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A Techno-socio-economic Study on Fog-to-Water (FtW) Solution for Extreme Climate Stricken Community - Sumba Island, Indonesia


Researcher :
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Sources of Funding :
    Heriot-Watt Global Challenges Research Funds (GCRF)
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Abstract

Water scarcity issues and water related extreme climate events (coastal inundation, spread of disease, decrease in crop production, change of soil quality and forest fire) had detrimentally impacted Indonesia’s National Development Goals from various perspectives including economic, gross domestic product, ecosystems and community welfare. According to UNDP, more than 27 million Indonesians are lacking safe water. In fact, Java Islands with more than 60% of country population has access to less than 10% of country' water resources; leaving a big deficit gap of 134.103 million cubic meters per year. Water scarcity is expected to be a constraint to Indonesia's economic growth potential. Thus, affordable water supply is a growing and urgent need for millions of low- income Indonesian families.

The Eastern Islands of Indonesia have been identified as one of the most vulnerable area to extreme climate change impacts compared to other part of the nation with a vulnerability index of 0.68 - 1.00. The greatest threat of climate change in these areas is the changes in the intensity and patterns of rainfalls that caused prolong drought season. Sumba island is one of the regions within the area that is negatively impacted by the growing risk of water scarcity due to extreme weather and climate change. The province of Sumba Island has remained largely in the same Human Development Index (HDI) rank for the past 10 years: 32nd place out of 34 provinces in Indonesia mainly due to water scarcity issue.

The severity and frequency of droughts that lead to water scarcity pose a significant risk to the population of Sumba island. Women and children are forced to become ‘water fetcher’ who routinely walk more than ten kilometers only to collect water. Apart from the long walk, the water quality is found to be unsafe for drinking due to the contamination of upstream sediment. In an acute stress situation, the locals have no choices but to consume the poor-quality water due to little to none viable alternative of getting a clean water. Additionally, the locals rely strongly on freshwater to maintain their livelihoods as farmers or livestock raising. This situation becomes more complex during the drought season affecting not only the livelihood but the agriculture, crop harvesting, animals feeding, washing, bathing and sanitation etc.

Extreme climate conditions require a specific solution, Fog-to-Water (FtW) solution is one the feasible options for area that suffers from extreme weathers. Traditional solar powered/ conventional water pump and water filtration might not the most meaningful solution to these low-income neighborhoods especially when there is no rain for prolonged duration, or the freshwater sources are not close at hand. Thus, we perceive that it is crucial to conduct an elaborate research on the feasibility of Fog-to-Water (FtW) solution in an extreme climate-stricken community of the Eastern Island of Indonesia with a case study at Mandahu Village, East Sumba Island.