Friday, May 11, 2007

Sasur Site Visit Report

By Dan Holmgren,

May 4, 2007

Lifewater team: Robin Rader and Dan Holmgren

In-Country team:

Epen Akay, Translator

Teddy Lappy, In-Country project coordinator:

Cell phone: +6285657085690

Address: Hohidiai Clinic, Kusuri, North Halmahera

Summary of previous findings for Sasur: In October 2005, Jim Aldrich (and team) surveyed four water sites that the village uses for its water needs. All sites are some distance from the village making them awkward for frequent use. The report suggested using rooftop runoff to supply more water for people. It was assumed that the water depth would probably be too deep for the Clinic’s drill equipment. The people are neglecting hygiene and healthy washing habits and, as a result, the village, reportedly, has a high rate of health problems.

Purpose of Current Project:

Hohidiai Clinic was invited by the Pastor of the church in Sasur to teach basic hygiene and water purification to the villagers. The team consisted of 20 Indonesian health workers from the clinic with direction from Lifewater team members Dan Holmgren and Robin Rader from Alaska. Half of the team went to nearby Popon to teach.

  • To follow up on status after the visit of Jim Aldrich and team in October 2005 (Report dated Feb 27, 2006)

  • Teach basic Hygiene to interested villagers. The health workers taught two sessions of basic hygiene training for the villagers of all ages. (Estimated 60 children and 20 adults)

  • Discuss with the Village adults how to improve their living conditions and provide direction in deciding what issues to work on first. After the hygiene training, a community meeting was held in the church for the purpose of discussing the basic health and hygiene needs of the community. The Pastor and the Village Leader were present . A Lifewater type mapping exercise was employed to stimulate discussion. The number one overwhelming need of the community was the lack of a consistent water supply. From the meeting and in interviews with various people the following information was determined:

General information and findings:

Population: 361, Families: 72

Water bore at village center: Several months after Jim Aldrich’s survey, a local Gold Mine contracted with a drilling company to construct a bore on property donated by the village leader, four lots away from the church. The project remains incomplete.


  • GPS Loc N1° 14.234’, E127° 51.525’
  • 4” diameter bore casing (the pvc cap had been pried open) protected by up-turned drum
  • The concrete structure for a water tower was complete but had no tank on top.

According to the Pastor there had been an attempt by the village to measure the water in the bore in the dry season. The water at that time was 40 meters below the surface and the bottom of the bore was 62 meters. These figures are unconfirmed. Funds for this bore were supplied entirely by the Gold Mine as a part of their community development program. The village also receives Rp 50,000,000 per year from Gold Mine funds which are distributed by the government. The next installment of funds are expected in August or September 2007. The village may use these funds to improve their water situation.

Many homes were using crude rainwater catchments systems to make use of the rains which at this time of year occur every afternoon. Larger tanks may help to provide a more consistent supply of water.

The Pastor says the people spend the nights in the fields to keep the wild pigs from destroying the crop. The fields are mostly within ½ hour travel from Sasur. Water is often more plentiful in the fields and so the workers find it more convenient to stay out.

The village is closely linked with the neighbor village of Popon which is approximately 3 km to the northwest. In 1982 both villages lived together in a location that was flooded out. Both villages moved at which time the Popon village leader gave the people of Sasur the land in the current location to help them get re-established. In 1984 a World Bank program funded the construction of two wells near Popon that were to serve both communities with water. The project was abandoned for un-known reasons. A concrete tank is visible at the location.

In the dry season water is hauled by truck to Sasur and sold for Rp5000 / 20 liters.


Powerlines are visible in both Popon and Sasur but there is no power. Recently, in Popon, (14) houses were installed with electrical distribution and are waiting for the system to be activated. As a result Sasur villagers assume that power may be coming their way soon. Two years ago the power was functional but was turned off for unknown reasons.

Summary: Residents of Sasur have been waiting for their water bore project to be completed for approximately 1 ½ years. They had assumed the Gold Mine would complete the project but are beginning to think it is abandoned. More information from the Gold Mine is required to determine the status of the project.


May 3, 2007 A second community meeting was held to inform the people of the status. The Gold Mine agreed to have a meeting at Hohidiai Clinic on May 4 and further information would be available at that time. The Pastor and the Head of the Village were elected to attend the meeting.

Further community related issues were discussed.

Garbage: It was agreed that the people would dig pits behind their house and dispose of their refuse -- One pit for two houses.

Fire in the Fields: Seasonal wild fires occasionally threaten the crops. The question of how to control the fires was raised. Several ideas were discussed but no resolution was reached.

Pigs in the Fields: Wild pigs frequently destroy quantities of the crops. The people often stay out over night in the fields to control the damage and the effort consumes much of the communities’ energies. Trapping is usually used to control them. The question about how to better control the pigs was raised with no resolution.

May 4, 2007 A meeting was arranged at the Hohidiai Clinic.

Present were:

Gold Mine employees, Swingli and Harris

Sasur representatives, Pastor (Rajan?) and the Head of the Village

Lifewater Volunteers, Dan Holmgren, Robin Rader

Hohidiai Clinic Director, Peter Scarborough.

Hohidiai Workers, Epen Akay, Teddy Lappy

Swingli, community development coordinator for the mine, informed everyone that the project was still very active and was eager to state that construction on the water tank would begin immediately and the entire project with installation of an electric submersible pump would be complete within two weeks. The Gold Mine would provide the construction manpower to do the work. Materials to construct the concrete tank on the water tower had been delivered to the site on May 3.

It was decided that the 3 kw generator owned by the church would have enough power to run the well pump, and the Gold Mine would provide an electric cable, sized to cover the 200 meters between the generator and the pump without a large voltage drop.

Conclusion: A significant advancement has been made with these proceedings. The water well project appears to have been given an infusion of energy and if all goes as planned the people will have drinking water within two weeks.

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