Two weeks after the severe earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 28 September on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, Johanniter's emergency relief efforts are underway. A local Johanniter coordinator is on site to organise the distribution of relief items together with a local partner organisation. 67.000 houses are considered damaged or destroyed, more than 82.000 have fled the destruction.
The Johanniter relief efforts on Sulawesi have started. Our coordinator Ejodia Kakoensi supports the transport and distribution of aid packages to the affected people from the city of Palu. She works closely with our local partner organisation PERUATI, which implements the distributions. Relief items such as underwear, diapers and sanitary napkins are intended to improve the personal hygiene of those who often go unnoticed during disasters: Older people. The packages that were distributed on Monday of this week received additional dry biscuits for small children. Communities in West Java collected the relief supplies, and Johanniter financed and organised the transport.
Last Tuesday, additional supplies arrived in Palu by sea. Noodles, rice, drinking water, and hygiene utensils were packed on Wednesday and distributed to 204 residents on the west coast.
This aid measure shows how local initiatives and structures can be supported quickly and easily," says Claudia Zehl, Project Coordinator of Johanniter International Assistance.
This is important as - according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry - international and foreign Civil Society Organisations are not allowed to work in the disaster area. All measures are to be carried out primarily by local partners.
Meanwhile, the situation on the ground is improving only slowly. "We visited some villages that were severely damaged and where many families had to stay in self-built shelters," says Ejodia Kakoensi. "According to reports from affected people, the quantities of food and clean water are very limited." However, the power grid has been repaired in many affected villages.
Preventing future disasters
In addition to the ongoingemergency aid, disaster prevention will get a main focus in the coming weeks and months. In training courses, communities are to analyse the dangers and reduce their vulnerability in the future. "We have worked successfully in this area at other locations in Indonesia and want to apply this approach in Sulawesi as well," says Claudia Zehl. She sees a particularly important component in overcoming the traumatic experiences of those affected. "Experiences after the earthquakes in Nepal or Haiti have shown us that mental injuries often do not start until many months later. We must prepare ourselves for this."
The alliance of German aid organisations "Aktion Deutschland Hilft" has made available 100.000 Euros for emergency aid. "The people on the island of Sulawesi need our support: food, drinking water, medical care and emergency accommodation must be provided for the many children, women and men", says Manuela Roßbach, managing director of 'Aktion Deutschland Hilft'. Johanniter participates together with numerous other member organisations in the donation alliance ADH, asking for donations via ADH or directly to Johanniter under the following donation button: