24.2 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Water in the pipeline for remote Indonesian community

Latest News

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

Other News

Common courtesy

Anonymous, Byron Bay First of all, thank you to those customers who did the right thing and wore their masks in...

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Tweed council adopts Jack Evans Boat Harbour plan

The Tweed Shire Council has announced that they have adopted the Plan of Management for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour precinct.

Hanging points

Jo Faith, Newtown Many thanks to The Echo for printing ex-magistrate David Heilpern’s remarkable article articulating the ongoing tragic situation surrounding...

Beware of flood damage scams

NSW Fair Trading is warning consumers about opportunistic tradespeople trying to take advantage during the flood recovery process as the state gets back on its feet.

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

Bit by bit Lere locals and SurfAid volunteers are building an 8km water pipeline to the remote village of Lere in Sumbawa, Indonesia.
Bit by bit, Lere locals and SurfAid volunteers are building an 8km water pipeline to the remote village of Lere in Sumbawa, Indonesia.

Anne Wuijts

As I was huffing and puffing up the slope, careful not to drop off the steep wall, and anxiously avoiding the small ditch the community had dug with their simple hoes, sticks and coconut husks, I remembered how surprised I was reading the last sentence in the monthly report of this water project in remote Lere, on the island of Sumbawa, barely a week ago.

‘The community has already installed 30 metres of pipes in an extremely difficult environment.’ I remember thinking, ‘30 metres? That is not much!’

But that is before I went to the water source, which is eight kilometres from the village. We travelled through picturesque rice fields, an almost dry riverbed filled with rubble and big rocks, then jungle. After scrambling on hands and feet over the steep slopes we finally made it to a small waterfall.

The communities of Lere, in subdistrict Parado, Bima, have joined with SurfAid to bring clean water from this source all the way to their village. For the first four kilometres they can ride their motorbikes but then it’s just their hands, strength and dedication for the rest of the track.

It is a hard slog climbing up to the waterfall, but now imagine hauling a 50.8-kilogram, six metre long galvanised iron pipe between you and your neighbour. Or a 50kg sack of cement, and a 20kg roll of pipes. And now imagine doing it a couple of times per week, before or after your regular work … in total a staggering 11,365kg of pipes, 300kg of cement, one cubic metre of stones and two cubic metres of sand, and all sorts of other materials that need to go up there.

The community of Lere has made a schedule to ensure there will be a crew at work every day. We are in a hurry because once the rainy season starts in full force people will need to tend to their crops.

There are only three months of rainfall and it needs to be used to the max to ensure there are enough crops and yield for the dry months and the ‘hungry season’. Plus these slopes will be transformed into a mud ‘glacier’, making it impossible to work on the water project.

So, now I understand, 30 metres was a great result. Just two weeks later, on December 4, we were up to two kilometres. At the end of each working day we turn on the water for a bit to see the water travelling from the waterfall to where they finished for the day. The people are so immensely proud of what they are achieving. It is absolutely fantastic.

So please join me in raising a glass of clean water to the people of Lere, the SurfAid Simbo team, and all the other people in remote areas who come together to make their community a better place.

Anne Wuijts is the country director of SurfAid Indonesia. If you would like to donate money to this project go to the donations page of the SurfAid website.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also see some accountability from councils...

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for maintaining her house in a...

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.