To keep water flowing in Sumba !

I have been living and doing charity work focused on water in arid Sumba (Lesser Sunda Islands) since 2005. Thanks to the use of an innovative, simple and sustainable technology (using concrete interiorly connecting conic sections) I have built 42 water wells, 8 water distribution systems and a waste water phyto-purification system in those 17 years.

Under the aegis of a local foundation (LKKS Lembaga Kemanusiaan Kepulauan Sunda or in English SIHF Sunda Islands Humankind Foundation) and many friends and supporters (Wells of Hope and then Water For Sumba since 2021) these labors have made it possible for tens of thousands of people to stay on their native lands without a daily struggle for water. The results of these efforts have been the generation of important skills, mostly technical but also in terms of politics, communication and management.

We have accumulated an enormous body of knowledge and practices that need to be passed on to ensure the sustainability of the installations and the dynamics we created. Beyond myself, it is obviously a crucial step for the continuity and development of these water distribution projects; it is equally essential that we teach local populations how to independently manage the financial requirements and physical maintenance of the installations.

Because transmission of know-how is both theoretical and practical, I have recently coordinated feasibility studies with the International Foundation «Aquassitance» and local authorities, on two topics:

  • – A School for Water: project called Lokakarya (« workshop » in Indonesian)
  • – A hands-on learning project focused on creating a water distribution system from a phreatic lake at the bottom of a cave. This project will put into practice the know-how shared in the School for Water : project Kambala Malupu (Kodi district, North Sumba)

As soon as I am back in Sumba in Autumn 2022, my goal is to build upon the experiences and achievements over the last 17 years of activities in Sumba, bringing together around 15 people who worked on the different installations over this period of time. It will be up to each of these « Seniors » to find their «Junior» or «heir» to whom he commits to pass on the knowledge and experiences acquired throughout the existing construction projects. Delivered by specific instructors (technicians, various equipment suppliers and me) it will be a terrific intergenerational transmission of experiences that I hope will be perpetuated further.

Lokakarya (“Workshop” in Indonesian)

The concept is to bring together and discuss best practices and experiences collected from the constructions of wells and water distribution systems in a seminar framework ; these courses are meant to be very interactive and we will seek to impart learning from both successes and failures or mistakes. Technical aspects, equipment, geological, political, problems handling, maintenance… will all be reviewed and discussed. Representatives of locally elected officials and the PKK (a well-known and powerful women’s association) will be invited to take part in specific strategic discussions beyond the purely technical aspects of these projects. There will be two seminars combining the same 30 participants (15 Seniors and 15 Juniors).

Prep. Work for 2 people – 12 days1 760
Vehicles and local travel: (rentals, drivers and consumables)1 800
Food & Accommodation3 850
Training material including small tools1 100
Expenses of 30 people (Instructors & Participants)2 000
Final Documents & Tutorials (design & distribution of 200 ‘packs’)1 500
Logistical expenses of local foundations (SIHF and PKK)1 100
Communications, miscellaneous management cost600
TOTAL (Euros)13 710
Provisional budget in Euros (estimated in 2021, based on 30 participants, two seminars of one week each will be held in Tambolaka, North Sumba)

Kambala Malupu

Along with these training workshops, the same senior and junior participants will take part to a real teaching construction project to enable them to apply the technical and organisational skills shared during the seminars. Kambala Malupu project consists in bringing drinking water to a population of about 600 people from a natural cave located 500 meters from the main village. The water will be pumped thanks to a solar energy system to make up for the lack of public power grid.

This site will be a pilot project in terms of its organisation: users’ financial contributions will provide for all necessary maintenance of the installation and its proper operation will be guaranteed by a collaboration between the inhabitants, LKKS foundation, Public Works department and the PKK.

Lorenz solar pump 2 750
50 mm diameter pipe900
Solar panels4 000
Installation of panels & pump460
Fuse box, fuses, grounding, lightning rod320
Tanks 1 800
Labor & team management750
Operational expenses450
Total (Euros)11 780
Provisional budget in Euros (estimated early 2022)

This major transmission project is very close to my heart and I am currently working with my Indonesian and French friends on the development plans of these two stages with full enthusiasm and energy. The wells and water distribution systems installed certainly helped facilitate the lives of a large number of Sumba residents, but they will only be a real and durable resource when the Sumbanese people integrate them in their know-how and traditions, and operate and handle them by themselves. The completion of this transmission project will therefore be a fundamental step in the path towards autonomy.

We have dug so many wells in Sumba and had the immense joy and happiness to see peoples’ lives change; we now must continue our efforts to pass on our skills so that access to water becomes a wealth shared among the greatest number of people.

TO KEEP WATER FLOWING IN SUMBA, I need, Sumba needs your help and I appeal to your usual generosity.

THANK YOU for Sumba !

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart


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