Tuesday, October 6, 2009
05 October 2009
Darmawati and her mother inside their temporary home
42-year-old Darmawati lives in Jorong Ambung Kapur village in Padang Pariaman district on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. This region was badly affected by the earthquake that struck on 30 September, with some villages completely razed to the ground. Even now bodies are still being pulled from the rubble.
Darmwati lives with her 85-year-old mother and her four children, who were all inside their house when the earthquake struck. As their home began to shake, Darmawati’s elderly mother managed to run outside but her young daughter was trapped inside their bathroom. Darmawati could hear her daughter crying and finally managed to get inside the house to rescue her.
Reduced to rubble
The force of the earthquake has reduced the family’s home to a heap of bricks and bits of twisted corrugated iron. All their belongings that they saved so many years to buy have been destroyed. They have no furniture, no beds, no cooking utensils, but just the clothes they were wearing and a few blankets that they managed to rescue from the rubble.
Darmawati managed to buy a single tarpaulin sheet which she has erected by the site of her old house and which is now her family’s only shelter. They have no running water or electricity, and no proper protection from the wind and rain.
Darmawati and her four daughters talk with Islamic Relief staff
A safe home
Darmawati said, “I feel utterly hopeless. I do not have anywhere safe for my children to stay and I have lost all my belongings. I do not know how I will ever be able to buy back everything that has been destroyed.”
“I built this house on my own using my own income. It has taken me all my life to build this home for my family and I will never be able to afford to rebuild it. I do not earn much money and have to feed five other people as well as sending my daughters to school. Where will I find the money to build them a safe home for the future?”
Islamic Relief has previously worked in Darmwati’s village, installing a water system here in 2008. To help those like Darmawati who have been affected by the earthquake we are providing them with food and other relief items such as hygiene kits, while also ensuring that their water system is still functioning.
Darmawati said, “I am so happy that Islamic Relief is here as we have received no help so far. Members of the community have got together to provide food to those who have been affected but we desperately need a tent, clean water and blankets. I hope that soon someone can help me rebuild my house so that my beloved children and mother will have somewhere safe to stay.”
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Islamic Relief’s emergency response team have arrived in Padang and are preparing to carry out the first distributions to those affected by the earthquake.
In the coming days Islamic Relief aid workers will distribute food, clean water and blankets to 2,500 families. We will also distribute 5,000 hygiene kits to help protect people against the spread of waterborne diseases.
These distributions will take place in rural communities in Padang Pariaman District, where many people have so far received no aid. This District was one of the most severely affected by the earthquake with around 80 per cent of homes destroyed and thousands seriously damaged.
Islamic Relief has been working in the Padang Pariaman District for five years, most recently completing the construction of water and sanitation systems in 22 villages. While many water sources have been destroyed, our aid workers report that in the villages they have visited the water systems built by Islamic Relief are still operating and are now the only source of water for many neighbouring communities.
Over the coming days Islamic Relief aid workers will continue to assess the situation and respond to the needs of those most severely affected by the earthquake.