News Story

Clean Water in East Java, Indonesia


Clean water just outside the door is a new commodity for the residents of Bakalan, a small village on the island of East Java, Indonesia. Though more than 1 million people live in the Regency of Lamongan, not many have the resource of safe, clean water near their homes. An extended drought throughout Indonesia has seriously impacted the current water supply. Many of the local reservoirs have become unfit and local wells have dried up. People must travel further distances from their homes to find water that is potable. Most face a 3-5 km trek to a community well, with containers and a carts to obtain water for their daily needs.

That changed recently when  a clean water partnership was formed with LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Regency of Lamongan. LDS Charities provided expertise and materials for the construction of a pumping station and storage tanks, as well as tap stands and the water distribution lines.  Volunteers from the local area performed labor for the construction of the pumping and storage facilities, and laying hundreds of meters of piping.

As a result of this partnership, most homes in the villages have a water stand just outside their door. Clean, fresh water is available at the turn of handle. Three schools now have potable water for the youngsters in primary and middle grades. The laborious chore of lifting a bucket from the well, filling large containers and transporting the water in a cart has ended for many families. It was a Usaha Koperasi (cooperative endeavor) that has blessed just over 500 families, and brought a smile to the faces of many.

Mr. Bangkalanpule, village chief and Mr. Sutrisno, military representative attended the official ceremonies on October 22,  2015. Ownership of the water system was turned over to the people. Sutarno Prayitno, the general contractor expressed gratitude for the villagers who had performed the labor, "Without your hard work and cheerful hearts this project could not have been completed," he said. Men who worked on the project expressed their gratitude for newly learned skills which enabled several to obtain better employment.

Elder David Frandsen, the LDS Charities Water Specialist commented during the ceremony, "It is the aim of our church to support local people and organizations as they find sustainable solutions for their water needs. The people of Lamongan have come together to identify a suitable solution and then put forth their effort to make it happen.”

In addition to clean-water projects throughout Indonesia, LDS Charities sponsors clean-water initiatives in Africa, Asia, Central America, Eastern Europe, India, the Pacific Islands, South America, Southeast Asia, and other locations around the world.

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