Fresh water and new life

The past year has been a huge endeavour for our management and field teams as we rolled out our recovery program after the 2010 tsunami devastated many of the Mentawai villages.

We have now moved into long-term recovery for affected communities and we have a new program called SeSe, which means ‘appropriate’ in Mentawai language.

SeSe stands for Sejahtera Masyarakat, Sehat Ibu Anak (Prosperous Communities, Healthy Mothers and Children) and it will be implemented in the former internally displaced person (IDP) camps in South Pagai and one village in South Sipora. These areas suffered the full force of the 3-4 metre tsunami in October 2010.

Ten community members lost their lives in Gobik, including seven children and infants. Only three months before the tsunami struck, we had completed a gravity-fed water system in the village. Somehow it managed to survive the onslaught of the ocean.


The community has since rebuilt a new Gobik village which is safer from a tsunami as it is close to the foot of the mountain 700 metres from the old village. But they had to leave their clean water supply behind so village leader Mr Sandar Samangilalai asked for SurfAid’s assistance.

The local people agreed to work together with us. We supplied new galvanized pipes, tap stands and water kiosks, and the community retrieved the pipes from their old village. The new facilities are now providing fresh water for 20 families.

As part of delivering our SeSe program, SurfAid needs to improve the water supply and sanitation practices in other Mentawai villages. We will provide water facilities and foster community construction of latrines, together with locally tailored hygiene promotion.


Funding is needed for water facilities appropriate to community circumstances including gravity-fed tanks, wells, filtered spring water collection and rainwater harvesting systems.

It costs on average $100 to provide a sustainable fresh water supply to one family.

We hope that you will join with us in helping to improve the health and living conditions of our communities in the Mentawai.

Our programs rely on private donations and your support will go a long way. All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you very much for your support of the Mentawai people.

Together we are making a real difference to their lives and giving them hope for the future.