Carving Away on the Dark Ages
Desperate to leave their gloomy past, the people of Kamanggih village banded together to carve a hill. Men, women, noblemen and commoners alike used ordinary crowbars, shovels, and hoes to create a waterfall head that now drives their micro-hydro plant, generating 250 kWh of electricity 24-7 –enough power to run 350 households, a community health centre, and a police station. They even managed to sell unused wattages to the state electrical company.
Changemakers & Social Transformers
Social and geological conditions are just some of the challenges faced by Sumba’s alternative renewable energy program. The SII initiatives, however, demonstrate that even in the most remote hamlets or poorest villages, successes are driven by noblemen, priests, entrepreneurs, as well as ordinary folks who engender a culture of sharing and collaboration. They are the changemakers.
The Enthusiastic Paksoy Farmers
The once-dusty Waingapu meadowland is now flowering with onions, paksoy, cabbage, caisim, pitsai, tomatoes, water spinach, and mustard leaves. Some enterprising city dwellers are even trying to cultivate rice there –a movement that started with the Sumba Iconic Island training to convert pigs’ dungs into biogas, back in 2011. A mixture of a collaborative spirit, entrepreneurship, and active communication network has been key in the emergence of women farmers.