Until recent time the island of Sumba was considered as one of the poorest islands of Indonesia. The way of life which was close to primitive, reminded remote centuries when people didn’t even hear about such welfare of a civilization as the electricity. But in case if they heard, weren’t able to afford the high expenses on diesel fuel for power generation. Therefore the most of villages in evening and night time became covered with darkness. Under such conditions that in Indonesia darkens to the 7 o’clock evenings, such phenomenon is obviously not convenient for favorable existence and work, despite the paradise coast in surroundings of magnificent lagoons and picturesque coastlines. Lack of the electric power was the strong obstacle for development of the region also from the point of view of tourism.
In relation to its area the island of Sumba occupies 11 153 km3 (210 km by 40 km) and may be compared to the fourth part of the Netherlands. By the data of 2010, 656 259 people inhabit in the region. In 2013 very interesting organization Hivos arrived to the island, and offered its services and also promised that light will come to each house. The agreement with the Ministry of Energy of Indonesia was signed at this year. Hivos undertook the mission to provide the island completely with electricity within 10 years and also to start up and use at Sumba an alternative energy sources, such as solar batteries and wind power stations, as much as possible.
The access to the electric power opened a wide range of opportunities for local inhabitants. Thanks to solar batteries light came already to many villages and people can light up their houses in evening and night time. Hospitals can store drugs and vaccines in refrigerators now. And schools can use computers. And now it isn’t necessary to go kilometers to obtain clear water, now it is enough to switch on the pump which will be able to extract it from a source bottom.
Since the moment when the agreement on the electric power was signed, the island of Sumba started the developing by its absolutely particular way. Investors reacted instantly and the flow of foreign and local investments started to join to Sumba right now and up to the present time it’s at the stage of steady growth. Investors started to build hotels, stores, banks, restaurants. Travel business began to develop and travel agencies became open. And it‘s the result of two years of work only. The mission of the Hivos company, devoted to the active connection of the island to power sources, will continue more than 8 years. Not only the Ministry of Energy of Indonesia but also the government’s energy company PLN and the Asia Development Bank. took part in this work and rendered the various support for it’s execution.
Now even it is difficult to imagine, how many novelties will appear at Sumba at such united efforts and new opportunities which will be brought by electricity long-awaited here so much.