Reaching very last mile communities
In Indonesia, the Foundation has worked with Water Mission since 2010 to reach out to very isolated communities.

In September 2011, Waha Mitra (Water Mission Indonesia) commissioned the first of 6 community safe water projects near Pekanbaru in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The six projects became the first phase of the Southeast Asia Clean Water Initiative. Still today, Waha Mitra and the Poul Due Jensen Foundation work together to provide safe potable water for last-mile communities in the vast country.

The Foundation’s initial 2010 grant (4M DKK) covered three phases:

  • Phase I: 6 communities in Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Phase II: 13 communities in Sulawesi, North Sumatra and Lampung, Indonesia
  • Phase III:  5 communities in Cambodia

In 2013, the Foundation committed another 4.5M DKK to build 24 community water systems:

  • Phase IV: 20 communities in Indonesia
  • Phase V: 4 communities in Cambodia

Terjun community lies at a very poor location next to a landfill where all the garbage from Medan (~5M people) is deposited. Photo: Water Mission

So far, the South East Asia Clean Water Initiative has been a successful implementation of scalable, sustainable, safe water projects. The programme has provided access to safe water to over 300,000 people and also contributed significantly to learning which has impacted the way we work to reach last-mile communities.

Videos from the Foundation’s visits

Next steps

In 2017, the Poul Due Jensen Foundation committed USD 770,000 to reach even more remote communities in North Sumatra. Building on the success of the past is the natural next step. With a team of experienced and highly trained professional staff already in place in Indonesia, Waha Mitra is strategically positioned to implement projects in some of the most rural areas of Indonesia in and effective manner as we continue to refine our approach.

  • From 2018-2020, we hope to provide 15-20,000 Indonesians in 9-11 communities with sustainable access to safe water

The work will incorporate Waha Mitra’s community development best practices for safe water that were developed during the previous SE Asia Clean Water Initiatives. Each project will follow Waha Mitra’s community managed implementation model, focusing on community development (community mobilization, health & hygiene education, and sustainability training) and include long-term monitoring and support.

Last-mile community: Torhonas

The regions of North Sumatra and Timor have some of the highest percentages of people living in extreme poverty in Indonesia.  The Human Development Index reports Indonesia as having 38.7% of the population as working poor (Income = $3.10/day).  Many of the rural communities rely on subsistence living and must collect water by hand either from a shallow hand-dug well or an open water source, both of which have poor water quality. This was the case in Torhonas, where 350 families (1760 people) live in an isolated, hilly area. Prior to the water project, people were walking downhill 400 meters and then carrying water uphill back to the community. And the water was not safe. Today, the community has access to safe water in the village

Before going to school, these boys used to walk 400m downhill to fetch water – and the only water available was contaminated. Photo: Water Mission

Getting to the community wasn’t easy: For instance, no supplier was willing to deliver equipment into Torhonas. Waha Mitra had to do it themselves, and it took 24 trips on winding, muddy mountain roads to get all of the tanks, pipes and other equipment into the community. Each trip was only 18 kilometers (11 miles) but it took 3-5 hours to drive it.

No one was willing to deliver equipment into Torhonas. It took 24 trips to get all of the tanks, pipes and other equipment into the community. Photo: Water Mission

Safe Water

With its partners, the Poul Due Jensen Foundation reaches out to the world's poorest in rural communities and forgotten refugee camps

Kenya Refugee Alliance


UNHCR, PlanBørnefonden



Oxfam GB, Water Mission, WaterAid, Practical Action, UNICEF Denmark

Project Flow



100 pumps for 100 villages


Sunlit Future



Jysk Landsbyudvikling i Nepal, Oxfam GB

Water for Kigoma Region


UNICEF Denmark

Water and sanitation for Gambella (SunWASH)


PlanBørnefonden, Water Mission

Low Cost Sanitation and Water Model in Pakistan


Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Institute

Water Safe Cities



Kenya 23 – next level


Water Mission

Safe water and sanitation in Togo



Safe Water for Northern Burundi (closed)


Kirkens Nødhjelp (Norwegian Church Aid)

Safe water to Malawi (closed)


Practical Action

Nyarugusu Refugee Camp


Water Mission