Monday, January 10, 2005

Information and appeal from grassroots Indonesian organization

A grassroots Indonesian organization (as far as I can tell), UPC, sends out an appeal and

Jan 4

From UPC Jakarta

It is, indeed, the first time in the lives of most of us to witness such calamity. We are now mobilising all possible resources for relief activities. Social solidarity is very high, practically everybody is doing what they can to give assistance and support -- even the poorest communities in urban areas collecting their donation. Unfortunately, the government, who assumes coordination function, is very slow and not effective. Dead bodies are still scattered all over, and as of today the military can only handle those in major streets in Banda Aceh, the capital city of Aceh. Many dead bodies in the back allies, behind and under ruined buildings still stay as they are. Transport facilities to send food, water and other urgent needs are very limited.

At the moment, the Urban Poor Consortium/ Linkage, is mobilising aids and supports as well as volunteers. We concentrate on two focuses, relief actions and recovery programs. For relief action, with financial assistance from Misereor, we are sending tons of food, drinking water, medicines, blankets and others to Aceh and North Sumatra. Also, in coordination with the NGO networks, we set up aid centres both in the disaster areas and in major cities in Indonesia. Yesterday, we managed to send 2 tons of plastic sheets for corpses from Jakarta to Banda Aceh; today, we have to fight very hard to get our 6 tons of liquid milk be trasported, we finally got the space for 6.30 am tomorrow, 2 Jan. Today, we decided to send the rest of the stuff , around 30 tons of different things such as biscuits, drinking water, blankets, medicines, sanitary napkins for women, antiseptic soaps, etc. from Jakarta by sea -- a journey of three days. Donation such as used clothes and others from the urban poor networks all over the country are transported through the Aid Centre of NGO Coalition Network in Jakarta. In order to get the transport facilities, we have to rely on high level contacts in the government. It is not a matter of corruption but lack of coordination and verry slooow action from the government's part.

I agree that we have to think ahead, to start preparing ourselves for the recovery stage, especially when the business community is all ready to take all the reconstruction projects of the ruin cities and areas. I was informed that the younger brother of the Vice President has all ready with plans and proposal and funds for the recovery projects. We need all the possible and concrete ideas as to what to do in this stage. We would welcome not only concept and ideas, but also technical assistance and experts to come and sit and work with us to soon plan for it.


News on Aceh 8

Diseases Threaten People

Generally, the condition of Banda Aceh, the capital city of Aceh,is getting better. Economic Activitiy starts again. However, danger still threaten the population. The failure of the evacuation team to achieve of goal to bury 6000 corpses a day and problems on sanitation and hygiene make the population in danger of cholera epidemic as well as other disease.

Until 4 January, there are still many corpses piled up under ruins, especially in isolated areas.

It has detected many people who infected by lung disease, especially children. Many people who have been evacuated to other city (Medan and Jakarta), have reported dead because of the limit of oxygenic for medical operation as well as on airplane.

In isolated areas such as in west coast, small health problem can easily transform into big one. Scrape or contusion can become a dangerous infection spreading into entire body. Lack of nutritious food weakens body and make people easily attacked by fever. People with hurt fester or Pneumonia, a lung infection that can be caused by germs, is everywhere. Bone fracture which in normal condition is not dangerous can cause a death because it leads to decaying of body. In this case, amputation is become the solution to save the patient

Evacuation of wounded people were carried out by Indonesian as well as international volunteers using a USS Abraham Lincoln helicopter. In 4 January there are 43 people have been evacuated from west coast of Aceh. However, when volunteers bring them to Kapesdam Hospital, they have to face a very chaotic situation. There are many corpses left unmanaged. This situation makes the hospital looks very dirty, and it upsets the patients.

Only 60% of the evacuation process succeed because military often gives wrong coordinate points. It is worsened by the people themselves which often have doubts to be evacuated and need to be convinced first. Helicopter also can not stay long time in one point since many people always approach asking for food. In each points, there are two to ten persons wounded.

It also has been detected many people suffer from serious condition of scabies it which can not simply treated using anti-itch powder. Oral medicine is urgently needed. If this disease is not overcome quickly, it will spread among the people since those who live in the same camp-share toilets and water.

It is also worsened by the general situation of the camps which are surrounded by stagnated water which in the near future will cause spreading of malaria, cholera, dysentery, and diarrhea. Such diseases can spread rapidly since there is the limit of toilet facility, water, as well as cooking equipments.

Many children suffer from diarrhea because they have to drink water which is not cooked properly. The lack of stove make people have to cook water quickly to give others opportunity to do so. This make water never boiled properly.

Health logistics needed,
Oxygen 100 units
Anti-itch salves
Other health logistics, sanitary and hygiene equipment (disinfectants, etc) and medicines such as antibiotic, norit, oralit, etc, need to be supplied continuously.

Source: report of Tim Relawan Kita-Forum LSM Aceh,
January 3, 2005.

Jan 4
From Johan Silas
In Indonesia we are still concentrating on the rescue effort.

Meanwhile at ITS (Surabaya) we are preparing quick construction housing model as the need is great, but most areas are not accessible by ordinary means.

And we have a new ministry for housing. meaning that every thing has to start from scratch, including the budget. ITS have given him our full support.

Yours, Johan SILAS

Jan 4 from UPC - Received Jan 5



A team consists of volunteers, militaries, and government officers work hard and mobilize all available resources to achieve target to bury 6000 corpses a day. By 1 January, 12,383 corpses have been evacuated in Banda Aceh and 8,500 in areas outside of Banda Aceh.

This is far from death toll which has reach 94,081 by 3 Januari according to .

The team must do their work quickly because rotten corpses which have not been buried will endanger population.

Diseases such as, diarrhea and fever, haunt refugees. Report of Aceh NGO Forum on 3 January said that in camp of Jembatan Lamnyong, Darusallam, where 300 people live, two refugees dead in four days because of diarrhea. In Cot ilie, three babies dead and one person wounded.

The condition of refugees is worsened by inadequate supply of water and sanitation. If this situation continues and accumulates with limited food, poor quality tents, and inadequate of medicine and doctors, health condition of refugees is in big danger.

Donation for Aceh can be sent to:

Urban Poor Consortium - Konsorsium Kemiskinan Kota
Billy Moon Blok H-I/7 Jakarta 13450,
Phone: 62 - 21 - 8642915,86902407
Fax: 62.21.86902408.

Bank Account
Konsorsium Kemiskinan Kota
account number: 230-3000097
BCA KCU Kalimalang
Jl. Tarum Barat Blok E no. 5