The IRC Provides Emergency Aid, Clean Water After Severe Flooding in Aceh, Indonesia
In the worst-hit district of Tamiang in southeastern Aceh, IRC recovery coordinator Ian Wirawan and his 10-member team encountered devastating scenes. Close to 90 percent of the land was under water. Bridges and roads were swept away. According to local authorities, more than 12,500 houses and 75 schools were destroyed.
In the following days, IRC teams distributed water, food and hygiene items to thousands of affected people. To prevent the outbreak of disease, IRC environmental health teams immediately set out to purify wells that had been contaminated from dirty flood water. “We have also trained 25 local nurses in well cleaning,” said Andrew Baker, the IRC’s response team leader. “They will now go into communities and train others how to clean wells effectively and safely.”
Two weeks after the disaster, homes are still covered with mud and people are living in tents or in public buildings. Baker reported today that although the damage is extensive, particularly from mudslides, the situation has slowly been brought under control by Indonesian authorities and relief organizations.
The IRC has procured special pumps designed to remove masses of mud, he added. The floods struck just before the second anniversary of the tsunami that devastated Aceh two years ago, killing tens of thousands of people.