In the village of Pedawa, The Waterjars work with Access Life Bali through Entrust to help give clean water to those who have trouble accessing it otherwise. In the past majority of the community had to travel two hours by foot to get clean water and could only get little at a time. Nyoman, a local water engineer, worked closely with John Truhe from Access Life and came up with an effective water system.
Nyoman used to be Hindu and was working towards being ordained as a Hindu priest however the night before his ordination he ran away and decided to become a Christian. This caused a rift in the community for a while however he is now still very well respected in his community. He bought some land and now plants cloves, cocoa and banana and encourages women and children to harvest them for free and sell for themselves.
At the time of becoming a Christian Nyoman had two wives and as he felt it did not fit right with Christian faith he asked a Pastor what he should do and it was suggested that he stay with his first wife and leave his second wife. He did just that however after a lot of fighting she left him. After his first wife left him he was at a loss and he again asked the Pastor what he should do as he missed his second wife whom he was still in love with. He was encouraged to go and get her back. Meanwhile his second wife remained faithful to him even after he choose to stay with his first wife. She was encouraged to marry someone else but she chose to go back to Nyoman because she truly loves him.
Nyoman's system involves a main water tank that will then feed water to 8 smaller tanks that are spread throughout the village resulting in 70 homes getting the clean water. The system doesn't rely on electricity but on water pressure which makes it much more reliable in a place where electricity is scarce.
A project like this doesn't come without conflicts however. Majority of the community is Hindu and as the water project is funded by Christians therefore it created issues around who was involved and many whispers went about claiming that if you were to drink this water you would then become Christian. Jealousy was another issue that surrounded the project as other towns/communities close by were not getting this water access and this resulted in one of the smaller tanks being trashed. However, while not everyone in the community has wanted to be involved I learnt that generosity can be contagious and if you are kind to someone instead of shutting them out they are more likely to pass it on and this is true for Saras. Saras, a local shop owner, already had an electrical pump on his land, decided he did not want to be involved in the project however in the end the water did extend to his property anyway. He started using the water from the project instead of using his own pump as the water was cleaner and it was a more efficient and convenient system. After a while of using this water Saras saw the good this project could actually do and decided that he would in fact like to be involved in future water projects, telling the community project leader Mirsyu he wanted to help by letting the future projects access the water spring on his land.
While there have been some issues the project has helped a significant amount of people in making it a little easier therefore more productive as well. One of the recipients of the water is Narke who when asked how having this water system has positively affected him, instead of saying his work is more productive, he said it made his family smell a lot better. It goes to show how we can take the little things like showering for granted. When doing a project like this people tend to look for the big changes however basic things like being clean bring great impact as they improve the quality of life.
This project is based on community building meaning it allows the villagers to have influence over the work. The donors provide the raw materials however the community are the laborer behind the project. Some are responsible for digging the trenches and connecting pipes while others are responsible for preparing refreshments. As a result, the villagers feel empowered to bring positive changes to their lives. They also establish a sense of ownership over the project which encourages them to be in charge of the water system's maintenance in the future.