Clean Water Project
The clean water and sanitation program developed by Black Pearl Network (BPN) was one of our foundation programs and was directed though a small Papuan development group (LEMAK) working to provide clean water (wells) and sanitation to needy communities. This project has now progressed to the First Flush Water Catchment System utilising rainwater collected from roofs.
Over ten years, the BPN provided funding and technical training to members of LEMAK whilst assisting them to develop systems for financial accountability and an office from which to run their operations.
At the end of our involvement with LEMAK, they were in a position to apply for funding from other sources and had set up on-going funding from external sources.
More recently BPN has begun to run its own program to provide clean water for needy communities under the guidance of Dr David Scott, a retired engineer with a background working on water programs in developing countries. Fred Bundah, the BPN project manager has employed a clean water technical officer, Herman and Ribka, a Papuan graduate engineer. The team is working closely via on-line meetings to establish the first flush water catchment system.
With its high annual rainfall levels, Papua is ideally suited to this water catchment system which provides clean water at low cost and is easily installed, simple and durable. Each installation, using local volunteer labour, becomes a training opportunity for locals to take away the technology and practical instruction to enable them to build their own system.
The average cost to establish a single First Flush Clean Water system ranges between AU$800 and AU$1600 and is dependent on the terrain and isolation.
Donate $800 now towards an individual system
First Flush Video
First Flush System
BPN has always worked to help communities improve their wellbeing. Provision of clean water and safe sanitation have been a high priority. One of the problems with sourcing clean water has been the long-standing reluctance to use roof rainwater because of its contamination by plant, animal and bird pollution. In the last two years we have sought to introduce an effective, cheap and community constructed system of collecting and storing rainfall.
The system, First-flush, collects rainwater as it washes off the roof, first separating off the “first-flush” of detritus-contaminated rainwater and then directing the, now clean, rainwater into a holding tank. The system has the additional advantage of being low maintenance, cheap to construct and no moving parts.
The design of the First Flush system is based on one that has been used successfully around the world. It can be built using pipes, gutters and tanks that are locally available. A firm stand is needed to support the tank (a tonne when filled with 1000 litres of clean water), this too can be made using available materials. Construction can be completed by local labour with supervision and design overseen by BPN personnel. With this system, materials and labour costs are minimised.
Existing water collection systems can be easily adapted. The additional pipes, bends, connections and guttering costing around AU$25.
Clean Water Project Staff
Herman - Technical Officer, Clean Water Project
Herman was born and bred in a small village in Maybrat Regency of West Papua Province, but has been based in Jayapura for the past decade.
Whilst not working Herman enjoys listening to music and playing the guitar and piano and he also gets involved in a range of youth activities and programs. In 2020, Herman graduated from Cenderawasi University with a major in Physics.
He was recruited by Black Pearl Network in his last year of undergraduate studies to take on the role of Clean Water Supervisor. Herman says,
"Working with BPN provides me with great experiences as well as broadening my network with people I have never met in my life before"
Ribka - Civil Engineer - Project Supervisor
"I hope that the existence of the BPN and the clean water program will be a blessing for every community who accepts it, both in terms of needs and business potential"
Ribka is from Papua, Indonesia and a graduate of Cenderawasih University, majoring in civil engineering. At University she was a teacher’s assistant for a year and also very active in the student organization activities.
Ribka likes to socialize and continue learning in order to develop her potential. Her introduction to the Black Pearl Network was by Fred Bundah, the Program Manager who recommended her initially as the Clean Water Assistant.
Initially Ribka thought BPN was an ordinary company, however after joining BPN, she realised it was an inclusive program that develops the potential of communities. She has learnt many new things and also found a new 'family'.
Ribka is also hopeful that in the future there will be other programs that can help the community beyond the clean water program such as education and local cultivation.