Situation report: Sulawesi recovering

11 February 2019

Topics: emergency "natural disaster"

CWS distributes tarpaulins in Karawana village, Central Sulawesi. Our partner has distributed thousands of tarpaulins, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, and solar lamps across Central Sulawesi since the earthquake struck.

In September, you responded to emergency response efforts in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Your contributions are bringing clean water, hygiene, and shelter to thousands in need.

When on September 28 last year a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province, there were few places to seek shelter.

With a tsunami devastating everything in its path and landslides taking away entire sections of the Provincial capital, Palu, people scrambled from their homes. But they found that even the earth beneath their feet offered no stability, as a phenomenon known as soil liquefaction dissolved the very foundations of buildings, highways, and airfields, preventing aid workers from accessing the most affected areas.

Our local partner in Sulawesi, Church World Service, was among the first organisations on the scene. They immediately put into action an emergency response plan to provide clean water, toilets, and hygiene kits to people in the disaster-struck area.

Rafia stands out the front of her shelter in the Sidera evacuation camp, Central Sulawesi. Rafia is one of 211,000 people who lost their homes across Central Sulawesi following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in September 2018.
They have continued working to bring tarpaulins, sleeping mats, ropes, blankets, solar lamps and mosquito nets to families in immediate need of shelter and household items. Sixteen public toilets have been built in the evacuation camps with another six currently under construction. Even now, more than four months later, they are distributing thousands of jerry cans and hundreds of sanitary packs to affected families, and are using a fleet of ten trucks to bring clean water to around 20,000 people every day.

Rafia is one survivor who has received this support. She says that when the earthquake struck, she and her family fled to an evacuation camp, but not yet having a tent, they slept in a graveyard. 

Now Rafia has been provided a tarpaulin tent and is receiving water every day to cook, make rice and drink.

Rafia is one of 133,600 displaced people across the province who now face the task of rebuilding their homes, communities, and livelihoods. The disaster took the lives of more than 2,000 people, but with continued support we can ensure that this toll does not increase because of disease, exposure, or lack of food and water.

Thank you for responding so quickly and generously to our emergency appeal. Your contributions enabled our partners on the ground to bring water, shelter, and hygiene to survivors like Rafia in Sulawesi.

Church World Service (CWS) distributes water tubs and hygiene kits in Sidera evacuation camp, Central Sulawesi. An estimated 152,000 people needed immediate water, sanitation and hygiene support due to the earthquake and tsunami. Credit: CWS