Earthquake relocation community hopes for clean water access arrival
Just a few hundred meters from the white sand beaches and deep blue Indian Ocean that attracts tourists to Lombok, Indonesia lies the small fishing village of Teluk Kombal and their SDN 3 Pemenang Barat primary school. Life here was calm and the people were happy with a daily haul of tuna, a bone fish or two and a safe return to shore. For those who served the visitors who traveled to enjoy the surrounding ocean and beach resorts, a steady income and pace of tourists ensured a livelihood that managed to keep a family together. The earthquakes that replaced the steady flow of tourists this last year has changed all of this for the people of Teluk Kombal.
Families are in a constant state of pursuit –for work, water and assistance to change their conditions.Work that was once nearby has been replaced with makeshift jobs in distant locations for adults, and the children are becoming ill from waterborne diseases that are invading well water they drink without boiling in school. Their outlook is surprisingly positive given the radical changes produced by unforgiving shaking ground and rubble that lines the streets as far as the eye can see. “Our biggest challenge is still not having access to clean drinking water at the schools. The hope in the future is that all schools will have access to clean, safe water so that students and the community can together feel the comfort and joy of drinking clean, safe water,” said Arfin Spd, the school headmaster.
Azikia Azipatul Husna, a fifth grade 10-year-old who attends the SND 3 school in Teluk Kombal faces long days and distant travel to attend a school without clean water to drink, “My house is a little far from school, so my father drops me off and picks me up at school. Every day I bring water from home because in my class I don't have access to drinking water. Many of my friends also bring drinking water from home because the wells in the school are dirty. Hopefully in the future the school will have access to clean water so that when the parents pick up their kids at school, they can all take clean water home.”
Herman, a 30-year-old resident of Teluk Kombal summed up the hardship and hope this way, “In my house I have no well or clean water that can be consumed. To fulfill my daily water needs, my wife and I use the neighbor's well to help with washing, bathing and cooking. My hope for the future is for it to be easier to get clean and healthy water -hopefully with access to clean water in our schools. As citizens and community members, we can participate both in the daily use and to help maintain a clean water system.”