IRC Responds to Severe Flooding in Aceh, Indonesia
IRC Aceh director Julie Dargis, who joined a United Nations coordination team that surveyed flooding in the Lhokseumawe area by helicopter on Saturday, said, “the road is clear and emergency supplies are being organized to provide relief to the affected communities.”
Within hours of more reports of severe flooding and a call for international assistance from Aceh’s governor on Saturday, the IRC set up its own flood response team and arranged to transport emergency items to the affected areas.
On Sunday, IRC recovery coordinator Ian Wirawan and 10 colleagues set out with supplies of clothing, rubber boots and chlorine to survey the flooded Tamiang area. “Many people are displaced in temporary shelters or makeshift camps awaiting the water to disperse from their homes,” Wirawan said. “The price of drinking water has tripled.”
Wirawan reported that as prices rose, the flood waters began to recede, contaminating the wells people rely on for potable water. “Water trucking is necessary and treatment will be needed to bring the water sources back to drinkable levels,” he said. Wirawan also reported that personal hygiene items are needed, particularly for women and children. The IRC is sharing its findings with the UN coordination team, flagging potential gaps in assistance.
The IRC joined a road convoy that arrived in Lhokseumawe early this morning to distribute water, food, and sanitation items and is sending a technical support team to the area to assist efforts underway by the IRC-led CARDI consortium to distribute hygiene kits and provide water treatment to decontaminate wells.
December 26 commemorates the two-year anniversary of the tsunami that devastated families and communities throughout Aceh. “The immediate and overwhelming response of the national staff has been nothing short of phenomenal,” Dargis said, “as the people of Aceh reach out to support each other, the IRC is providing emergency supplies and water and sanitation to help the affected populations return home as quickly as possible.”