Rendra, a 14-year-old boy wearing yellow flip-flops, brought two empty jerry cans from his house in Jorong Lurah Ingu, Nagari Simpang Tanjuang Nan IV, Danau Kembar Solok District, West Sumatra. From the village in the hills he walked about 500 meters to fetch water for bathing and washing.
About 250 meters of the road is already concrete, another 200 meters is a dirt road. Before the incline, he descends through irregular levels of land. Grass filled the sides of the path.
The water sources are getting closer and the slopes are getting steeper. Rendra then opened the lid of the jerry can and stuck the neck of the jerry can into the small pipe at the water source. The water comes from the roots of plants on higher ground.
During school holidays and dry season, he fetches water two to five times a day.
It’s in the corner of the onion field. A mother takes the water to wash everything besides clothes at home. He then came home carrying a bucket of murky water.
“No one uses the water for drinking. People are afraid that the water will be poisoned,” said Erizal.
The poison in question is a pesticide. Erizal sometimes buys gallons, sometimes takes them to the family’s house. “Sometimes take it under (springs) too,” he said.
Drink buy water gallon
Because these conditions cause them water shortages. Unlike when it rains, they can hold water.
“For water specifically for drinking from a gallon. Buy outside to the highway. For one week two gallons. When it’s cooked, we take it from the spring below,” said Rozi Zahra, Rendra’s mother.
While peeling onions, Rozi told how his family spends Rp. 12,000 to fill two gallons of water every one week. Previously, since childhood he and his family fetched water from several springs which could be located 200-500 meters from the residence.
Rozi’s household needs water to wash dishes up to two times a day. Needs can be up to four jerry cans or 10 liters and one transport. “If it’s very hot or very dry in the summer, Rendra can go back and forth to fetch water four to five times,” he said.
If it reaches five times, it means that there are 10 jerry cans that are carried by the children who are in this junior high school. There has been a water supply pipe in the nigari since 2013, but it doesn’t reach where he lives.
Rozi was born in Jorong Lurah Ingu. Since birth the water conditions are not much different.
Similar to what other residents said, Joni. He said that since he was a child, the water conditions in his village were difficult. “Sometimes because the water was difficult before, ablutions were often missed,” he said.
For his place of residence only one spring is taken. There is also a location where the puddles of water in front of Erizal’s house are often mixed with pesticide poison.
The jorong or kampung connects pipes from the new mosque to several residents’ houses. Not all are streamed.
The self-help community drains water from the new mosque they built not far from the village.
Supratman got that flow. Rozi’s house cannot be reached by this sect because of its higher position.
He hoped that their village would be included in the regional drinking water installation (PAM) and that there would be other donors who could help with the installation. “Now our channel is only self-supporting.”
Water pipes, he said, had existed since 2013. Before that, if you wanted water, you would haul it in buckets or jerry cans.
Adil Ahmad Fauzi, Wali Jorong Lurah Ingu said, during the dry season almost all residents experience water shortages because the average resident lives on a hill. There are about 280 families in his jorong.
Jorong, he said, is in charge of the Rimbo Situmpak, Beringin, Pakan Tuesday, Sibasah, Puncak Tambuak, Kampung Baru and Palo housing areas. The last village is below and has a water distribution installation.
He said, there are about seven houses at the top of Tambuak that take water to the foot of the hill, the others get a flow from the mosque but a small flow.
Diki Rafiqi, from LBH Padang said, this condition is a reflection of the absence of the state.
Technically, Diki said that the state has tools from the district government to the village level so that they can make programs.
Walhi W Sumatra encourages the government to handle it as soon as possible, such as, first , identifying obstacles and potential for clean water. Second , collecting data on the need for clean water, third , supplying emergency clean water according to the needs of residents.
Tommy Adam, Head of the Advocacy and Campaign Department of Walhi W Sumatra, added that topographically Nagari Tanjung Nan Ampek is a catchment area .
Because this area supplies water from springs. If this is damaged, of course it will be more difficult for residents to access and fulfill their need for water.”
On the other hand, it is difficult for the water catchment area to get clean water. In Tommy’s opinion, the government down to the village level has not paid close attention to strategic issues in its area.
Azwar Rasyidin, a hydrological expert at Andalas University, said that the trees must be maintained so that they can guarantee the availability of water in the area. Trees or vegetation at the top of the hill is very important.
Azwar said that those who say that residents on the hills have difficulty getting water because they are on top is wrong. Communities may own one hectare of high land with a certain area and springs spring from there.
Actually the peaks cannot be opened.
Through maps in the 1800s, Azwar saw many water sources in the landscape close to Lake Atas and Danau Bawah Solok. If the location has vegetation or is made green again, water in Jorong Lurah Ingu will be available even though it is in the highlands.