Early in 2013 we completed a clean water project in this village on the northwest part of Bali. The family to the right, who live in Tinga-Tinga, now have water piped right to their home, thanks to the efforts of our Access Life Bali team.
Tinga-Tinga village is far away from any tourist attractions or population centers. It is right along the sea and the land rises quickly into hills and mountains, split by valleys. Most of the valleys only have a dry riverbed at the bottom, but in one of these valleys, there is a small river that flows. It is protected by a Balinese water conservation group and provides a lot of water for the rice fields closer to the ocean. Locals are not allowed to take any water from the river except for what they can carry in a bucket.
A small community of about 60 families within Tinga-Tinga, is located right along one of these dry riverbeds. They have been struggling to obtain a reliable water source for as long as most of the people can remember. It is incredibly dry and hot. Poverty is widespread.
Access Life Bali's plan was simple: dig a well and allow gravity to pipe the water 1.5 kilometers to a small network of pipes and tanks for the community. An agreement to buy land for the well was signed, the village leaders gave their approval, and all was going very smoothly. Then the problems started…The local water conservation group came in and opposed the community’s plan to dig a well. They made a “new” rule, which made the planned well unfeasible. This group has been solely in charge of the water in Bali for over 900 years, so most people, government leaders, and communities are unwilling to confront them.
Fortunately, Access Life was able to convince the community to look for another solution. One day a man from the community wanted to show us a small spring that his family no longer used. He emphasized how small it was, so we weren’t too hopeful that it would be adequate for over 300 people. It was a long, hot walk along a dry riverbed and then into a narrow gully. The Access Life team found the water, and also found that the water supply was sufficient to provide enough water for this community.