“The villagers still don't believe it; water is right before their eyes. Compang ndejing village has clean water now!”
While the world is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic and water has become an important instrument to prevent the spread of the virus, a number of citizens in Indonesia are still struggling with the availability of clean water in their lives. People of Compang Ndejing Village of East Manggarai Regency are among them. The only source of water they use is from the Wae Musur river. It is located about 3 kilometers from residential areas. The road to the river is also steep and it is not the clean water that villagers usually take, but rather strong turbid water containing E.coli bacteria, it was discovered after laboratory testing results. There is no spring in the village. Another option is to collect rainwater when the rainy season arrives. The bottled drinking water is possible to buy, but villagers cannot always afford it because they don't necessarily have the money.
“The villagers still don't believe it; water is right before their eyes. The water flows so swiftly and clear, not as cloudy as river water, " said Ahmad Djabur, a resident representative who also serves as the Village Leader. Furthermore, it was said that this facility was the first to distribute clean water since the village was inaugurated in 1970. In fact, it was the first time that clean water could be owned by three generations of villagers who currently live in Compang Ndejing!
Geographical conditions are the biggest challenge to bring clean water in. Gugah Nurani Indonesia, working with consultants, village government, and villagers, finally decided to use a solar-powered water pump. This water pump has a filtration function and is able to push water from the Wae Musur river to a height of 77 meters vertically into the main reservoir as far as 800 meters. Solar power sources are very reliable, because apart from the longer dry season period all through the year, the required operational and maintenance costs will not burden the villagers.
According to Mr. Ahmad, villagers welcomed the clean water project initiated by Gugah Nurani Indonesia. The village government has prepared a budget for maintenance and land acquisition. Voluntarily, the residents allowed the use of their land to build water tanks and pipelines. Apart from that, a water committee has also been formed for the maintenance of this clean water facility.
The inauguration of clean water facilities was carried out in December 2020 with a traditional ceremony. Meanwhile, the handover of facilities from Gugah Nurani Indonesia to the Compang Ndejing village government has also been carried out in January 2021.
"It helps a lot. Children do not need to walk to the river every day to fetch water. Mothers can cook with clean water. Later, we can also drain water into the garden to make it more fertile. If previously we only dreamed, now the village of Compang Ndejing already has clean water!" says Ahmad.