Gunung Kidul Student Community of Energy Center (KAMASE) UGM in cooperation with people of Giriharjo Village, Panggang in Gunung Kidul regency built water pumping system using solar energy to meet their daily needs.
With a grant worth 250 million rupiah obtained in the Mondialogo EngineeringÂ competition in 2007, the student team established the system and installation. They succeeded in building water pumping system using solar energy that can supply at least 7800 liter/day to fulfill the needs of 118 families.
Patio, 39 years old, inhabitant of Banyumeneng, said that he found the fresh water distribution by UGM students helpful. It can reduce his economic costs. â€œWe had to buy water at a cost of 125 thousands rupiah/5000 liter from the Local Water Enterprise. We had to queue to get it. Now, we pay only 13 thousands per month for water and the distribution is managed by the people themselves,â€ said the father of two children, enjoying the easy way.
While weeding grasses growing near the solar panel, Paito said that during the construction, people did not pay anything. They willingly came to help when students were installing the pipe and building the solar panel.
Meanwhile, Kusmiyarto, a 46 years old farmer, said that he had to walk 2 kilometers to fetch water in Kaligede. â€œI used cooking oil can to carry the water and walked 2 kilometers to do this. I did it in the evening after farm work,â€ he said.
Dr. Ahmad Agus Setiawan, a lecturer as well as initiator of the fresh water installation, explained that the construction started in July 2008 and finished in August 2009. He explained that the solar energy had been chosen because Giriharjo Village hasÂ some 4.5 hour/day of solar potential. The solar cell installation was placed on a hill 1400 meters away from people's settlement. â€œWe use 12 solar panels that can produce electricity up to 1200 watts,â€ he said.
Those panels would produce electricity that generates submersible water pump which will then distribute the water through a length of 1600 meters pipe to fill six separate water tanks . Each contains 5000 liters.
To manage the operation, a local organization named Kaligede Water Management Organization (OPAKg) was established. â€œFor maintenance, we formed OPAKg, this is more important, because we should learn together to manage it all,â€ he explained.
Vice Rector of Alumni and Business Development of UGM, Prof. Ir. Toni Atyanto Dharoko, M.Phil., Ph.D, in his opening speech said that the success of UGM students to pump water by using solar technology showed UGM commitment as university of struggle.
Meanwhile, Gunung Kidul Regent, Suharto, hoped that UGM studentsâ€™ contribution can be utilized optimally by the local people, especially in maintaining solar panel. The same expression was also delivered by Vice Governor of Yogyakarta Special Province, Paku Alam IX, saying that the cooperation between students and the community has produced an important work. â€œI appreciate this achievement, hopefully there will be more students producing other useful work,â€ said the Vice Governor after opening the official ceremony for the installation, Thursday (25/3), at Giriharjo Village. Â