Facebook Instagram News | Blog
Ibu Luseria leads by example
November 11, 2014
Interivew by Horas, water and sanitation assistant Surfaid
The villagers of Eruparaboat have struggled to rebuild their community since they were displaced by a tsunami that occurred off the coast of West Sumatra in October 2010. Located in the remote Mentawai Island chain of northwestern Indonesia, the people have scarce access to resources, government support and health services. Vibrant Village’s partner, SurfAid, works closely with local village leadership to improve health and nutrition and has recently broken ground on a new drinking water system constructed by community labor.
Ibu Luseria Salelelu Baja is the 65-year-old head of the women's group in the small church in Eruparaboat. She gladly uses her influence and status in the community to mobilize all women in the community to join the hard manual labor of digging trenches. These trenches will be used for the water pipes that will bring water from the natural spring to tap stands in the community.
Ibu Luseria. Photograph by Nazaruddin, water and sanitation engineer SurfAid

Ibu Luseria leads by example. Despite her advanced years, she is out there and digging with all other community members. The 2010 tsunami took their houses and livelihoods, their children, family and friends. The survivors have moved to higher ground, into the forest. Slowly they are trying to rebuild their lives again. 

"Water is so important for our lives and health,” says Ibu Luseria. ”Since the tsunami we have been using rainwater for drinking and the runoff from the road for washing dishes and ourselves. Of course I want to contribute with the rest of the community to get clean water into Eruparaboat. Together with Surfaid, it is possible!"

The community of Eruparaboat hamlet (88 households and 287people) is among 13 communities that were relocated to a new area in the forest on a hill, in the aftermath of the 2010 tsunami. Since their relocation they have been eagerly waiting for the government to build new infrastructures, such as access roads and their permanent houses. This has only started in January 2014, much later than expected.

In addition to the new government homes, Vibrant Village Foundation has invested $31,345 to support the construction of a solar-powered clean-water distribution system for the village. A water committee, which was selected by the community, will play an important role to ensure the sustainability of the water system as its main function is to oversee day-to-day operations, initiate policies for all water users and manage the whole system. The committee will also keep promoting health and sanitation education for the community.

Photos by Nazaruddin, water and sanitation engineer SurfAid.

Mrs. Surtika, a 35 year-old community member from Eruparaboat explains, “Since we had to move from our village of origin, we have suffered from lack of food, no appropriate homes to live in and most the vital, we have lack of potable water. This lack of drinking water affects our children and us. That is why, we are pleased upon hearing the clean water project will be established in our hamlet. During the community meeting, we have discussed on contribution on labor and will work together to succeed the water project construction. My hope that the completion of this project will help a lot for community.”


Note: New comments will be approved before published.