Fresh water supply for Indonesian fishing communities
In a nutshell
The Papagarang Island communities mainly depend on fishing and have been living with scarce access to freshwater even as the tourism industry in the area is growing. Moreover, living within the Komodo National Park perimeter has limited their fishing activities and requires them to go farther offshore than before. Freshwater and energy shortages discourage them from acquiring refrigeration systems, forcing them to sell more than 50% of their catches of saltwater fish at significantly lower prices on the market. Currently, water and ice pack supplies are brought from Labuan Bajo, two hours away by boat. The ice cubes are packed in plastic bags, which causes severe ocean pollution. Diesel generators are the most common technology used to provide electricity in the National Park and its surroundings, and their noise and gas emissions are harmful to the natural ecosystem.
Tinamitra Mandiri's (TM) value proposition is to be the exclusive provider of ice blocks and freshwater for the fishing communities living in the Komodo National Park area on Papagarang and other surrounding small islands, using solar powered systems. TM's ice blocks last longer and are not wrapped in plastic, unlike the ice currently supplied from Labuan Bajo. The growing tourism industry will drive more demand for fresh fish. Ice blocks allow the fishers to go farther to meet this demand without having to worry about keeping their catches fresh. Moreover, the availability of affordable ice blocks will mitigate the risk of overfishing in the surrounding waters of Komodo National Park. And the supply of desalinated freshwater will allow local communities to cook healthier food and improve sanitation. The Papagarang Island community has the option to buy stakes in the business to develop ownership. TM will develop an integrated community management programme for the villagers to manage the infrastructure, including having them establish an organisation of their own design to run the operation.
The goals of the Swiss Re Foundation’s coaching and grant were to support Komodo’s development of its business and financial model, organisational set-up and installation of machines core to the business. All these objectives were reached during the project period.