In Terkul village in Indonesia's Riau province, several men were busy piling up sacks of compacted soil on one side of a drainage canal under the scorching sun in mid-October, near the end of the dry season.
One by one, the sacks were used to fill a 3m by 2m wooden dam, built to retain the murky water inside the canal and raise the level of the water table to around 30cm to 40cm below ground level.
We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs.