Delivering Clean Water Across Difficult Road
ACTNews, PANDEGLANG – That clear afternoon, Edi was driving his water tank truck to Sumur Sub-District in Pandeglang Regency, Banten. Accompanied by two assistants, Edi carefully controlled the truck. The road was steep and rough. It was quite difficult for big vehicles to drive on it.
That Wednesday (1/27), Edi and his team moved to Sumur Sub-District to distribute clean water to the tsunami victims in Pandeglang. The tank was filled with water taken from a water source located between Labuan and Pandeglang town center. The truck, named Humanity Water Tank, is able to hold up to 10,000 liters of clean water. The Humanity Water Tank is funded by zakat funds from the people of Indonesia donated through Global Zakat – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT).
Earlier that morning, the truck departed from ACT Humanitarian Post for Sunda Strait Tsunami located on Jalan Raya Labuan-Pandeglang. It took about 1 hour and 46 minutes through a 60km road to reach Sumur Sub-District. The shortest route is through Tanjung Lesung.
Unfortunately, driving through the coast of Tanjung Lesung poses a certain danger. It would be difficult for the massive truck to drive on the soft, loose soil. The truck’s wheels would sink in the muddy area.
Edi stated that driving the Humanity Water Truck was a challenge for him not only because the long distance he had to travel from the post to the distribution area, but also the difficult terrain, He chose to take a route through Cibaliung Sub-District, adding extra 40km to his route. “The truck was quite unstable because it carried liquid which was constantly moving. The wheels could sink if we chose the wrong road,” said Edi, Wednesday (1/27).
Driving through Cibaliung did not make it easier for Edi. Over 5km from Cibaliung T-junction, the asphalt on the road was eroded, exposing the pebbles underneath. The road was full of holes that turn to small ponds every time the rain falls.
Another challenge is the steep road that often turns slippery after the rain. “The road was steep in Cibaliung, rising and falling sharply, but at least it’s better than Tanjung Lesung whose loose soil can make the wheels sink,” added Edi.
Arriving in Sumur Sub-District, Edi usually stopped briefly at ACT post in Sumur Sub-District to take some volunteers to show him to the distribution area. On Wednesday (1/27) afternoon, Edi was going to distribute the water to the villagers of Sumberjaya and Kertajaya.
It was not the first time for Edi to distribute clean water in Pandeglang. Since the second week after the tsunami, Edi had been distributing clean water in Sumur. He feels emotionally moved to see the condition of the people at the westernmost province on Java Island.
“This is the first time for me to be assigned in disaster-hit area. ACT assigned me to distribute clean water. I feel emotionally moved every time I arrived here. I haven’t even parked the truck, but the locals were already waiting around my truck for the clean water that I bring,” said Edi.