Kangean Archipelago, Indonesia Water Needs


Every time I’ve been to the Kangean Archipelago, north of Bali, east of Madura, in Indonesia, it’s been during the dry season. 

In 17 years of living on the ground in Indonesia I’ve never seen a place drier than Kangean between August & October. 

I recall visiting Jukong-Jukong village in the mid-1990s & seeing people laboring up this hill hauling water from sea-level up to their houses & barns perched high above. They carried bamboo shoulder poles with gourds & plastic jerry cans full of water—for drinking, cooking, bathing & even for all their livestock.  No well up here had ever found water. 

A rough daily existence!

In the years since I first went to Kangean I got to know a guy who was coming into his own as an expert at bringing water solutions to thirsty villages.  Glen Eitemiller started out as working in jobs like wildlife preservation, carpentry, & teaching High School science in the US.  Eventually he did several years of NGO work in Indonesia before launching his own company—Community Restoration Solutions of Indonesia (www.coresolutionsindo.com).

I’ve seen a lot of NGO work in Indonesia—disaster relief, community development & business ventures that seek corporate funding to help the poor.  Most of their work is done in ways that make donors & investors look good, while not much involving nor honoring locals & using methods that are neither sustainable nor scalable.  

Not Glen.  He’s a highly experienced expert at engaging communities to work together to create sustainable solutions to their problems.

Since seeing dry Kangean & getting to know Glen, I wanted to connect these two.  Not long ago I finally had the opportunity to do just that—traveling with Glen to survey Kangean’s desperate water needs.

Glen surveyed parched Jukong-Jukong village with us—seeing what they’d done in the past to try to get water up into these hills & feeling out the local leaders about future possibilities.

Our American intern fell in among locals practicing his language. 

Further up the coast we found a spring just above sea level.  Here local kids come everyday for a wild water party.

Glen, who’s a pretty serious photographer himself, shows the local big men how they look on “film.”

Some locals got special “make-up” for their village portrait session.

Glen hopes to come back to Kangean & perhaps to place one of his national staff members here.  In the meantime he keeps on making a big difference in places all over Indonesia from his HQ in Bali

—getting deeply involved with locals, finding sustainable ways to solve their problems while using locally available skills & materials.  This image by Matt Ray—our son.

Glen Eitemiller of Community Restoration Solutions of Indonesia—an exemplary inter-cultural development worker.

Like what you see here of Indonesia?  Join our September 14-21 (25) Java-Bali Photo Tour at a hugely discounted price.

See it on Matt Brandon’s site or on EventBrite here & the extension tour to Borobudur & Jogjakarta through September 25 here.