Indonesia: Strengthening Community Resilience To Climate Change In Lombok

For as long as they can remember, the people from Montong Sapah, a poor village in Praya Barat Daya sub-district in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), always had difficulty accessing water.

In March 2012, WFP initiated a water catchment project in Montong Sapah Village through its Food for Assets (FFA) programme which involved 1,168 participants, representing 1,168 families.

A poor farming village, Montong Sapah is highly dependent on rain water at the start of its paddy planting season which takes place only once a year. The community believes that the weather patterns have changed a lot in the last 10 years and now it has been very difficult for them to predict when the rainy season will come.

Mansyur, 43, one of the farmers who benefitted from the water catchment project for his paddy and vegetable field, believes that the farmers in Montong Sapah will be able to plant paddy twice a year with the completion of the project since they would then have enough water supply. The water catchment will have the capacity of 29,000 cubic meters and is expected to irrigate 93 hectares of farming land which will help many of the farmers in the village.

Working in partnership with the Government of Indonesia, the Local Government Offices of Central Lombok (Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Office,  Forestry Office, Fishery and Marine Office and Public Works Office) and local NGO FPMP (Forum Pemberdayaan Masyarakat dan Pariwisata), WFP provided rice to the community as incentive for their participation, which included planting trees around the water catchment and raising fish in ponds as an additional source of income.

The WFP FFA programme serves as an example of how vulnerable communities can be more resilient to the impacts of climate change.  When the project was completed in April 2012, the farmers of the village immediately used the water from the catchment for their farms and their livestock.  Mansyur and the rest of the villagers of Montong Sapah are grateful for the water catchment project. "This will end the 'water crisis' in our village", Mansyur says with a smile.