PASAT PONG MAJOK OPA (Organisasi Pengelola Air Minum) media gerakan perempuan Kampung Pasat, Desa Pong Majok, FLORES

PASAT PONG MAJOK OPA (Organisasi Pengelola Air Minum)

The history of OPA in Pasat.

Pasat community started a clean water project in 2005 with support from YAKINES in collaboration with SATUNAMA. The community held a community meeting at the traditional public hall (Rumah Gendang) initiated and supported by three important leaders of the area: Tua Adat (or Tembong, the indigenous community leader), the sub-village leader and the community-based organization leader. The result of the meeting was that the community had an agreement to collect resources to build a clean water facility. The resources to be collected were manpower, locally available building material (sands and stones), and meals for the builders. YAKINES would only support non-local materials that needed to be purchased outside the village and an honorarium for the building experts and technical laborers.

When the community completed construction the three key leaders supported by YAKINES, SATUNAMA and USC Canada held another community meeting. Again the meeting was carried out at the Rumah Gendang. This time, they agreed to the establishment of OPA and selected some people to take roles as directors on the governing board and executive officers with responsibility for the daily operations and maintenance of the facility and organization. The communities are aware that one of the most common mistakes related to a community facility is that there is no clear description of who will be responsible for the facility management.

According to Ibu Cecilia Mbimbus, the process of selecting the chairperson of OPA had been organized in a democratic way. It was attended by all the community members. There were three candidates for the chairperson of OPA consisting of two men and one woman. At the end of the selection, the candidate elected was Ibu Cecilia Mbimbus.

“Before, there had never been a woman leader in any community-based organization as well as other social organizations,” Ibu Cecilia Mbimbus said.

“Indeed, women had never been involved in any meeting let alone a meeting held at the “sacred traditional public hall such as Rumah Gendang. But, thanks to YAKINES and the community development program supported by SATUNAMA and USC Canada, since then women have been involved in all community activities. Further, women have been encouraged to speak up and be heard.
Cecilia Mbimbus, aged 36 only attended school until grade 2 at the local elementary school. Her husband, Thomas Langgut, aged 40 years old left school after 1 year at elementary school. He is now the maintenance technician for the facility. His main source for income is farming, but in the dry season he usually goes to town and works as a building laborer. Cecilia and Thomas have one child who now studies at the junior high school in grade 2. Up to now, Cecilia has taken advantage of various training programs organized by YAKINES including on Gender Awareness, Women’s Leadership, Sustainable Agriculture, Advocacy and Conflict Management, Community Organizing and Finance and Book-keeping.

OPA has been operational since January 2006. As a first step, Cecilia asked the Executive Board and community members to meet and to formulate several regulations required in order for the OPA to run effectively. The regulations include:

* A membership fee of IDR 10.000 per household
* User fees set at IDR 2.000 per month per household.
* The user fee to be submitted on the 25th of every month to the Treasurer. The sounding of the community gong indicates when members are to collect the money.
* Any local damage to water taps should be fixed by the water user group in the local area.
* There is no charge for group members to ask for help from the OPA technician team.

According to Ibu Cecilia, by August 2008 the OPA has IDR 5.650.000 kept at the OPA account. Of this, IDR 4.500.000 is maintained as savings to be used for maintenance and improvements. The remainder is for the members to borrow as capital for their weaving business.

The Happy and Unhappiness of a Woman Leader

The first challenge to be faced was at the end of the election, the men did not want a woman to lead the organization. Ibu Cecilia recalls that many of the men did not believe that she has the capacity to lead and underestimated her, but she had determination and self-confidence. Evidently, they now see that she leads the organization well and are both happy and proud to be led by her. Ibu Cecilia said that she has the courage to lead especially after YAKINES has given her the opportunity to attend various meetings and training courses in which she has the chance to meet leaders, men and women from other organizations and areas and to share experiences with them. Nowadays, people have accepted the reality that women can lead.

The meaning of OPA for Women

With the presence of OPA, there is a feeling that the community is more harmonious and that its members are closer to one another. They can meet and discuss things easily and communication is getting more intensive. Reflections by women living in the OPA area include:

Before OPA, people were easily insulted or offended even if there was no intention to offend or insult them. Having OPA, the community has learned how to communicate and work in a team. They are able to communicate better and so are not easily hurt by others comments.

They feel closer to one another especially when YAKINES applies training methods that encourages them to get close to one another.

They have been encouraged to develop their capacity in organizational management and program reporting, including financial report.

They are trained to be self-reliant, for instance when the water pipe is damaged they are encouraged to fix it on their own.

Now they have time to make an organic vegetable garden in their yard (petsai, cabbage, eggplants, long bean, black mustard, carrots and corns).

They can do weaving to get additional income. When women can obtain income to support the family, they are more respected by the family. In fact, men have been learning to give more respect to women. They are more aware that men are not the only party to take control of the family issues or the only one that can earn income.

The Impacts of the Cooperation Between Pasat Community and YAKINES under the support of USC Canada

After several years of cooperation between the Pasat Community and YAKINES, several changes have occurred in the community. Among these are:

Children are more motivated to go to school. When there was no clean water available, many children and students had to go to school without taking a bath, or they had to take bath at the water spring that was located about 2 km from the house. This made them reluctant to go. It was not only wasting much of their time but also made them tired even before they went to school. If they dared enough to go to school without taking bath, they would feel embarrassed when their friends could smell their body odors. These experiences led them to decide to avoid school.

The community works together to fix houses. Once they were aware that their environment was neither clean nor hygienic, the community of Pasat decided to work collectively in fixing and improving their houses. Considering that many of the community members have been working as carpenters, builders or building laborers, this has been working very well. Thomas (husband of Cecilia Mbimbus), a carpenter, said: “We have been working to build and fix other people’s houses and had no resources to fix our own. Now, we have them”
Putting the cattle in a pen or stall. Formerly, the community had let stock walk around the village leaving manure everywhere and the village smelled very bad. The fact was that the community did not know how to make use of the manure. Having learned that manure is very useful as fertilizers through the BoKashi method, they keep their stock in a pen so that they are able to collect the manure easily and use it as an organic fertilizer for their vegetable gardens.

The return of the farming spirit. Part of the community (men) has returned to work as farmers. Previously, they thought that they could make money only if they worked at town or other far away regions. There was no way that they could earn enough money from farming. Now they have changed their minds. They can work as farmers in their own field and earn money to support their family during the rainy season and in the harvesting season. After that, they can work as a daily labourer.

Increased tuber production in the community. There had been time when people could hardly find tubers but now there is no such concern. Ibu Cecilia pointed out that they have sufficient stock for food at the Food Store. There is enough dried cassava there for every member of the Pasat Community. In addition, supported by YAKINES, every family in Pasat has been growing a vegetable garden at their house providing sufficient vegetables for both domestic consumption as well as for their stock. Some families have grown enough vegetables to sell at the market and get additional income from it.

Creation of the Women’s UBSP Group (the saving and credit group). As an effort to maintain the relationship among the community members, they decided to establish a saving and loan group. The group also has a woman as the chairperson (Ibu Lucia Sut). The UBSP functions both as a social organization and a learning tool for women in improving their capacity, especially in productive and economic skills. Considering their need, they agreed to develop a saving and credit system that can be accessed by all group members. Currently the group has provided small-scale loans to members who need money to buy threads for their weaving business. There are some members who have weaving businesses in which they produce traditional woven sarongs and shawls..

Environmental renewal. The watershed areas have been planted with protective trees. The community is now aware of the importance of preserving and restoring the environment and forests which have suffered from illegal logging, especially near water sources. The forest should be protected to ensure that there is enough water kept in the soil. The water is needed by community throughout the year, especially in the dry season. The community has planted special trees believed to be able to protect water sources, such as banyan and gayam trees.

The Eminent Elevated Role of Women. All groups established in Pasat are chaired by women (OPA, UBSP and Lumbung). This is a concrete result of the facilitation and empowerment process carried out by YAKINES. YAKINES, supported by the indigenous leaders, has successfully motivated and encouraged women to speak up and be leaders for their community. The women in Pasat now have the courage to speak in front of the public not only within their community but also outside or when there are guests from other regions: “I speak in front of the public at the district level, in the village and in the group,” Ibu Cecilia said.

The Activities Supported by USC CANADA:

Lumbung gaplek (dried cassava store)

Lumbung benih keluarga (family seed store)

Training for Sustainable Agriculture

Training for Women’s Leadership

Vegetables Demo-plot and Seedlings

Training for Seed Management

Revolving (Rotating?) Livestock

Land Conservation at the water source areas (watershed?)

Suggestions for the Women

* We need self-confidence and to believe in ourselves: we have the ability to speak and to lead

* We need the courage and resolve when we are selected as a leader in our organization or community.

* We need to take part in training and meetings organized by YAKINES or the village community.

* We need to believe in our capacity.

PEP, Genie, January 2009

PASAT PONG MAJOK OPA (Organisasi Pengelola Air Minum) media gerakan perempuan Kampung Pasat, Desa Pong Majok, FLORES

Sejarah OPA di Pasat.

Tahun 2005 kami melakukan pembangunan sarana air, di mana sebelumnya kami meminta bantuan YAKINES yang bekerjasama dengan SATUNAMA untuk membantu Kampung Pasat dalam hal air minum. Setelah memperoleh kepastian lembaga, kami warga Kampung Pasat mengadakan pertemuan di rumah gendang (rumah adat) yang dipelopori oleh 3 tokoh penting di Kampung Pasat yaitu: TUA adat (tembong), RT, Ketua Kelompok Basis.

Hasil pertemuan ketiga tokoh bersama warga adalah kesepakatan bersama warga kampung untuk melakukan pembangunan air minum, dengan catatan masyarakat ikut berswadaya dalam hal tenaga, mengumpulkan pasir dan batu, serta menyediakan konsumsi. Lembaga hanya membantu material yang tidak tersedia di kampung dan harus dibeli, serta honor tenaga teknis.

Sejak selesainya konstruksi sarana air minum yang dikerjakan oleh masyarakat sendiri, didukung oleh YAKINES dan SATUNAMA serta USC Canada, ketiga lembaga ini bersama masyarakat mengadakan pertemuan lagi di rumah gendang untuk menyepakati pembentukan OPA (Organisasi Pengelola Air Minum), sekaligus mengadakan pemilihan ketuanya, yang akan bertugas sebagai penanggungjawab terhadap keberlanjutan sarana yang sudah dibangun dengan susah payah dan penuh pengorbanan. Masyarakat menyadari kesalahan mereka selama ini, bahwa setelah sarana dibangun tidak ada kejelasan siapa yang bertanggungjawab terhadap masalah pengelolaan selanjutnya.

Pemilihan ketua OPA menurut Ibu Cecilia Mbimbus berlangsung secara demokratis dan dihadiri oleh seluruh warga. Kandidat ketua ada 3 orang (2 calon laki-laki dan 1 calon perempuan). Yang terpilih adalah perempuan yaitu Ibu Cecilia Mbimbus. “Dahulu tidak ada perempuan yang menjadi pemimpin/koordinator/ketua kelompok atau organisasi sosial kemasyarakatan. Dahulu perempuan tidak terlibat dalam pertemuan-pertemuan di rumah adat gendang, tetapi sekarang mereka sudah terlibat dan turut memberikan pendapat atau suara” kata Cecilia melanjutkan.

Cecilia Mbimbus, 36 tahun, pendidikannya hanya sekolah dasar kelas 2, bersuamikan Thomas Langgut (40 tahun), sekolah hanya kelas 1 SD, bertugas sebagai tenaga teknisi OPA yang harus bekerja memperbaiki kalau terjadi kerusakan pada isntalasi air. Pekerjaan utamanya adalah sebagai petani, dan pada waktu musim kemarau bekerja di kota sebagai buruh bangunan atau proyek-proyek infrastruktur. Mereka mempunyai seorang anak yang sudah bersekolah di SMP kelas 2. Selama ini Cecilia Mbimbus sudah mendapatkan pelatihan dari Yakines, di antaranya tentang Gender, Kepemimpinan Perempuan, Pertanian Berkelanjutan, Advokasi dan Manajemen Konflik, Pengorganisasian Masyarakat, Keuangan dan Pembukuan.

Pada bulan Januari 2006, OPA mulai berjalan. Sebagai langkah awal Cecilia mengajak pengurus dan masyarakat mengadakan musyawarah untuk menetapkan beberapa peraturan dasar penting, seperti:

* iuran Rp. 2.000 per bulan/KK
*uang pangkal Rp. 10.000/KK
*setiap bulan pada tanggal 25, harus mengumpulkan iuran kepada bendahara, yang ditandai dengan pukul gong
*kerusakan kran lokal harus diperbaiki kelompok kran sendiri
*tim teknis OPA tidak dibayar.
Sampai bulan Agustus 2008, menurut Ibu Cecilia jumlah iuran sudah mencapai Rp 5.650.000 yang masuk ke bendahara OPA, dari jumlah itu sebanyak RP 4.500.000 disimpan di bank untuk biaya perbaikan dan penggantian sarana yang rusak. Sisanya dipinjamkan kepada anggota sebagai modal untuk membeli benang bahan kain tenun yang dijual ke pasar.

Suka Duka Sebagai Pemimpin Perempuan

Tantangan pertama waktu awal pemilihan ketua OPA adalah banyak laki-laki yang tidak ingin ketua OPAnya perempuan. “Ada sebagian kaum laki-laki yang menyepelekan kemampuan saya, tapi dengan penuh percaya diri dan berani serta tegas akhirnya mereka senang dan bangga atas kemampuan saya. Selain itu ada saran dari lembaga YAKINES yang mendampingi, baik melalui pertemuan maupun pelatihan-pelatihan, untuk selalu berusaha melibatkan laki-laki dan perempuan, maka akhirnya mereka bisa menerimaE

Arti OPA bagi Kaum Perempuan:

Sejak berjalannya OPA warga merasa rukun dan guyub, bisa berdialog dan berkomunikasi dengan baik. Menurut pengakuan kaum perempuan:

* Kalau sebelumnya banyak orang mudah tersinggung, sejak ada OPA tidak lagi (belajar berkomunikasi dan bekerjasama dengan baik).
* Kami merasa semakin akrab karena Yakines melaksanakan pelatihan-pelatihan dengan metode yang mengakrabkan.
* Kaum perempuan belajar untuk mengembangkan diri, mengelola organisasi, membuat laporan kegiatan dan keuangan.
* Kami belajar untuk mandiri, misalnya kalau ada kerusakan pipa air, dikerjakan sendiri.
* Kami punya waktu untuk menanam sayuran (petsai, kol, terong, kacang panjang, sawi hitam, wortel, jagung) secara organik.
* Kami bisa menenun kain untuk tambahan penghasilan, karena perempuan bisa mendapatkan penghasilan untuk mendukung keluarga mereka. Pihak laki-laki jadi belajar menghargai perempuan. Mereka tidak lagi merasa bahwa merekalah yang menentukan segalanya, karena bukan hanya mereka yang bisa bekerja untuk keluarga.

Dampak Kerjasama Masyarakat Pasat dengan YAKINES yang Didukung USC Canada:

Setelah beberapa tahun bekerja bersama YAKINES, ada beberapa perubahan yang dirasakan oleh masyarakat, di antaranya:

Anak-anak lebih bersemangat pergi ke sekolah. Sebelum ada sarana air bersih banyak anak yang terpaksa drop-out dan yang malas ke sekolah, karena mereka harus berjalan kaki sejauh 2 km setiap pagi hanya untuk mandi, sehingga waktu mereka habis di perjalanan dan mereka sudah malas untuk pergi ke sekolah. Selain itu ada yang terpaksa pergi ke sekolah tanpa harus mandi pagi, yang membuat mereka merasa minder karena badan mereka bau, akhirnya mereka memutuskan untuk berhenti sekolah.

Gotong-royong untuk memperbaiki rumah. Karena menyadari bahwa lingkungan rumah mereka selama ini kurang higienis, masyarakat Pasat lalu bekerja secara gotong-royong untuk saling membantu memperbaiki rumah mereka, apalagi sebagian warga adalah juga tukang batu atau tukang kayu. Menurut Thomas (suami Cecilia Mbimbus) yang juga tukang kayu dan tukang batu: “Kita bekerja memperbaiki rumah orang tapi rumah kita sendiri tidak kita perbaiki”
Hewan ternak dikandangkan. Sebelumnya anggota masyarakat membiarkan ternak babinya berkeliaran, sehingga kotorannya ada di mana-mana. Akibatnya kampung menjadi sangat kotor dan timbul bau tidak sedap. Selain itu masyarakat belum tahu bagaimana cara memanfaatkan kotoran babi ini sebagai pupuk, sehingga hanya dibiarkan membusuk di mana-mana. Sekarang ternak sudah dikandangkan dan masyarakat juga sudah tahu bagaimana cara memanfaatkan kotoran menjadi pupuk organik dengan teknik ‘BoKashi’ untuk menanam sayuran.

Semangat untuk kembali bertani tumbuh kembali. Sebagian warga laki-laki sudah mulai kembali bekerja di ladang mereka. Sebelumnya mereka hanya berpikir untuk bekerja jadi buruh di kota atau kampung lain yang jauh lebih menghasilkan banyak duit daripada bekerja di ladang jadi petani. Sekarang ini kaum laki-laki Pasat sudah berubah, mereka bekerja di ladang pada waktu musim hujan atau musim panen dan menjadi buruh harian setelah panen.

Sebelumnya ubi sulit didapatkan, sekarang sudah banyak. Menurut pengakuan Ibu Cecilia Mbimbus yang akrab dipanggil Tante Sisil, mereka sekarang sudah memiliki cukup pangan, karena sudah punya lumbung pangan, khususnya lumbung gaplek, sehingga kami tidak kekurangan ubi lagi. Selain itu juga karena setiap keluarga sudah menanam sayuran yang benih dan teknis menanamnya dibantu oleh YAKINES, sekarang ini sudah banyak sayuran untuk makanan manusia dan bahkan untuk hewan ternak. Bahkan dengan jual sayuran ke pasar mereka bisa mendapatkan penghasilan tambahan.

Kelompok UBSP perempuan. Sebagai upaya untuk tetap menjaga hubungan persaudaraan di kampung, maka dibentuklah UBSP. Kelompok ini juga diketuai oleh perempuan (Lucia Sut). Selain berfungsi sosial, kelompok ini juga berfungsi sebagai media belajar warga dalam upaya pengembangan keterampilan dan ekonomi perempuan. Maka dibuatlah sistem menabung dan kredit yang bisa diakses oleh seluruh anggota. Kelompok sudah bisa memberi pinjaman kecil-kecilan untuk membeli benang yang akan ditenun untuk dijadikan kain tradisional (sarung atau selendang).

Masalah lingkungan. Pusat mata air sudah ditanami pohon-pohon pelindung. Masayarakat sekarang menyadari bahwa penting sekali untuk tetap menjaga lingkungan di sekitar sumber air, agar hutannya tetap terjaga. Hutan yang tetap terpelihara akan menjadi sumber penyimpanan air yang bisa mencukupi kebutuhan masyarakat di sepanjang musim. Di sekitar mata air ditanami pohon yang menurut kepercayaan lokal bisa untuk melindungi sumber air seperti: pohon beringin dan gayam.

Peran perempuan sangat penting. Semua kelompok di kampung Pasat ini (OPA, UBSP dan Lumbung) diketuai dan dijalankan oleh kaum perempuan, sebagai hasil dorongan motivasi dari Yakines serta ada motivasi dari ketua tembong (adat). Bahkan kaum perempuan di Pasat sudah mulai tampil berbicara di depan umum, dan pada saat ada tamu dari luar. Menurut pengakuan Ibu Cecilia: ”Saya sudah berbicara di depan umum baik di tingkat kabupaten maupun desa serta kelompok!”
Beberapa Kegiatan yang didukung USC CANADA:

1. Lumbung gaplek
2. Lumbung benih keluarga
3. Pelatihan tentang Pertanian Berkelanjutan
4. Pelatihan Kepemimpinan Khususnya untuk Perempuan
5. Demplot sayuran dan benih sayuran
6. Pelatihan manajemen benih
7. Ternak bergulir
8. Konservasi tanah di sekitar sumber air

Saran bagi Sesama Kaum Perempuan

1. Kita harus percaya diri bahwa kita mampu berbicara dan memimpin
2. Kita harus berani dan bersikap tegas bila kita dipilih untuk menjadi pemimpin.
3. Kita harus mengikuti pelatihan dan pertemuan, baik yang diberikan oleh Yakines maupun di tingkat desa
4. Kita harus percaya pada kemampuan kita sendiri.

PEP, Geni, Januari 2009

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