Stories of Change

Diana fills a bucket from the CWS-constructed borehole.

Lesson learned: don’t take water for granted!

Like many people in the world, Diana used to take water for granted. Then disaster struck.

Diana lived in a coastal village near Palu in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. But when an earthquake and resulting tsunami washed her home away on September 30th, 2018, she had to move to a temporary camp. Thousands of her neighbors faced the same harsh new reality. In Diana’s camp, called Lumbuna, there was no central water system. This made safe drinking water a rarity, and it made cooking, bathing and washing clothes difficult. And, for the first time in her life, Diana realized the privilege she had in having had ample water just days before.

Thankfully, Diana now recalls, CWS began trucking safe water to Lumbuna within days of the mass movements. Soon, soon, each person was receiving at least four gallons of water every day. In time, the ration approached eight gallons per person each day. Still, Diana had to stretch this water to cover drinking (after boiling) as well as cooking, bathing and doing laundry.

In July 2019, 10 months after the disaster, CWS remained committed to providing clean water for Diana and thousands of other people still displaced from their homes. However, our response was shifting into longer-term recovery efforts. CWS teams drilled boreholes to find more water, which gave Diana and others more immediate and sustainable access to water. Now she can spend less time worrying, and start moving forward with her life. “I am really stressed about starting my life over after the earthquake. But with CWS’s help in sharing clean water, I have one less obstacle and I can start focusing on getting my life back on track,” Diana says.

CWS, along with community members, is now drilling multiple borehole to increase water access for about 1,000 families still coping with the earthquake and tsunami’s impact. Much remains to be done. But, as Diana said, there’s one less thing families need to worry about for now.