Channel NewsAsia

Indonesian flood victims desperate for clean water and food

Indonesians in Jakarta are still reeling from the massive flooding brought on by the rainy season. While logistics and food supplies are being distributed to evacuation sites, some evacuees in small shelters claim they are being left out.

JAKARTA: Indonesians in the capital city of Jakarta are still reeling from the massive flooding brought on by the rainy season.

Home to nine million people, the capital has already seen some 62,000 being displaced.

While logistics and food supplies are being distributed to evacuation sites, some evacuees who have sought refuge in small shelters are claiming they are being left out.

One flood victim, Tuti Mahyanti and her family have been staying at a shelter in East Jakarta for the past week.

Living in close proximity to a river and having to seek temporary shelter from the floods is not her first experience.

But it is an experience one can never get used to.

For now, her family of four have to contend with sleeping on a small carpet laid out on a carton.

Exposed to the wet cold weather and wind, her elderly mother often shivers at night.

Since the electricity company shut off power to flood prone areas, the family has been getting by with no electricity and running water.

"If I want to use the toilet, I use drinking water to clean myself. I haven't bathed in around five days. I haven't washed my hair because there's no running water" said Tuti Mahyanti.

Meanwhile, the temporary public kitchen cooks about 1,000 food rations a day.

Cooks at the kitchen said food supplies from the regional government arrive every other day, and sometimes they come late.

Flood victims rely heavily on temporary public kitchens for food and water.

The cooks said they have been getting most of their food supplies from public donations rather than the regional government.

They say they are in desperate need of clean water to cook and also to wash their cooking utensils.

Rusli, a deputy coordinator for a humanitarian group, volunteers for shelters near his home.

He believes the small shelters do not get any media coverage and much of the food or clothing donated by the public, is often for adults and not enough attention is being given to children.

The deputy coordinator at Aksi Cepat Tanggap, went on to say: “Children sometimes are passed over by people who don't realise that there are a lot of small children in flood shelters.

“There are babies who need baby food, diapers and other baby items. That's what we are trying to gather."

The flood disaster hitting the capital city seems to have become a litmus test for Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo.

In order to better manage relief efforts, the Jakarta administration has plans to merge several small shelters.

Bambang Musyawardana, head of the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency, said: “Those staying in small shelters will be moved to a new shelter so it will allow us to better manage mobility, food distribution and health care."

Authorities are also pushing for new shelters to be set up across the city.  

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna