An article in The Jakarta Post.

Mujiwati, 57, a housewife living in West Bekasi, West Java, told of how she had to wait overnight just to fill two buckets with clean water in the midst of a water shortage during last year’s dry season.

“There was so little water coming out of the tap, it was basically letting out single drops of water every few second, my children and I had to take turns while waiting for the buckets to fill up,” she said.

The water they so patiently collected was then used to wash three days worth of dirty laundry from a family of seven, including her two grandchildren.

After she finished with the laundry, she then reused the water in the two buckets, one was mixed with detergent and the other mixed with fabric softener, to clean her windows and mop the floor. “Although I had to use fabric softener to clean my floor, it actually smelled really good,” she said.

Martini, 43, another housewife in Bintara Jaya, Bekasi, also recalled an experience during the water shortage last year.

She said she turned off her fridge and collected the water that melted from the frost in her freezer.

“I used the water I collected from the fridge to wash the dishes and clean my shoes,” she said.

Apart from finding creative ways to gather water, she added that her family also made an effort to minimize water use whenever possible. “For prayer ablutions, we made sure each family member only used one gayung [water dipper] full of water,” she said.

Even when the water supply had returned to normal, she said her family continued to save water because their experience during the water shortage had made them realize how valuable it was.

Mujiwati and Martini’s stories are just two examples taken from 9,000 stories sent by various women on how to conserve water in a competition held by Unilever Indonesia’s fabric softener product, Molto, on World Water Day, which falls on March 22 every year.

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