In Indonesia, ExxonMobil is working to develop energy sources that can fuel a better quality of life and investing in the communities where it operates, helping enhance socioeconomic opportunities for the people who live there.
ExxonMobil Cepu Limited (EMCL) has been recognized for this work supporting local communities, with Indonesia’s vice president presenting the company with two gold awards at the Indonesian Social Sustainability Forum (ISSF) – an association of industry as well as government and non-government organizations that focuses on improving sustainability and empowering communities across Indonesia.
ExxonMobil was awarded for its work in East Java for developing the economic capabilities of village-owned enterprises in the Gayam subdistrict, supporting the revitalization of its traditional markets and a clean water program in the Ngimbang and Sawahan villages.
EMCL Senior Vice President Production, M. Nurdin said the awards were a recognition of the strong focus on improving neighboring communities and creating long-term sustainability in the region.
“This is a tremendous achievement for the company,” he said. “It shows the impact of community development programs’ implementation and how receptive our neighbors are towards our programs.”
Change on tap
The clean water program, dubbed Water for Life (Banyu Kanggo Urip) was critical to improving living standards for Indonesians in East Java.
About 18 million Indonesians lack access to safe drinking water, while 20 million have no access to effective sanitation and hygiene facilities, particularly in rural communities.
Prior to EMCL’s initiative, consistent access to clean water was difficult for many people in the region; people as old as 80 had to walk many kilometres to collect their water.
Communities had to collect and maintain their own water sources during the rainy season and often relied on clean water donations during the dry season.
To help the local villages, EMCL and its partner, state-owned energy company SKK Migas, worked with the Indonesian government to find potential nearby water sources using geoelectric processes.
After several attempts, they found a source located about 60 metres below the surface and built a well, a pump house that channels water into a water tower and pipelines that can distribute the fresh water directly to each villager’s home.
The program also carried out reforestation efforts around the water sources, planting water apple trees which can be harvested for fruit, wood and traditional medicine.
EMCL and SKK Migas have built 40 water towers to provide water to around 40,000 people across 30 villages.
A community hub
The Gayam traditional market, or Pasar Gayam, revitalization program started in 2018 and aimed to revitalize and renovate the market, building capacity and fixing more than 200 kiosks and stalls as well as building drainage and toilet blocks, concrete pavements and a management office.
ExxonMobil also helped provide the centre management training, improving their operations, maintenance and financial capabilities.
“We are grateful to be able to gain valuable knowledge from competent trainers that will sufficiently equip us to optimally manage the market,” Gayam market’s management spokesperson Muhammad Aris said.
Improving the market was key in helping the local district, as these traditional markets are often a hub for Indonesian communities, where people could buy their goods from local traders while connecting with their neighborhood.
Since reopening in July 2021, traders have seen a 50% rise in their income thanks to an increase in business due to better facilities.
As the company continues to operate in the region, it continues to play a role in supporting local communities and empowering lives.