Latest news from Lombok, Indonesia – Earthquake Recovery through Water, Shelter and Capacity Building

Article from a report written by Isla Winarto Project Director SI Jakarta Project, Lombok, Indonesia – Earthquake Recovery through Water, Shelter and Capacity Building 24 September, 2019 in collaboration with Lily Kasoem Project Manager SI Jakarta Project.

The Construction of the Village Well

Construction of the well in Rembitan was completed by the end of August, 2019.  Testing has taken place to measure output, however, due to extensive drought conditions in Lombok and in numerous other parts of Indonesia1, the water flow from the new well has been consistently weak and within a couple of hours, runs dry. It then takes approximately two hours to fill up again. The size of the original pump may also be exacerbating the issue, as it was purchased before the depth of the well had been extended to 92 meters (from an original 30 meters). In the interim, SIJ has arranged for clean water to be donated through local, non-profit organisations. The first delivery was for 12,000 litres, and the villagers are able to use this water, whilst sourcing some small amounts of water from a nearby spring and from a couple of older wells in the area. This is of course a temporary measure until the rains come at the end of October (assuming weather patterns are not too greatly affected by climate change in the region), and during the rainy season, it is anticipated that the new well will be able to provide an adequate supply of water for the entire village.

Meanwhile, the SIJ Team, working through the Rebuk Satu Village Water Committee, is constantly educating the villagers on the importance of water conservation, – with the understanding that every drop wasted, impacts on the villagers, their health, their crops, and ultimately their future.

During her last visit to Lombok from 18-22 September, 2019, the SIJ Project Manager conducted meetings with the Rebuk Satu villagers, contractors, a representative from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR), and a volunteer expat engineer to discuss solutions to the on-going water problems in the area, and a number of options are being explored. One is to introduce water harvesting, eventually, as a suitable, long-term measure. Another is to identify more water sources around Rembitan, to supplement the water from the newly constructed well. Long-term, these may prove the best solutions as the dry (drought) period in this region of Indonesia can extend for up to six months of the year.

1 See article on drought throughout Indonesia: :

Photo: Testing the flow of water from the new well into the 5,500 litre water containers


The Construction of the Village WASH Facilities

All WASH facilities were completed by the end of July, 2019. The SIJ project team was alerted to areas requiring remedial work, and upgrading undertaken including the fixing of any leaking pipes and adjustments to shower/toilet doors, the covering drainage areas, and the finishing of work on tap outlets.

Photo: A completed SIJ WASH block in Rebuk Satu village

Training Programmes

In September 2019, two training programmes commenced in the Rebuk Satu village:

Basic Financial Literacy:

An Auditor from PriceWaterhouse Coopers Indonesia, also a member of SI Jakarta, recently conducted a two-day introduction to basic financial literacy training for the women in Rebuk Satu village. SIJ agreed that before other training programs could be introduced, it was important to teach the women the basics of financial management. The majority have no idea how to plan their finances, how to save, or how to spend wisely.

In fact, one major problem with starting to conduct any form of vocational training in the village, requiring printed materials and exercises, is the high percentage of illiteracy. This is especially true amongst the women. Therefore, trainers must be able to explain concepts simply, and provide examples that the villagers can easily relate to.

As part of the Basic Financial Literacy Training, the main areas covered were:

  1. The importance of saving for the future;
  2. Adhering to a weekly budget for basic commodities;
  3. Keeping track of expenses;
  4. Planning to pay off any debts before using money for other matters;
  5. Understanding the importance of producing quality cloths, in order to earn a reasonable net profit from sales.


Weaving training (through Training of Trainers):

Over the last month, seven of the most experienced women weavers from Rebuk Satu have been busy learning new weaving designs through a local Lombok weaving organisation (Stagen Arts), engaged by SIJ. Focus has been on using yarn, coloured with natural dyes, and learning how to weave on finer cloth, using more complex designs and weaving equipment.

The three-month course (two lessons per week), is followed by a three-month monitoring programme, which will ensure that the women gain confidence in learning new skills, and are still able to seek assistance, as required. This training of trainers means that seven of the village’s most experienced weavers will be able to transfer their knowledge onto less experienced women weavers.

Prior to the commencement of the weaving training, SIJ entered into an Agreement with each Rebuk Satu weaver. Under this Agreement, each of the women committed in writing to complete the training programmes, and produce cloths which could then be sold. From the profit of the cloth sale(s), the weavers would reimburse SIJ for the yarn provided. These funds would then be rotated by SIJ to other Rebuk Satu women weavers to buy yarn so they could then, in turn, produce woven cloths, under the same conditions. In this way, SIJ hopes to encourage commitment to the training, attention on the production of good quality, professionally made woven cloths to attract top prices, and a willingness to learn effective marketing strategies (not to sell below market prices, just for the sake of making a sale). The end goal, thus, would be to raise the status of these women by upgrading their skills and their income earning capacity.

Literacy programme:

In August, 2019, the local government, as part of its village educational programme, conducted a one-month, basic literacy programme for the villagers in the Rembitan area. Realising the urgent need for such a programme, SIJ decided to find a local teacher to continue teaching the villagers the basics of reading and writing, as the one-month government programme was far too short for results to be shown. The women in particular have been very excited at the prospect of being able to become literate, as it will greatly enhance their lives in many ways, and also make it possible for them to derive greater benefits from future training programmes.

Appointment of SIJ Project Field Officer

As of 1 September, 2019, SIJ has appointed a Field Officer, Mr Timotius Aditya Lodo Ratu (Timo), to work closely on its project in Rembitan. Timo’s main tasks will be to act as liaison between SIJ and the villagers; to convey suggestions/ideas/issues to SIJ; and to help change the mindset of the villagers in regards to  a range of matters including: developing a good understanding of climate change and its effect on water and temperatures; good health and hygiene practices; the importance of education for girls and boys; and, the negative impacts of child marriage and child exploitation.

Timo will also be required to oversee and evaluate training programmes being conducted for the villagers; to monitor the on-going water issues in the village and to work with the villagers to recommend possible solutions; and, to provide regular reports to both the Project Director and Project Manager. This appointment is for a trial period initially until 31 December, 2019, after which the role will be reviewed.

Report Date: 24 September, 2019

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