The Mentawai Islands are a remote archipelago west of Sumatra and are home to some of the best waves in the world. In the Mentawai Islands, isolation – the principle cause of poverty – is compounded by natural disasters. After a devastating tsunami in 2010, 14 fishing communities on the island of South Pagai (the worst affected area, with living standards already amongst the lowest nationally) were relocated inland to an area that lacks basic resources, healthcare and a means for livelihood generation.
Surfaid is the only international organisation in the Mentawai still working with these relocated communities. SurfAid has successfully worked alongside them since 2012 to increase access to clean water and establish vibrant community health posts – two building blocks towards improving maternal and child health.
However, further poverty, a lack of economic opportunities, and inability to grow nutritious crops means that there is no food security. To address this, SurfAid has established the KATUERUKAT programme which means “Prosperous” in the local language. Focusing on improving food security and economic development through agriculture, the goal is to improve health and restore livelihoods of the 14 displaced communities (2,853 people)