Josh Meares is World Relief’s Country Director in Indonesia. In the wake of the recent earthquakes in Lombok, he is currently on the ground coordinating World Relief’s response and working with other Integral Members in the region …
What is the situation on the ground?
The level of destruction is difficult to describe, due in large part to poor building practices. On average, three out of every five buildings are destroyed, but in some areas the destruction approaches 100%. In an area already prone to drought, the water situation has become even more difficult, especially for remote communities whose water pipes have been broken or buried, with no hope of quick repair. However, we are very thankful that the road infrastructure held up very well, and the number of casualties and injuries are relatively small compared to the destruction.
What are the needs?
The urgent needs are obvious: food, water, temporary shelter, and sanitation. But the longer term need for rebuilding homes is massive, as is a need for trauma healing. The repeated, unpredictable nature of these earthquakes have really affected people, especially children. One little boy said he was afraid to go home because “Satan lives underneath it. Every time I go in the door, he makes my legs start to shake.” This doesn’t go away quickly.
How are you meeting those needs?
Right now, with provision to meet urgent needs – food, water, temporary shelters and hygiene kits. In the longer term, we will move into trauma healing and livelihood recovery.
What field coordination is happening between Integral Members at the moment?
Field coordination is going really well. Food for the Hungry and World Relief both have local Indonesian offices and coordinated to support a church-led disaster response initiative by Jakomkris, a network started by Tear Netherlands in 2016. In addition, World Relief, ZOA and World Renew have been coordinating on the ground sharing information and needs assessment data.
How you see Integral adding value in this situation?
I think the breadth of experience and perspective that is being shared, and the willingness to work together without needing to self-promote and “raise your own flag” is very helpful. World Relief has incorporated insights from key individuals such as Effendy from Food for the Hungry and Arsinta from Jakomkris, among others.
World Relief has been working in North Lombok for 7 years, but we wouldn’t have been able to respond as quickly or as well to the urgent needs for food, shelter, and water without the support of the Integral Alliance and our local partners.
On 5th August, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok in Indonesia. The area had already been impacted by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on 29th July. On 9th August, the island was again hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, creating panic among the population and further hindering rescue efforts. The three earthquakes were followed by a number of strong aftershocks causing widespread structural damage to shelter and public infrastructure. As of 12th August fatalities number 392, with 1,353 people injured and 387,067 people displaced [Source here].
See the Integral Press Release here