.

Tirta Murni Nusantara

Jalan Penestanan, Sayan,

Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, 80571

+ 62 821 4645 0217


AHU-0020799.AH.01.04 Tahun 2022

Berita Negara No 080 Tahun 2022

Akta Notaris
no 09, 30 September 2022

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