Plan Indonesia Distributes Aid for Flash Flood Survivors in Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara

Lewoleba, 6 April 2021 – A series of disasters, which include flash flood, landslide, as well as tropical cyclone has been sweeping the East Nusa Tenggara Province (NTT) since last Saturday (3/4). The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) shared that an amount of two tropical cyclone seeds in the Indonesian region could also result in extreme weather until the next Friday (9/4), with risks of flash floods announced for the Kupang Regency, Kupang city, Timor Tengah Utara, and Timor Tengah Selatan.

Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia), a humanitarian organization that has been working in the Lembata Regency, NTT, since 2006, noted that at least 2,227 out of approximately 10 thousand of its sponsored children (1,186 girls and 1,041 boys) and their families in the area are affected by this set of disasters.

In response to this, Plan Indonesia has been moving swiftly to conduct a three-day rapid need assessmentRNAto map the needs of the survivors from Monday (5/4) to Wednesday (7/4). Dini Widiastuti, the Executive Director of Plan Indonesia stated that rapid need assessment and initial aid distribution, is crucially needed to fulfill the needs of survivors in the temporary shelters.

“The child survivors particularly from marginalised families are at most vulnerable when a disaster occurs. In coordination with the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management and relevant agencies, we will be mapping the needs of the survivors particularly marginalised children and their family, then distribute aid to them to ensure they have access to basic needs amid this disaster,” Dini mentioned on Tuesday (6/4).

The current situation in East Nusa Tenggara, which include blackout, communication loss, as well as roadblocks has made it more difficult to distribute aid to the survivors. Local citizens are also still on alert as Mt.Ili Lewotolok—which has just erupted months ago—is still rendered active at level III of Siaga (Alert) situation and the Lembata Regency itself is considered as an orange zone, which indicates the medium-high level of COVID-19 transmission in the area.

Ervin (11-year-old), one of Plan Indonesia Sponsored Children living in Lembata, has expressed the type of logistics needed in the shelter.

“We are in dire need of clothes, blankets, and sleeping mats. When the night comes, we are shivering from the cold as we have to sleep on the bare floor,” Ervin said to the Plan Indonesia emergency response team in Lembata, Monday (5/4).

Aside from conducting the rapid need assessment, the Plan Indonesia emergency response team has also been distributing initial aid to the survivors. An amount of 105 emergency shelter tool kitsconsisting of mat and blankets, as well as 30 menstrual hygiene management kitsMHM Kit), were distributed to the Lembata citizens on Sunday (4/4). Plan Indonesia adhered to the COVID-19 health protocols in its aid distribution, to ensure the health of the citizens and the humanitarian workers. In parallel to the aid distribution, Plan Indonesia has also been carrying out a fundraising effort through a local platform, kitabisa.com, to increase the amount of aid for the survivors. The fundraised money will be distributed in the form of logistics needed by the flash flood survivors in East Nusa Tenggara, based on the rapid need assessment result.