The Future is Equal

Oxfam treatment units on way to Palu as clean water in short supply

Hariandi Hafid/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Oxfam water treatment units and purification kits are en route to Palu, Sulawesi, with clean water in short supply after the deadly Indonesia earthquake and tsunami.

Water remains the main issue, with most supply infrastructure, such as pipes, damaged in the earthquake.

Some drinking water is being trucked in to the devastated communities, but it is not sufficient for the tens of thousands of people in need, and on ground treatment units will help meet the demand.The death toll from the tsunami has risen to more than 1,400 people, and there are still fears it could rise further. There are estimates as many as 300,000 people homeless and more than 2.5 million people have been affected.

Oxfam’s Humanitarian Manager in Indonesia, Ancilla Bere, said: “Oxfam is working to deliver water purification units as soon as possible and scaling up its response to reach 500,000 people with clean water, essential aid supplies, like hygiene kits, water kit and shelter packs and livelihood support.

“The scale of the damage from the earthquake and tsunami is huge and there are fears many bodies are buried under collapsed houses and buildings.

“In many areas of Palu and surrounding towns, there is no running water and few working toilets – and sanitation is a serious concern.

“Difficulty getting equipment and supplies into Palu, because of damage to roads, bridges and the airport, is still hampering response efforts.”

Staff from Oxfam Indonesia and local partners have arrived in Palu, Sulawesi, with others on the way, and they will provide aid supplies and set up water purification systems as soon as the equipment arrives. Oxfam  New  Zealand  Executive  Director  Rachael Le Mesurier said  a  lack  of  enough  clean  water, water  purification  tablets  and  hygiene  kits  needed  to  be  addressed  rapidly.

“Aid  is  getting  through  but  there  is  an  enormous  job  ahead  with  the  threat  of  a second disaster from   disease in  the  coming  days.”

“We’re  urging  the  New  Zealand  public  to  help  us  raise  essential  funds  to  provide  people  with  the  basic  needs  of  clean  water,  food,  hygiene  supplies,  healthcare  and  shelter.”

Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency response in Sulawesi can be made online at or by calling 0800 600 700.