The sounds of ancient music from the island of Java resounded among the high mountains above Solo, Indonesia, on a very special day. That day celebrated the completion of the pipeline that brought clean, fresh water flowing to four villages for the first time.
More than 21 miles (35 kilometers) of pipe brought clean water from mountain springs into the villages and homes for children and their parents and grandparents. The fresh water will enable the villages to have sanitary conditions for bathing, washing clothes and dishes, showering, and using toilet facilities. The water project will help villagers live a much healthier lifestyle. Villagers provided the labor for the nine-month water project.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided funding, engineering, technical advice, and supervision for the project, as well as a hygiene seminar for the villagers.
Church leaders and government officials were greeted by smiling schoolchildren in the village of Desa Anggramanis as they arrived for the clean water project ceremony on October 27, 2011.
City, district, and regional governmental officials praised the project for providing clean and safe water for the villages, especially the children. Now they can grow up healthier, said the district chief, Mugiman. “I know the problems that come from not having clean water. I was born here. Now you must take care of the water system and the environment, especially the trees of our mountains.”
Villagers will pay a small water use fee to their local government that will go toward keeping the system functioning and in good repair.
Wagimin, the host village chief, thanked the Church for providing the materials and engineering to build the system. “We will record in our history the help the Church has given us.” The other three villages benefiting from the project are Desa Gumeng, Desa Trengguli, and Desa Sidomikiti.
Elder Joshua Subandriyo, a member of the Church’s Quorums of the Seventy, grew up in a village in the Solo area. He said the project was a gift from the Church to the villagers. “The money invested in the project came from Church members from all over the world. We are not finished yet,” he said. “We will complete many other humanitarian projects in the future to make the lives of the Indonesian people better.”
The Church has completed several humanitarian projects in Indonesia and has responded with aid during times of natural disaster. Latter-day Saints donated more than 20,000 hours of service after the October 2010 Merapi volcano eruptions. Following the 2004 tsunami, Church members from around the world donated money to aid Indonesians, and schools have been built in cooperation with gracious Muslim partners.