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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 oxfam.org.nz/sulawesi or by calling 0800 600 700.
Notes to editors:
Oxfam’s partners are part of the Humanitarian Knowledge Hub, a network established with the support of Oxfam in Indonesia, which consists of 16 community organisations led by JEMARI Sakato. Oxfam in Indonesia has been working to strengthen the capacity of the Humanitarian Knowledge Hub as the local force in disaster risk management. Together with Oxfam, the Hub also responded to the Lombok earthquakes in July.