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Water & Sanitation
Sumba, an increasingly popular holiday and surfing destination in Eastern Indonesia, is Australia’s closest northern neighbour, and yet sits among the poorest provinces in Indonesia. Remote from Indonesia’s commercial and government centres, Sumba is environmentally and economically vulnerable. As a result of limited economic opportunity, people in Sumba are subsistence farmers, however, low rainfall means their water supply is insufficient.
SurfAid is working with villages in Laboya Barat sub-district to protect existing water sources, and build communal holding tanks and tap stands within 800 metres of every person’s home. Building on the success of SurfAid’s previous water projects in Sumba, this project will expand access to water to an additional five communities (Podarere, Namu Ole, Matawee Kadoki, and Katamawee) and reach 233 households (1,048 people).
A lack of clean water means poor sanitation, the result of which pushes marginalised communities deeper into poverty, illness and indignity. Absent of clean water, malnutrition is a serious threat. In Sumba, 60% of children under five are underweight, malnourished or stunted; this is the single biggest contributor to the death of children under five.
This project is a mix of practical support, education and health promotion that aims to change poor health behaviours into positive behaviours through a number of key interventions and activities, including:
SurfAid uses a hand up, not a hand out approach in all our development projects. In the spirit of the Indonesian word Gotong Royong, which means communal work, all construction projects will be completed by local members of the community on a voluntary basis. Materials that are locally available will also be donated by the villages, with materials not available in the community being sourced by SurfAid.
Not only will the community participate in the construction of the projects, they will be trained to maintain the water and sanitation systems. This collaborative approach ensures skills are developed locally, and expertise exists within the communities. Building local capacity also means the communities do not become dependent on SurfAid for repairs and maintenance.
Long term maintenance costs will be covered by fees collected from users by the established water committees and additional funding from local government.
This project contributes to SurfAid’s overall “Healthy Village” program in Sumba, which aims to bring clean water, improved sanitation, nutrition gardens and health promotion to 4,524 people in Sumba.