Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Field Report from Aceh!

UPDATE: The received an email from Centre for Justpeace in Asia. The report was prepared by ANFREL and their Indonesian partner Sumatra Hope. It's about the Information shown here is collected from friends in Medan, Indonesia who just came back from Aceh.

General situation:
There are many food and medical supplies donated from public, government agencies and international community. But most of the things are stuck at the airport. The problem is about the distribution of all donated stuff. The city is COMPLETLY destroyed. No any infrastructure existed. That all things can not be transported from the airport. They need trucks to load all things to distribute to victims. Any organization want to help they have to bring their own infrastructure. For example, have to rent a truck from Medan and have to carry fuel by themselves. Nothing available there.

There are many temporary shelters/refugee camps along the coastline from Lhokseumawe to Banda Aceh. At least 50 camps in Banda Aceh never get anything from outside until today. Each camp is inhabited about 1,500 people. Most of them are children.

Public health situation:
Getting worse day by day. Skin disease already came since lack of clean water to clean them. Many children are suffering with skin disease. Their side effected is itchy and scratchy. Cholera is coming. The only hospital in the province that still function is a hospital operated by military. It names is KeDam ­Kesahatan Daerah Militer Hospital. The main and only proper hospital in the province, Zainal Abidin Hospital, is completely destroyed, can’t function. MSF already came with doctors and medical supplies.

Only instant noodles and dried food are donated to the victims. They need other kinds of food. For example rice, vegetable, meet. That can help them strong enough to cope with the diseases with already came and which are coming. To supply fresh food like that, we have to provide them kitchenware, cooking gas, pot, pan and everything.

Main problem is about food for baby and children. Powder milk for baby is most NEEDED. These means we have to provide hot water too.

Roads in some area are still functions. From Medan can go by road to Lhokseumawe, it takes 5 hours. From Lhok Seumawe to Banda Aceh need another 6 hours. But land transportation from Banda Aceh to Meulaboh, a district on the western coast is impossible. The only way to access Meulaboh is by road from Blangpidi.

About the network to help friends in Aceh:
KKSP ­Education and Information Centre for Child Rights is now a center for people network. It is an NGO based in Medan. KKSP already established a system in Lhok Seumawe (LS). The representatives of KKSP in every town of LS are already set up. For LS, if we have foodstuff, medical supplies and money for them to rent a truck they can send the things out right now from KKSP in Medan to KKSP centre in LS then to its representatives in each district. They are trying to set up the same system in Banda Aceh. It is not easy for Banda Aceh because the city is completely destroyed. Many friends are still out of contact.

A friend from KKSP will go to Meulaboh tomorrow, Jan 2, to see the situation and try to set up the system.

The plan:
KKSP now is NGOs collision in Medan for humanitarian Aids for Earthquake and Tsunemi in Aceh and North Sumatra. They have 3-month plan, focus in 3 themes: food, infrastructure and health.

January: priority is food, to make it available to people there.

February: priority is still on food, but will pay more attention on provide them infrastrutre focus on clean water. That they will dig to ground to provide them underground water.

March: infrastructure is priority.

About health condition is not listed as priority for the whole three month. But they will work on it. The problem is they have no idea where can they get doctors. Not only medical supplies, but doctors, nurse and all equipment are needed.

Right now KKSP has many volunteers. Many NGOs, students and general public offer themselves to be volunteers. They might need some allowance for their living and family. The fund can also be given to some profession including doctor, medical staffs and so on. They already have contact. The most needed now is money for administration works and transportation and all supplies to give to the victims