Pulau Ende, an island with thousand Rain Water Tanks

Obtaining fresh water is a main problem for the population of Pulau Ende. Most of the families in this island have become accustomed to consuming dug well water. The issue is that there is very limited ground water (only available in a few dug well) and its quality does not meet the standard for drinking and cooking. Besides the salty taste, the dug well water has high density of e-coli bacteria as impact of open defecation practiced by community. In a long dry season, most of the dug wells will dry up, so community has to buy fresh water from Kota Ende.

Supported by the Swedish National Committee for UNICEF, communities in four villages of Pulau Ende now have rain water tanks and improved hygiene practices.

For construction of rain water tanks, the project provides non-local materials, fiber glass moulds and train village masons in rain water tank construction using the moulds. The community is responsible for local materials such as gravel and sand, and labor.

The construction of rain water tanks has been implemented in Aejeti and Paderape villages. At present, 1457 units have been constructed out of 1550 units planned. The community is very enthusiastic in participating in the construction, including in working as a group and helping each others (gotong royong method).

Self Help

As a project mechanism, families must prepare their contribution (gravel and sand) before the non-local materials can be given by the project. Most families collect the gravel from another side of Pulau Ende using canoe because the gravel is not available in these villages. Another family may contribute by breaking stones to have an appropriate size for concrete.

Crushing the gravel

Muhamad Hajrin is a villager of Aejeti village who is constructing a rain water tank. In the beginning, he refused to collect local material as he was misinformed about the project. After socialization conducted by district team, he realized the benefit of the rain water tank and agreed to the mechanism. He said that “I spent a week to collect the gravel and sands as much as needed. I also allocated cash of Rp. 150,000 for labor meals. But it is worth doing it compared to the benefits of the rain water tank”.

Of the 1457 rain water tanks constructed, most of them have been used for what they are intended for, i.e. for drinking water in dry season. However, some families are using it for other domestic uses too. Ibu Fatimah, a mother in Dusun Aejeti said “the rainy season is still long so I use the water tank for other purposes”. The same argument is made by some other villagers.


A rain water tank
Different from Ibu Fatimah, Pak Ardian, a traditional fisherman from Dusun Ratedero, Desa Aejeti, who constructed a rain water tank inside his house. Now, the tank is fully stored with rain water that has not yet been used.

The tap of the tank was tied closely with a cord to protect water from inappropriate use. This family is very mindful in using the water tank because they are worried that the rainy season might end sooner than the time estimated. The family is also harvesting rain water using a big basin and buckets. The family is living at the end of Aejeti village which is very far from dug wells. Ibu Mimin said, “there is no dug well in our sub-village, so during rainy season I have to take water from the next sub-village by passing a hill. I have to spend an hour to get 10 liters of water. Sometime, when my husband is at sea, I carry my son while shouldering a carry can or bucket with water Thanks to UNICEF, this water tank is very useful for us”.

(the story is taken from UNICEF's donor report)

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