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Java Earthquake: Oxfam, allies reach more than 100,000 survivors

Java Earthquake: Oxfam, allies reach more than 100,000 survivors

May 10, 2010

In the two weeks since a 6.3 earthquake struck central Java, Indonesia, Oxfam’s emergency relief effort has reached 130,000 stricken survivors

Although an enormous amount has been achieved by Oxfam staff and its partners in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, a huge job remains. The Indonesian Government now estimates up to 122,301* homes have been destroyed and 415,169* have suffered some level of damage. Government authorities also estimate the number of people left homeless could be as high as 1.5 million, and the death toll is at 5,722.

"The earthquake has caused more widespread destruction than originally thought, and the needs of people affected are enormous. It’s going to take people a long time to recover from this disaster," said Mat Cousins, Oxfam’s Earthquake Response Program Manager.

Quick response
The first two weeks of Oxfam’s relief effort focused on delivering drinking water to area hospitals and tarpaulins throughout the Bantul area for use as emergency shelters.

Oxfam also continues to install water tanks and latrines in villages and community centers, where infrastructure to pipes and wells were damaged.

Thousands of other vital supplies including hygiene kits, buckets, and jerry cans have also been distributed. Some of the aid was transferred from trucks to motorcycles to reach people in the most remote villages along bumpy, steep roads.

Oxfam was able to mount a quick response to this disaster because it already had stocks of emergency supplies, staff, and local partners in anticipation of the eruption of nearby volcano Mt. Merapi which looms over Yogyakarta, Java’s second largest city.

Cousins added: "The success of the relief effort in the first two weeks is a credit to the hard work of staff, partners and to the affected communities themselves, who have shown tremendous resilience. There’s a strong tradition of communities sharing labor, and working together to help each other — so we’ve been very careful not to disrupt these existing networks."

Oxfam’s deliveries

In the first two weeks since the earthquake, Oxfam has delivered:

  • 25,848 family size tarpaulins. A total of 32,000 tarpaulins will be distributed by the end of the third week
  • 209,000 litres of drinking water with an average of 43,000 litres being sent out each day to villages, hospitals and community centers
  • 28 emergency latrines were installed in three hospitals in Yogyakarta and public locations in serving up to 1,500 people. One thousand latrines will be built in the coming months
  • 7,272 hygiene kits which include soaps, sanitary napkins, toothpast
  • 5,016 buckets, and 5,470 jerry cans.

Oxfam plans to continue delivering supplies over the next three months, and will reach 160,000 people on community-led projects in the following key areas: improve basic water and sanitation, improve quality of temporary shelters, educate on better hygiene practices, and help people get back to work to support their families.

On alert for eruption of Mount Merapi
Oxfam remains on high alert for a second potential humanitarian disaster with the possible eruption of Mt Merapi. Emergency stocks which were used during the initial response to the earthquake are being replenished, and emergency preparedness plans, developed over the past eight months with Oxfam partners, remain in place.

Click here to make an online donation to Oxfam’s emergency appeal right now.

To make a donation by phone, please call 1-800-466-9326 or you can send a cheque to:

Indonesia Earthquake (2006)
Oxfam Canada
200-215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M5T 2C7


In Ottawa: Mark Fried, (613) 850-9723

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