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Eping's Plan

Climate Change Education

Finding a climate-change message in every plastic bottle 

On the island of Lembata, Indonesia, the impact of climate change can be felt with every breath. The hot weather and arid landscape are a recipe for the fine dust that triggers respiratory problems in urban areas that receive as little as 10 to 331 millimetres of rain annually. The trees and plants that would help improve air quality and deliver shady relief are few and far between. 

“One of the victims of climate change is ourselves,” says Eping. The 18-year-old islander has dedicated herself to fighting the problem from the ground up through a series of small actions that add up in big ways.  

After learning how to make water traps with plastic bottles, filter water and irrigate the land, Eping began planting greenery, vegetables and medicinal plants in her yard.  

Recently, she planted 50 pineapple seedlings using organic fertilizer made from chicken manure. The chickens she raises (a long-time hobby!) live in the front of the house, while the planting is done at the back. The entire space has become what Eping calls a “mini park” for her and her family to refresh together. 

Now attending university in Yogyakarta, Eping continues to seek out innovations that conserve water, promote greenery and improve everyday life for many. She encourages classmates to fight climate change through actions as simple as sorting their trash or planting ornamental flowers on campus.  

“Climate change is not a plague that can come and go,” Eping says. “This change is caused by humans who only want to live instantaneously. Planet earth needs us for its recovery. We are not just affected by climate change; we can also overcome it.”  

How Plan International Helped 

Eping is one of 25 girls who participated in Girls Driving Climate Change Adaptation, a year-long project implemented by Plan International Indonesia in 2021 to help children and youth stay positive and productive during the pandemic. Through this educational program, young people learned about the impact of climate change as well as practical ways to mitigate its effects on Lembata’s fragile ecosystem – and the everyday lives of the families who live there. 

“Simple actions – such as making water traps and infiltration holes, developing yards with plants and vegetables and practising the habit of bringing your own water and water bottles to school – all assisted girls in capacity building related to climate change,” says Erlina Dangu, the program’s implementation manager. 

By the Numbers 

The climate in Lembata is tropical, with an average long dry season of eight to nine months and a relatively short rainy season of three to four months on average. This makes it vulnerable to drought disaster, which is currently happening.  

The health and safety of 1,874 people, many of whom are children, have been affected by the drought.  

In addition to capacity-building initiatives such as Girls Driving Climate Change Adaptation, Plan International Indonesia has distributed more than 1 million litres of clean water to affected residents in five residential locations.