My “Village” is a Fishermen Village in Pasuruan, East Java. It takes three hours of “old style motorcycle” riding from Surabaya. There, we found Mr Fauzi, an owner of web-lift building in the middle of the sea called “bagan tancap”, which is a traditional building using lamplight as attractor of fishes in fishing area. This light-fishing with bagan tancap is considered more efficient than using a boat. However, it has to use a kerosene or LPG-fueled lamps.
Mr. Fauzi used LPG-fueled lamps and each day it consumes two 3kg LPG gas cylinders which is only able to energize four lamps for 12 hours. The cost required to turn on the lights every night is Rp. 32.000.00 ($2.3 USD). It is a burden to the fisherman whose income is uncertain and not enough to support the daily needs of their families.
Therefore, my team proposed to apply underwater solar-powered LED lamps in Mr. Fauzi’s Bagan Tancap instead of LPG fueled lamps mounted above sea level. As the LED lamps is placed below sea level, the light generated is more efficient without reflection of sea surface. LED lights do not require large electric power and have a higher light intensity. With this improvement, fishermen can also save operating costs.
However, from the beginning, our project was haunted by inadequate funding,and long and dangerous road trips between my school and the village. . Also, time to visit the village clashes with academic activities. However, we hope that we could continue this great effort, despite all limitation we faced. In the future, I hope that the government and other fundraising sources would be interested to develop this idea together.
Okto Fenno/ Pangkalpinang, Indonesia