Throwback, Lesson Learned STBM in Desa Timbanuh

Low-cost sanitation facility is not a mere closet. Desa Timbanuh found cheap sanitation facility that is very relevant with the local condition. They make a unique spear-like tool for collecting garbage called ganjur!

A woman with brown head cover was welcoming us at her large house yard. She smiled when I said “STBM”. Rini, the woman told us about STBM at her place.

“Indeed, it takes long time to make village residents understand, because they have had that habit for long time. When I moved here (Rini comes from Bogor, West Java -red), a little child might defecate at the house yard. The parents would call a dog to eat up the feces,” said the Posyandu Cadre coordinator.

Several dogs were wandering over the yard when we visited the village. Village residents seemed to welcome the presence of the dogs, although all village residents were Muslim. However, when YMP came and introduced STBM and village residents were required to actively participate in maintaining environmental sanitation, a problem occurred.

Rini said that the main problem of sanitation in the village is waste. The waste is not produced by the households, it comes from other villages. “Every week, we have a weekly market to which vendors from other villages come. When the market is over, we find garbage everywhere. We have to clean it up,” she said.

Garbage plus Dog’s Dirt

Desa Timbanuh, Kecamatan Pringgasela, is bordered to Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani at the north so that it is a potential tourist destination. This has strongly motivated the village residents and the government to ensure good sanitation of the environment. In 2013, Desa Timbanuh issued a Village Regulation No.4/2013 concerning STBM. One of the articles, article 4d, obliged all village residents to collectively clean up the village environment on day 5 of the month. At that time a problem occurred.

“Frequently, when we picked up garbage, we found dog’s dirt behind it,” said Rini. To avoid the contamination, village residents sought the best solution. And they found a brilliant way to pick up garbage without making their hands dirty. They use a ganjur (from Kawi or old Javanese language) which means spear. Why ganjur? Well, with a ganjur, village residents can pick up garbage, particularly at the public space, without having to worry touching dog’s dirt.

With the Village regulation, each house is supposed to have a ganjur. With ganjur, picking up the garbage becomes faster while their hands remain uncontaminated.

Initially, it was a Dusun with Full of Diseases

Muhammad Ilham, Head of Desa Timbanuh, said that sanitation problem has existed in Timbanuh since it was part of Desa Pengadangan. This former village representative board member (BPD) of Desa Pengadangan memorized the initial phase of Timbanuh officially established as an independent village in 2012.

“We had no idea what to do with the newly established village,” said the Village Head who happened to work in farming and agriculture. Of some existing problems at that time, sanitation was the most prominent. Ilham said that when Timbanuh was still a part of Desa Pengadangan, cases of diseases caused by poor environmental condition are often found.

“Formerly, in a year there were approximately 200 people suffering from diarrhea and dysentry. When the sanitation program introduced by YMP, we put it as the highest priority,” he said.

With the introduction of STBM by YMP, just like other villages, Desa Timbanuh started to identify the STBM issue by involving village residents, cadres, head of dusun, and head of neighborhood association (RT). When the data was collected, they faced up another problem; they did not have any fund. They took some efforts through structured communication. They asked the head of RT to warn the village residents not to practice open defecation. They also raised fund for toilet development.

Arisan Toilet

Referring to the data about the number of households that have no toilets, each RT (Rumah Tangga/neighborhood association) form groups of households that have no toilet. Each group then in turn build toilet for the group members with the cost of membership dues. The process of sanitary behavior change is directly overseen by the Posyandu Cadres marking each house with a sticker for monitoring. To accelerate the achievement of target, village administrator also gave subsidy of cement, closet, and concrete tubes for the poor family. Other village residents mobilized by the head of RT voluntarily gave their labor to develop toilet. Administrative sanction was given to the non-poor families yet having no toilet. “When they are asking for administrative license or permit either for Identity Card or marriage, we asked them to develop a toilet first,” said Ilham. Thank God, in the period of 2012 and 2013 the village successfully developed 272 toilets.

Sanitation to Protect Fern Plant

One of the drivers that motivate the village residents to support sanitation program is that they want to protect their fern plant that wildly grow at the environment of TNGR and village areas. The fern plant is consumed or sold as vegetable and has become a source of income. According to Ilham, before STBM was introduced in this area, a lot of fern plant could not be harvested because they are contaminated with dirt.

Now, Muhamad Ilham and the village residents feel happy because the village has been verified by kecamatan, and is expecting to be certified as a STBM Village. In the village medium-term development plan, Desa Timbanuh has a plan to improve the infrastructure of clean water supply. Clean water treatment will contribute much to the success of sanitation and becomes another source of income for the PAMDES.


In Desa Timbanuh behavior change derives from Opportunity Determinant of village regulation on STBM. This village regulation obliged all village residents to practice sanitary behavior. Village administrator also freely gave closet and cement for poor people to result in increase of access to sanitation. In addition to closet, ganjur or spear is a sanitation facility. This is an easy and cheap sanitation facility invented by the village residents. Another important driver of change is Motivation Determinant. In addition to sanitation bene t, motivation to maintain environment with abundant tourist object has urged the people to change.

Village residents are also motivated to prevent open defecation since it can contaminate the fern plant. This vegetable grown at the bu er zone of Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani are consumed and sold by village residents. Economic motivation has encourage the village residents to practice sanitary and hygienic behavior.

Finally, of course, knowledge on how to implement sanitation (Ability Determinant) among the cadres is equally important. It is also important that there is new knowledge obtained from the environmental cleaning with ganjur.

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