Residents in Pondok Kelapa, Langsa, Direly Need Clean Water

Rain is blessing for residents in Pondok Kelapa, Langso Baro, Langsa. They face clean water crises throughout the year.

Pondok Kelapa Village
Residents of Pondok Kelapa Village, Langsa, use water in a rain-fed pond. They have a water crisis. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, LANGSA – In August, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) had the opportunity to visit residents in Pondok Kelapa Village, Langsa Baro, Langsa. The rain poured when ACT team arrived at the destination. Unlike other people who take shelter when the rain pours, residents in Pondok Kelapa came out of their house because rain is an extraordinary blessing for them. Residents prepare various sizes of jerrycan to collect water. They were happy. Mothers were ready to wash clothes. Children played in the rain.

The residents of Gampong Pondok Kelapa are so happy whenever rain pours because the water crisis hits their area. Residents have been collecting rainwater in artificial rainfed ponds measuring about 70 square meters with a depth of only 10-70 centimeters.

“Here, rain is like gold to us. No rain means half of life has been lost,” said one of the mothers whom the ACT team met while carrying a jerry can that can be filled with rainwater.

In Alue Rimau Hamlet, Pondok Kelapa, residents need to buy water at a minimum cost of IDR 300,000 per month in the rainy season. In the dry season, they pay water up to IDR 500,000 per month. It costs a lot for residents who earn IDR 800 thousand to 1 million per month. Most of them work as rubber farm laborers. They need to fulfill food, water, education, and medical needs.

“We are just rubber farm laborers. We are in a dilemma. When the rainy season arrives, it is difficult to collect rubber sap. However, I am grateful that I do not have to buy too much water. During the dry season, a lot of sap can be taken, but I also need to pay much for water needs,” said Jamil, a resident of Pondok Kelapa.

Not far from the house of residents, there is a prayer room that is only used by residents during Ramadan. There is no call to prayer except in Ramadan. The absence of a water source for worship made worship activity rarely carried out, and the prayer room ended up abandoned.

"The water consumed by residents from rain-fed is not perfectly clean. This condition is worrying that it can cause long-term disease,” said Branch Manager of ACT Langsa, Riyanto Saputra.[]