Eighteen Integral Members have joined together to respond to the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia on 28th September 2018. Novita Lenahatu, Programme Manager at Food for the Hungry, worked as the Integral short-term Coordinator in the initial stages of the disaster, linking Integral Members and their partners on the ground. Here is an update from her about the ongoing response …
Can you describe the situation on the ground six weeks on from the tsunami?
Most internally displaced people (IDPs) have moved out from tents to better temporary shelters. Those in Sigi we visited reported that they are continuing to receive food and non-food aid from government and other organisations. Government offices and businesses are operating as normal but school activities are taking place in tents.
What is Food for the Hungry doing?
In Central Sulawesi, FH Indonesia responded to the early recovery needs at two levels – policy and coordination level and implementation.
On the policy and coordination level, FH Indonesia is involved in the ‘cash for work’ working group which has had its’ ‘cash for work’ mechanism approved by the government. The programme was launched officially by the head of Social Office on 14 November 2018. Currently the working group is administering a joint market assessment to establish the basis for multipurpose cash transfer.
On the implementation level FH Indonesia has started community engagement in the mountainous area of Kulawi, for the ‘cash for work’ programme to develop a list of beneficiaries and a formal agreement. In South Sulawesi, FH Indonesia is responding to the needs of the IDPs living costs and facilitating their return back to Central Sulawesi.
FH Indonesia is one of the founder members of the Jakomkris network in Indonesia. Can you tell us about them and what they are doing in this response?
The Jakomkris network brings together Christian faith-based humanitarian organisations. The network was formed with strong support from Tear Netherlands, and aims to strengthen the local church in disaster risk reduction, increasing resilience and the ability to respond to disasters effectively. Jakomkris membership now consists of 13 church members and 17 Christian faith-based humanitarian institutions.
There is active communication between the six members of Jakomkris responding individually. Out of those six, three carry the name Jakomkris on their joint project funded by Tear Netherlands. Also, Jakomkris is working through the Fellowship of Churches in Indonesia to involve local churches in Central Sulawesi to respond to the disaster.
How is collaboration adding value to your work?
It certainly enables us to do more than we could otherwise do working as a single organisation.
Is there anything you have done that has only been possible through collaboration?
Through a broader network of relationships, we have been able to engage with other partners and therefore expand our response to cover shelter, cash transfer, and health services.
Do you have any highlights, or stories of hope, from the last 6 weeks?
A community in a remote area testified how they built a latrine and channelled water from the mountain spring three days after the earthquake. This initiative was led by their former head of their village using available materials that were stored in the village from a government WASH planned project. This shows how amazingly people, even in the midst of disaster, have ability to do something positive and contribute to their recovery.
What is the greatest challenge at this stage of the response?
The current challenge in Central Sulawesi is the rainy season. One of the FH Indonesia ‘cash for work’ project locations is in the mountainous Kulawi sub-district, so they live with the threat of landslides. Also, currently there is still no electricity. The safety and security of project staff is a concern, and this may delay some of our response plans.
What inspires you most about Integral?
I have only come to know Integral recently when asked to help with the coordination on the ground between Integral Members. In this short period I have come to admire the coordination effort it takes to ensure that every Member share plans with each other and collaborates in whatever ways they can. Photo Credit: Paola Barioli, Medair 2018 Photo description: On September 28, local Palu resident Kiki was travelling from her home to her shop in Tamanria area, Palu, Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi. She witnessed first- hand the destruction of the tsunami waves, washing away buildings and sweeping people under the mud. “I don’t know how I can recover from this. Everything is gone, just gone”.