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    Water & Sanitation

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Project Overview

With support from Footprings and the 6,286 contributors, the communities of Sabiret, Muntei Kecil and Muntie Besar and SurfAid successfully implemented all project activities and brought clean water to 624 relocated people in the remote area of Mentawai Islands Indonesia.

Project Results

The Sabiret, Muntei Kecil and Muntie Besar communities are three of the fourteen communities that were relocated to a new area, in the jungle on a hill, in the aftermath of the tsunami that occurred off the coast of West Sumatra in October 2010.  In the relocated area, the people have scare access to resources, government support and health services, but now they have access to high quality and reliable water, up to 210 litres per day per person.  With the help of the Footprints network, the community now has 18 tap stands to deliver water. 

The building and installation of the water facilities was a true community effort – all the members – men and women, young and old worked side by side to:

  • build the water source protection
  • install 4.6 km of distribution pipes
  • install two solar panel units that will pump water from the lower source
  • construct two water storage facilities
  • construct 18 tap stands

SurfAid established and trained water committees in construction, maintenance and management of the whole water system, including the solar panel systems.  The communities are now fully empowered to self-manage the systems. 

This is an amazing achievement in the midst of challenges the communities face. Being relocated into the jungle, without prospect of generating an income, people face real hardship. They work hard on the construction of their permanent houses and walk for days to their original location to get foods and a bit of income from their small plantation.

The water project results also contribute significantly to SurfAid’s long term goals for the relocated communities, The main objectives are 1) Reduce child mortality through the improvement of access to high quality, reliable water and healthier sanitation processes, 2) promote an understanding, at community level, of how health can be improved through behavior modification. 

Story from the field

Ibu Luseria is one of the most inspiring women.  She is from one of the hardest-hit areas during the 2010 Mentawai tsunami.

Ibu, 65-years-old, is the head of the women’s church group in her community. The tsunami took the homes and livelihoods of Ibu’s community, and they lost many of their children, family and friends. The survivors were forced to move to higher ground, to a clearing in the forest, where they are slowly trying to rebuild their lives.

"Water is so important for our lives and health."

Ibu Luseria used her influence and status as a leader to mobilise the women in her community. Together they completed the hard manual labour of digging trenches for water pipes to run from a natural spring, through a solar powered unit, to tap stands throughout the village.

She leads by example. Despite her advanced years, Ibu Luseria is proud to work alongside her community members. "Water is so important for our lives and health,” she said. “Since the tsunami we have been using rainwater for drinking and the runoff from the road for washing dishes and ourselves.

“Of course I want to contribute with the rest of the community to get clean water into our community. Together with SurfAid it is possible!"

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