Muslim Aid’s Fadlullah Wilmot and Sahedul Islam have just returned from Palu to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, where they continue supporting Muslim Aid’s national partner, YKMI (The Indonesian Muslim Humanitarian Foundation) and another local NGO, PKPU, to distribute life-saving food parcels and water to some of the most difficult to reach communities affected by the quake.
The water purification system is used to provide clean drinking water to internally displaced communities in the three affected districts of Palu, Donggala and Sigi. The system provides displaced adults and children access to 3 gallons of filtered water per minute or 14,400 litres per day, reducing chances of water-borne diseases amongst the densely packed communities living in tents and under tarpaulins.
‘We are very proud to have supported this initial emergency distribution through our national partner, so quickly’ says Wilmot, who is Muslim Aid’s temporary Indonesia Head of Mission. ‘This is the initial phase of our emergency response. We are looking at how to support some of the around 350,000 people whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed over the longer term’ he adds. ‘People currently staying with relatives or friends need to rebuild their lives and homes." In addition, transitional shelters will be provided, so that the affected people can live in dignity while rebuilding their homes and livelihoods.
When Wilmot, who worked with Muslim Aid during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and earthquake as well as the Yogyakara earthquakes in 2006, first arrived in Donggala and Palu, he saw ruined houses lining the shore and entire villages destroyed. He was in the disaster area providing support to local partners, and witnessed several aftershocks that saw people running ‘helter skelter’ to escape. The quake death toll has now climbed to almost 2,000, with around 1,000 people reported missing and another 10,600 injured. The latest figure of internally displaced is 75,400.
Asif Sherazi, Muslim Aid’s Global Head of Humanitarian Programmes, emphasises Muslim Aid’s commitment to supporting Indonesians through its national partner. ‘Our country office will do everything possible to support, through our national and local partners, those who urgently need food, water, medicines, clothing, soap and other hygiene products’ he says.
Indonesia was the first country in the world to enact legislation enshrining in law the right of citizens to be protected from natural disasters and to be provided with support and relief afterwards. The national disaster agency, and the Indonesian Red Cross, sprang into action after the recent disaster and Muslim Aid is coordinating its response through YKMI.
Muslim Aid is specialised in disaster recovery and disaster risk reduction and has been working in Indonesia for more than 14 years, originally directly and now through YKMI.