The Monsanto Fund Grants Helped Transform the Community of Gunung Mas in Lampung, Indonesia

The Monsanto Fund program helped transform the remote community of Gunung Mas in Lampung, Indonesia by bringing clean water, public education and services for 1,200 people in need. The partnership with the community, various levels of government and farmers associations helped the community to improve their quality of life while it also helped shape the village’s future.

“Taking time to understand the needs of communities first and then developing solutions together was critical to achieving success,” said Mauricio Amore, representing PT Branita Sandhini, a Monsanto affiliate in Indonesia.

Gunung Mas, a remote Indonesian village, is located in the East Lampung region in the west portion of Indonesia which is almost 40 miles from the city of Lampung. However, travel to Gunung Mas takes nearly 4 hours to reach from the city, since the road’s access is very bumpy and rocky. Similar to most other rural communities in Indonesia, half of the 3,984 community members struggled to gain access to clean drinking water, and one-quarter of the people lacked adequate water sanitation. The only sources for community water were rain water or distant natural resources, requiring villagers to walk long distances. Since the men of the community work in the fields, woman and children were responsible for carrying heavy containers, reaching almost 15-20 liters, from the water sources to their homes.

Previously, a water supply company sold water to the village members, but the price was costly, and because of dire road conditions, the supply did not often arrive as scheduled.

In 2012, Monsanto’s affiliates in Indonesia and the Monsanto Fund committed to supporting the Gunung Mas community. Community training was the first priority of the program. Initially, the project included two reservoirs, two drill-water wells, water tanks and water piping installed by the main road in front of the houses of community members. The project progressed, and the community members agreed to contribute their money to installing pipes that led inside the houses. Now, the residents can access clean water just as easily as they would be able to access it in the city.

Also, many residents committed to donating their land for water tank and reservoir use. They also participated in building the facilities, although they only had time in the evenings to assist after working in the fields during the day.

Additionally, the program successfully changed misconceptions of women’s roles in Gunung Mas. Previously, the local culture provided women with limited involvement in social community roles. Due to this local program, negative perceptions about women’s roles in the community have shifted to more positive perceptions.