Maringkik Water Project
Many years ago, fishermen from the Indonesian island of Flores created a camp near a flourishing fishing ground they regularly frequented. Fast forward generations, this camp is now the established island of Maringkik — an extension of Lombok Island in the province of West Nusa Tenggara Indonesia. Maringkik (pronounced maring-key) has a population of nearly 3000 people, its own language and culture. The main occupation of this community is fishing and due to this, their reputation in the marine conservation world has always been a negative one, until Project Hiu began to change this narrative. Since introducing an alternative income system through local eco-tourism, the fishermen have proved themselves to be the foundation of a conservation revolution.
The population on the Island of Maringkik, a 20-minute boat journey from Lombok Island, are currently living without access to a clean water source. The Reece Foundation and Project Hiu jointly assessed water availability on the Island during a scoping mission in June 2023 and discovered that the water available in the existing borewells had such high salinity levels that it is unsafe for even livestock to drink, and that the community are currently purchasing bottled water which is shipped in from the mainland. This causes economic pressure and financial hardship for local families, as well as leads to other issues such as waste management of plastic containers and rubbish inevitably finding its way into the ocean.
The issue of lack of access to clean water is the most noticeable to a particularly vulnerable part of the community, the school children. While children are able to attend school for free, attendance rates are low for students that cannot afford to eat or drink throughout the day. With temperatures reaching up to 31 degrees Celsius and high humidity, the key to a successful education is hydration. Based on recommended daily hydration intake, a child should ideally consume 1.5L of water per day and the inability to do so has negative impacts on long-term education outcomes for a child.
In response to the issue of clean water scarcity on Maringkik, the Reece Foundation and Project Hiu are working together to provide clean drinking water to students and teachers at the local school. We'll also construct an additional toilet block, allowing boys and girls to use separate toilets with the aim of keeping girls in school longer.
From the 1st to the 23rd of September we'll be taking a team of 7 volunteers to Lombok to use their skills to make a difference!
Applications for the volunteer assignments are now closed. Keep an eye out for updates on the project over the coming months.
"I originally travelled to this market to expose the shark trade and the men at it’s heart…I went back, to offer those men an alternative"
Madison Stewart - Project Hiu Founder