Potable water is essential to improving the livelihood of people in Western Sumba. Having clean drinking water, which eludes the majority of the population, is foundational for a healthy living environment.
When the Sumba Foundation began work in Sumba, rural access to clean water was close to nonexistent. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Indonesia went through massive water infrastructure improvements, but the major financial crisis of the late 1990s caused these improvement projects to stop.
The Sumba Foundation’s initial survey found that over 90 percent of schools and clinics in the area did not have running water or a water source nearby. The conditions within the villages were also very similar.
While valley communities did have access to water, many of the hilltop communities lived without. This left the women and children spending most of their day fetching water instead of adding to the family income or going to school.
Providing access to clean water is the foundation’s oldest and most established program. Thanks to generous donor support, the Sumba Foundation has been able to:
- Drill and hand-dig more than 65 water wells
- Establish a network of 250 water stations, which provide water to 27,000+ people daily
- Install 25 generators and submersible pumps, which help bring water to the water stations
- Install 42 hand pumps at smaller water stations
- Maintain 161 water tanks, which have a daily capacity of 570,000 liters of water
The foundation has supplied Sumba Foundation clinics, government clinics, and 22 primary schools with access to clean water.