The Luxury of Water on Savu

Savu's dry and hot November landscape

On our November trip to Savu we arrived before the rains. The land was very dry and hot, and we could appreciate how difficult it is to live here at this time of the year.

Traveling from Seba westward to meet with weavers in Mesara, we encountered an amazing landscape that we have not seen before.

A landscape carved out by sea and wind over thousands of years

The weavers group in Mesara on Savu

We met with weavers in Mesara and were delighted to find Genevieve Duggan there, the well-known anthropologist who has worked on Savu for more than twenty years.

Genevieve has been able to use her long-term relationship with the community to work on a much-needed water program. Two years ago, when we met her here, she was working with Claude Mauvais (a retired French engineer from NGO AGIR who drew up the plans), André Graff (Wells of Hope, Sumba), David Pont, Ina Wope, and Masari to refurbish and clean a number of old stone-lined wells that were built by the Dutch, and to pipe the well water to the village.

Old wells have been reinforced and cleaned

Plans for a central washing and bathing area

Last year, when we met Genevieve, she showed us plans for creating a central washing and bathing area. This year we found it in use!

It was remarkable to see women washing clothes together during the dry season and having the luxury of bathing.

The washing and bathing area uses water piped from the old wells

The water filtration system

And even more remarkable, all the gray water is piped through filtration systems that feed back into the spring, so that no water is wasted.

Having water available for cooking and cleaning means women and children are not walking distances to carry water. This allows for more time to weave and more water to dye with. We congratulate Genevieve and her supporters. We wish we could take this system and repeat it in many places throughout other dry, hot islands where Threads of Life works.

Projects like this allow women time to weave