Evacuees in Majene Try to Survive Despite Lack of Aid

About 100 earthquake survivors are still staying in the evacuation camp in Mekkatta Village, Malunda District, Majene Regency. They only received a little disaster relief by Sunday (1/17/2021) because the camp was difficult to reach. They are trying to survive with a few items they have.

Evacuees in South Mekkatta Village. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, MAJENE - About 100 people are still staying in the evacuation site in South Mekkatta Village, Malunda District, Majene Regency. They stay in makeshift tarpaulin tents without adequate basic supplies.

"I came straight here since the day of the earthquake because I was worried about the tsunami. I immediately searched for a safe place in the mountains. Not all fled here, because there are still other evacuation sites,” said Marliana (41), one of the earthquake survivors.

No humanitarian aid had reached this evacuation site by Sunday (1/17/2020). The evacuees are still in urgent need of basic supplies. “No one has sent us basic supplies that we need such as diapers and medicine. We use what we have carried all the way from our houses. There has been no aid at all,” said Marliana.

This was also acknowledged by Takdir, a Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) volunteer at the location. He said that there are many urgent needs that have yet to be met, but the humanitarian aid is still minimal.

Ruins of a house in South Mekkatta. (ACTNews)

"The evacuees are still trying to survive, but there’s only a minimal amount of aid. There are many needs of the refugees that still need to be met, including clean water. After the earthquake, the Regional Drinking Water Company’s water pipes and many of the water wells have been buried. For now, the evacuees are using what remains from what they have. Even clean water is running out now,” said Takdir on Sunday (1/17/2021).

The lack of humanitarian aid is caused by difficult access to the evacuation site. The camp is located in the mountains. In addition to South Mekkatta Village, there are 3 more evacuation sites around the area. "They took refuge in high places because they received information from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) that there would be a potential for aftershocks," he added.

Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) is currently working to send aid fleet as soon as possible to the village of South Mekkatta. Takdir hoped that this assistance will arrive at the evacuation site by at least Monday (1/18/2021).

"We also hope that the donors can support the survivors in the evacuation sites. We hope that we can work together to help them through this emergency phase," hoped Takdir. []