As Indonesia’s government confirms more than 2,000 people have died following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Sulawesi on September 28, aid organizations including Oxfam are delivering assistance to survivors despite massive damage to roads and other infrastructure.
The city of Palu is one of the most severely damaged areas. That city alone may have as many as 1,600 dead and 38,600 displaced from their homes, according to reports from Oxfam staff working there.
"In many areas of Palu and surrounding towns, there is no running water and few working toilets,” says Oxfam’s Humanitarian Manager in Indonesia, Ancilla Bere. “Sanitation is a serious concern.”
Oxfam has delivered water treatment equipment that is now operating and assisting more than 1,800 displaced people in areas around Palu. Our staff and partners are also constructing latrines, and beginning to work on assessing the extensive damage of piped water systems in Palu and two other areas. So far, staff in Palu are estimating that 80 percent of the water system has been damaged in that city alone.
In addition to providing water, Oxfam and our partners on Sulawesi have distributed more than 900 hygiene kits to families. Hygiene kits include soap and other items to help people keep clean and avoid water-borne diseases, which can be deadly after major disasters. Next, Oxfam and others will develop a plan to promote good hygiene among displaced people as a crucial means to avoid outbreaks of disease.
Oxfam is also delivering clothing in the form of sarongs – 2,200 households have already received two sarongs each. So far, Oxfam and our partners have reached 12,500 people, and expects to assist half a million in total in the coming months.
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