February 8 2007
SOS Children's Villages relief effort in Jakarta reaches fifth day
08/02/2007 - The floods which devastated Jakarta and the surrounding neighborhoods of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi have entered their fifth day without showing any signs of receding. Roads, houses and office complexes are submerged, property damage is extensive and many have lost their lives in the deluge. From the moment the flood began, SOS Children's Villages has provided much-needed emergency relief and support to flood victims.
The SOS Children's Villages team consists of SOS mothers, youth and co-workers, and although the flood has devastated Jakarta for almost a week, distribution of food, clothing, medicine and other essential materials is often slowed by lack of support and poor distribution capabilities. These difficulties do not deter co-workers, who employ creative, alternative means of getting the relief materiel to those most in need.
The Pulo Mas and Kelapa Gading residential neighborhoods are inaccessible via conventional roads, which are flooded. The local military lent a rowboat to SOS Children's Villages relief workers to reach the more than 7,000 stranded flood victims. Using the rubber craft, the co-workers distributed 400 packages of cooked food, rice, milk and biscuits. In addition, the SOS team - the first outside agency to arrive on location - also distributed medicine, clothing and mineral water.
The threat of both water-borne and airborne diseases is acute in Kebon Nanas, where more than 210 families are living under a highway because it is the only dry location in the area. There is only one tent to provide shelter for 16 toddlers. The rest of the displaced people, including other children, are protected only by the road above, without any "walls". They sleep on the ground without mats. This unhealthy environment is a perfect breeding-ground for disease; some children suffer from skin diseases, cough and flu-like symptoms. SOS Children's Villages is helping by providing medicine, mats and clothing, cooked food, rice, noodles, milk, biscuits and mineral water.
SOS Children's Villages Indonesia is also helping nearly 3,000 families in Kampung Makasar, Jatinegara, Pulo Gadung and Klender, where the need for water, food, clothing and medicine is great. Delivering much needed relief materials has proven to be a daunting challenge for the SOS co-workers in Jakarta. They have met this challenge by improvising their methods and finding creative ways to reach children and families displaced by the floods.