Water for Better Life and Health – Helping Communities in Three Hamlets of Sinaka, Mentawai

Teachers pouring water over their students' hands using dipper due to inadequate facilities for water distribution
Teachers pouring water over their students’ hands using dipper due to inadequate facilities for water distribution

After IBU Foundation finished with its previous project at Kinumbuk hamlet, in South Pagai Island of Mentawai on July 2011; IBU’s Mentawai Team continues another water and sanitation program at three hamlets in Sinaka Village which is still located in the same island. Currently, we are entering our third month of our community-based program in Kosai Baru, Mangka Baga and Bungo Rayo hamlet, promoting hygiene among the community members.  As a result, the community from two out of three hamlets have increased knowledge, attitude and practice towards appropriate hygienic practices. Hopefully, the third hamlet will follow shortly.

"we just know the dangers of open defecation, maybe this was the one which had caused outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in our hamlet" 
“we just know the dangers of open defecation, maybe this was the one which had caused outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in our hamlet”

The communities have committed to establish their own social contract to free their hamlets’ environment from open defecation. All households reside in these two hamlets have now established their household latrines, a simple one built by their own, but have significantly change their environment into free from open defecation status. Cleaner and healthier. However, some constraints appeared where there are no adequate access for water, especially for water distribution. Most of people still need to carry the water from the nearest source for their household needs including for their latrines need.

A Lady from Kosai Baru with her new established household toilet
A Lady from Kosai Baru with her new established household toilet

15 households in Kosai Baru hamlet and 27 in Mangka Baga have come up with their ideas to build water tank closer to their neighborhood. Bungo Rayo has larger areas and population, 94 households.This last hamlet also facing problem with clean water facilities even though their hamlet resides near wide river. There is no adequate facility, such as water tank or piping system, while their wells contain poor quality of water for consumption.

IBU Foundation has provided capacity building program for the local cadres to become agent for behavior changes related to environmental health and hygiene. However, the communities’ needs has grown, correlates positively with their knowledge improvement. They want to build facilities for clean water distribution in each of their hamlet. The enthusiasm is so high. Some community members would like and some even already contributed as much as their maximum range of their ability to provide required materials to build these clean water facilities. But yet, they still need to hold their plan much longer than they expected before because what they have committed isn’t enough for them to start the construction at this moment. The communities face some problems considering the fact that their hamlets located in remote areas. Which in my opinion, only Peter Pan can go back and forth to this faraway land without complaining. The unfriendly weather, expensive and lack of fuel supply, limited to no access for communication, and so on.

 

Therefore, IBU Foundation would like to continue to support these communities involving everyone of you. Can we do something about it? A little help from everyone will meant a lot for them. It could change and make a difference to their quality of life. Shall we then?

 

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