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Situation In Jakarta Still Dire

Jakarta and surrounding areas are still reeling from the affects of the severe floods that hit the region more than three weeks ago, says Tri Budiardjo, National Director of CCF Indonesia (Christian Children's Fund).

“The people of Jakarta are becoming increasingly desperate because they are tired, hungry and concerned about losing their sources of income,” says Mr Budiardjo.

“The situation is still dire, with more than 100,000 people still displaced from their homes and living in mosques, village halls, government offices and other temporary shelters. Others are living on the streets, taking shelter under bridges and fly passes.”

“The worst thing is that the rainy season is not over yet and more storms are expected, so we might get hit again,” says Tri Budiardjo.

Although the exact death-toll from the floods is yet to be confirmed, reports suggest there have been as many as 50 casualties. Some infants and children have also become victims of the floods, dying as a result of post-flood diseases such as diarrhoea.

“There have been some acts of crime as people search for food, but overall the rise of social solidarity has been amazing. Business communities, civic groups, sports clubs, churches and the media have all been working together, offering services to affected families to make it through this tragedy,” says Mr Budiardjo.

“People are calling radio stations to say that they’ve cooked meals for people to come and distribute to the flood victims. Some families have been cooking hundreds of meals out of their houses on a daily basis, ever since the flood hit.”

The flooding has affected twelve of CCF’s development projects and more than 1800 families’ houses. People, who were already living on meagre incomes, have lost essential possessions including kitchen utensils, clothing and children’s school books.

Emergency posts have been established within CCF projects and the development agency has extended its services to assist families in need from outside the projects.

CCF's child centres, generally used for child development activities including improving nutritional conditions of children and provide supplemental feeding, have become temporary shelter for families whose homes were severely damaged, and project staff are providing meals, food supplies, medicine and healthcare.
CCF is well established in Indonesia with more than 60 projects operating throughout the region, and last year approximately NZD$9 million worth of development assistance was provided to needy children, their families and communities. Approximately 850 Indonesian children are supported by New Zealanders.

“The extent of these floods has been much worse than the severe floods we experienced in 1996, and they took us years to recover from. It’s heart-breaking to see so much of the progress we’ve made through CCF’s development assistance destroyed,” says Mr Budiardjo.

Plans for long-term flood prevention are currently underway; however one idea includes the construction of more CCF children centres on higher ground, which can be used as temporary shelters and emergency base camps in times of need, and areas for children to have constructive activities at other times.

CCF Indonesia requires around NZD$400,000 for post-emergency rehabilitation in Jakarta. New Zealanders can donate to assist in Jakarta by calling toll free 0800 808 822, or by visiting our website www.ccf.org.nz.

ENDS

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