In Indonesia, a large number of water supply and sanitation systems do not function properly. There are many reasons for this, such as poor construction quality, poor management, and a lack of community involvement during the planning and construction process. As a result, many communities have insufficient access to clean water. Being occupied fetching water, children have less time for school, and women are prevented from carrying out income generating and other activities. Poor hygiene and high risk of water born and communicable diseases.

Based on such experiences, the Indonesian Government changed its development paradigm for water supply and sanitation systems to a community based approach. Since 2003, community groups are recognised as the key actors of development. Indonesian and German governments agreed on a new water and sanitation project, called “ProAir”, in the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province.

Between 2003 and 2011, ProAir worked for and with 70 thousand beneficiaries in six districts in the NTT province: East Sumba, West Sumba, Northwest Sumba, South Central Timor, Alor and Ende. The aim of ProAir was to enable communities to manage and maintain water supply and sanitation systems sustainably. ProAir considered the community subject and object of the project, fostering their sense of ownership through an intensive process of assistance throughout the planning, implementation and post construction stages. ProAir water supply systems are managed, operated and maintained by the communities.

Basil Rolandsen of Bouvet Foundation supplied documentary photography of implementation in Sumba, design, lay-out and pre-press for the project handbook (printed and PDF), as well as a web site. These photos, part of a series to be used in their manuals, were taken in February 2011, as the project was to be handed over to the local communities.

“ProAir is a bilateral program between the government of Indonesia and the Federal Republic of Germany. This project implements community based water supply and sanitation in the East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. ProAir started its work in September 2002.”

From the foreword of the ProAir handbook, describing their implementation of the Indonesian policy, “Community Based Drinking Water and Environmental Sanitation”. Download PDF in English or Indonesian.


ProAir’s overall goal:

“Communities are able to manage and maintain the water supply facility in a sustainable way.”