Exploring Training Initiatives and Participatory Mapping Series in Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo Watersheds

Water is the essence of life, sustaining all living organisms on our planet. However, uncontrolled water flow can pose serious threats, leading to flooding and potential damage to homes and buildings. To address this challenge, watersheds play a crucial role. Also known as drainage basins, watersheds are regions of land where water collects and streams into larger bodies of water, ensuring a controlled flow.

Watersheds are invaluable natural resources that require protection. Not only do they regulate water flow, but they also act as essential filters for clean water. As a result, the health of watersheds directly impacts the quality of water that sustains all living things. Unfortunately, pollution, such as the leakage of lead and mercury into water supplies, can seriously endanger these fragile ecosystems. Additionally, threats like fertilizer runoff causing harmful algae blooms, as well as natural disasters like erosion, landslides, and floods, further highlight the importance of understanding and safeguarding watershed areas.

Recognizing the critical need for management and data collection in watershed regions, KARINA Yogyakarta took action. Between 2016 and 2019, they joined forces with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Indonesia, now Perkumpulan OpenStreetMap Indonesia (POI), to implement training programs and participatory mapping initiatives in the Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo watershed areas through meticulous field surveying. The primary goal was to enhance community resilience to potential disasters, such as floods, landslides, and erosion.

Training and Mapping Series in Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo Watersheds

Through collaborative efforts, these initiatives not only help protect valuable natural resources but also empower communities to confront environmental challenges and build a sustainable future.

Mapping the Dagesime Magepanda Watersheds in 2016

Certainly, participatory mapping presents numerous opportunities for efficient data collection, particularly during emergencies. It involves the active involvement of all stakeholders with shared objectives. In 2016, a program named “Min Funding,” led by KARINA Yogyakarta and Caritas Keuskupan Maumere (CKM), brought together several organizations, including Perkumpulan OpenStreetMap Indonesia (POI), Bina Tani Sejahtera Foundation (YBTS), Rain Foundation, and Indonesian Red Cross, to participate in their collaborative effort.

The Process of Mapping Dagesime Magepanda Watersheds in 2016

As part of this initiative, POI served as the facilitator and engaged local communities in training sessions for mapping various elements such as watersheds, land use, public infrastructures, and residential areas. The participatory mapping process involved data collection through field paper surveying. During the initial stages, the local communities were trained in gathering geospatial data using handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and field paper surveys. The collected data included assessments of the condition of watersheds, indicating whether they were in excellent or poor condition.

Over ten days, field surveying occurred in two villages and four hamlets surrounding the Dagesime Magepanda watershed areas. Following the survey, participants were taught to input the data from field paper and GPS handheld devices into the open-source software, Java OpenStreetMap (JOSM). This data input process lasted for four days of workshops.

In the end, the collaborative efforts were successful, and as a result, the two villages and four hamlets obtained geospatial data that could serve various purposes. Additionally, paper maps depicting watersheds, land use, social and economic distribution, and disaster-prone areas, were successfully created. These maps proved valuable tools for local communities, aiding in public decision-making and preparedness for heavy rain which led to potential disasters. 

Participatory Mapping Activities in Dagesime Magepanda Watershed Areas in 2016

Mapping the Dagesime Magepanda Watersheds in 2017 using Ushahidi

The mapping training series extended into 2017, with activities similar to the previous year. However, there were notable differences, including the addition of one more village and the introduction of training on the Ushahidi platform. KARINA Yogyakarta and CKM remained committed to building a resilient community prepared for disasters. The training activities spanned eight days, beginning with two days of GPS training to accommodate new participants.

The Process of Mapping Dagesime Magepanda Watersheds in 2017

In the subsequent two days, participants engaged in a workshop focused on the Ushahidi application. Ushahidi, an open-source software, harnesses user-generated reports to compile and map data. Through Ushahidi, local communities could report essential information and disseminate it effectively. During the field survey using Ushahidi, participants collected data on public infrastructure, disaster-prone areas, land use updates, social economic objects like waste banks, orphanages, and cooperatives, as well as tourism spots and natural resources such as springs.

The remaining four days involved data input into OpenStreetMap through JOSM and remote mapping on JOSM, followed by map layout using Quantum GIS (QGIS) software. QGIS, a free and open-source geographic information system, supports the viewing, editing, printing, and analyzing of geospatial data.

After the activities concluded, participants offered feedback, indicating that 86% were satisfied with the training, 69% found the training materials effective, and 85% appreciated the facilitators’ explanations. The outcomes included paper maps that depicted various aspects such as Reruroja village administration, waste management sites, public bathing and sanitation facilities, land use, and springs. Moreover, through empowering the local communities, they acquired the skills to collect geospatial data swiftly and developed greater resilience in facing disasters.

Mapping Training with OpenStreetMap and Ushahidi in Dagesime Magepanda Watershed Areas during 2017

Ushahidi page as the final output on the training and participatory mapping activities 2017. This interactive web map can be used as a spatial reference for decision-making.

Mapping the Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo Watersheds in 2018

After the training initiative and participatory mapping series in 2016 and 2017, the mapping area expanded to include the Ria Wajo watersheds in 2018. POI served as the facilitator once again, conducting workshop training and field surveying sessions. The mapping efforts covered 13 villages in the newly extended Ria Wajo watershed areas, encompassing administrative boundaries, public infrastructure facilities, disaster-prone areas, land use, and springs. Additionally, the mapping activities for seven villages around the Dagesime Magepanda watershed areas were updated. In total, the events spanned over two weeks and covered 20 villages.

The Process of Mapping Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo Watersheds in 2018

In previous events, the initial day focused on field survey training using handheld GPS devices and involved 24 local community members. The actual field mapping process took 14 days for the 20 villages, with only two days to update the geospatial data for the seven previously mapped villages. The remaining 12 days were dedicated to mapping the 13 villages in the Ria Wajo watershed areas.

During the surveying, participants faced various challenges, including difficult terrain, lack of reference data from village officers, delayed arrivals of some participants, and village boundary conflicts. Despite these challenges, all villages were successfully mapped within the two-week timeframe.

After data collection in the field, workshops on data input were conducted. The collected data was imported into OpenStreetMap and Ushahidi, using JOSM for OpenStreetMap and direct importing for Ushahidi. The mapping results uploaded to OpenStreetMap were used to produce paper maps, while the data uploaded to Ushahidi created an interactive web map accessible to the public.

The participatory mapping approach proved highly advantageous, with all 20 villages being completely mapped in just two weeks. To conclude the event, a public discussion was held, inviting local government, non-governmental organizations, and community members. The purpose of the discussion was to present the survey results from the two-week endeavor and allow participants to identify and revise any errors in the collected data. The event concluded successfully, resulting in 20 administrative maps for the villages and two watershed maps for Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo.

Participatory Mapping Event for Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo Watersheds. Training Session (left) and Public Discussion (right)

Magepanda and Ria Wajo Watersheds Map-making Training Session in 2019

The most recent training and mapping series took place in 2019, primarily focusing on watershed mapping. The main objective was to enhance the capabilities of local communities and organizations, including Caritas Keuskupan Maumere (CKM), Wahana Tani Mandiri (WTM) Jiro Jaro, Indonesian Red Cross of Sikka District, and Community and Village Empowerment Service (DPMD). The training spanned four days, with each day dedicated to specific topics.

The Process of Map-making Magepanda and Ria Wajo Watersheds in 2019

On the first day, the participants underwent data and software preparation, involving the downloading of data on Ushahidi and the installation of Quantum GIS (QGIS) software. The second day focused on georeferencing and digitizing in QGIS, while the third day covered symbology and labels on the map, crucial aspects for ensuring the information is easily comprehensible. The last day involved teaching the participants how to effectively layout the map, incorporating various map elements in a cartographic design.

Following the conclusion of the training, participants were given feedback forms to share their thoughts on the experience. Remarkably, 67% of the participants found the training to be highly effective, 73% were satisfied with the training materials, and 74% expressed their contentment with the facilitators. These positive responses indicate that the participants were not only fully satisfied with the training but also capable of creating maps independently after the training session.

Watersheds Map-making Training Session

The Benefits of Engaging in Participatory Mapping

The participatory mapping and training initiatives carried out in the watershed areas of Sikka District, East Nusa Tenggara, has proven to be transformative and empowering for the local communities. Through collaborative efforts involving organizations such as Perkumpulan OpenStreetMap Indonesia (POI), KARINA Yogyakarta, Caritas Keuskupan Maumere (CKM), Bina Tani Sejahtera Foundation (YBTS), Rain Foundation, and Indonesian Red Cross, significant progress has been made in understanding and managing watersheds.

By engaging the local communities, the mapping activities have enabled swift and collect data accurately, even during emergencies, ensuring preparedness and resilience in the face of potential disasters. These activities also cannot be done without using technologies like OpenStreetMap and Ushahidi, which have facilitated the creation of paper maps and interactive web maps, providing valuable tools for decision-making and public information dissemination.

In four years, these training and mapping events have expanded to cover additional villages and Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo watershed areas, illustrating the growing commitment to environmental conservation and community empowerment. The positive feedback from participants also reflects the effectiveness of the training, as they have gained essential skills in geospatial data collection and map creation. These initiatives also have contributed to the well-being of both human and ecological communities. 

Looking forward, it is crucial to sustain and build upon these efforts, fostering stronger collaborations between various stakeholders, including governmental, non-governmental organizations, and local communities. Together, all stakeholders can continue to promote responsible stewardship of watershed areas, ensuring a harmonious coexistence between human activities and nature.

In the journey toward a more resilient and sustainable future, participatory mapping will remain an invaluable tool, empowering communities to protect their environment and enhance their quality of life. By harnessing the collective wisdom and dedication of all involved, healthier, safer, and more prosperous watershed areas can be strived in Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo watersheds.

The Ushahidi page of the Dagesime Magepanda and Ria Wajo watersheds was created in 2017. The web page was updated till 2019 at the end of this activity series. Feel free to add the report regarding public infrastructures, village programs, springs, watersheds, agriculture, farming, and other information about the village around Dagesime and Ria Wajo watershed areas.

Accessible, Quality, Open Geospatial Data for All