The Village of Rancabungur
The village of Rancabungur is located near the city of Bogor. Though close to the city known for rain, "Water always runs away in the rivers" says Yakolina, a teacher and resident in Rancabungur. The village is home to around 100 families. Families whose members either work as a construction worker or a farmer. Only if they get to harvest their crops, or get construction projects, will they be able to earn an average of Rp. 30,000 per day. That's less than $3 US Dollars each day.
In Indonesia, every village is able to receive a village fund (dana desa). However, they use their village funds for other things, such as infrastructure. "We focus more on the infrastructure and homes of the people. If someone is in need of a home, we will use the village fund to help them" said Mrs. Yakolina.
Rancabungur village has three sources of water:
1. Open wells
2. A river
3. Rain catchment
Their main source of water is an open well. However, nearly all of their wells have dried up and all are contaminated. Therefore, they are resorting to their next water supply, a river. A river polluted with trash and with a depth of only approximately ten centimetres. Finally they have, an open and unfiltered rain catchment which is located next to the river.
Resorting to a shallow and contaminated river, the people of Rancabungur have to hike and walk a one kilometre journey. The path there is narrow, slippery, and hazardous.
Like all of Indonesia, Rancabungur experiences two seasons, the dry and rainy seasons. When rainy season hits, the village rejoices because the rain fills up their contaminated, open wells. Though contaminated, they believe that they are a better option than having to walk for a kilometre just for more contaminated water. During the dry season, however, disaster strikes. When the dry season comes, the people of Rancabungur are unable to take water from their wells and rain catchments. Therefore, they have to take water from the river. Each day, 100 families would line up to receive water from the shallow river. “They would line up here from 6 am to 1 am in the morning” said the village leader. That is 19 hours of waiting for water. During this time, when families have the chance to gather water, they would try to get as much as possible so that they could potentially stock for the next day. This causes members of each family, typically girls, to go and fetch water in order to aid their mother (during weekdays) or their father (during days without work). The people waste their time to collect water, wasted time that could be spent for women to work and girls to go to school.
The Future is Bright for Rancabungur
The Spring already have plans to create an enclosed well in the middle of the village. The enclosed well will be next to the Hosana School, where it will be easily monitored by the village leaders and also Mrs. Yakolina.
Writer: Christopher Pramana
Editor: Joshua Thabo (Principal in AusAID)
Photographer: Christopher Pramana, Grace Chandra