ACTNews, LEBAK – The call to Maghrib prayer echoed. A cup of fresh drink and several kinds of snack were served in front of the ICS (Integrated Community Shelter) inhabitants. Heavy meals were then served after they enjoyed the snacks. Although living in in temporary houses, they really enjoyed spending their time together. Their houses were damaged, even partially washed away by the flash flood in early 2020. Now, they live in the ICS compound built by Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT).
After more than a month, the temporary shelter constructed right next to a lake in Kampung Cekdam, Sukarame Village, was completed. Of the 60 temporary shelters, 52 units have been inhabited by the flash flood survivors since before Ramadan. On Monday (4/27), Aksi Cepat Tanggap officially opened the ICS compound and held a communal iftar with the ICS residents.
One of the residents, Sabrowi, was happy with the communal iftar held in the ICS. The 70-year-old man was happy to be able to gather together with fellow disaster survivors and to get free meals without having to cook.
"Usually I cook my iftar myself. With this communal iftar, Alhamdulillah, we can get together to break the fast. I don't need to cook anymore," Sabrowi said.
Local officials gave speeches at the ICS opening ceremony and communal iftar. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)
Sabrowi's house itself was badly damaged by the flash flood. He could not save any of his belongings. “I thank you very much. This is something that I really need,” said Sabrowi.
Even so, sadness lingers still. Siti Komalasari, another disaster survivor, was also very much grateful. However, this year's Ramadan is certainly more difficult because it is the first time for her family not to spend their Ramadan at home. She began Ramadan only with her children because her husband who works in Tangerang cannot return home due to travel restrictions to stop COVID-19 spread.
"Last year, we spent Ramadan at our own house. Although simple, it is home. Now, it is how it is. Still, there’s no place like home," said Siti.
Shortly after enjoying their snacks, some the ICS inhabitants went dome to their shelters, but most of the men took their ablution to pray in congregation. This is the first time the mosque in the ICS was used for congregational activities.
Dwiko Hadi Dastriyadi, ACT Program Director said that ICS construction was a further assistance provided by ACT. In the next phase, ACT plans to economically empower the ICS inhabitants.
"In the initial stage, ACT focuses on providing basic needs in the form of staple packages, meal packages, and public kitchens. The second stage is the construction of an Integrated Community Shelter compound in Lebak, and the third is economic smpowerment," Dwiko said.
ICS buildings can last for 5 years. The locals still hope that within the next few years, they can rebuild their damaged houses. ACT plans to give the ICS compound to the village as an asset for tourist development once the locals have rebuilt their houses.
"Incidentally some residents have also been affected by the expansion of the Karian Reservoir. Once they receive compensation money (from the government), they hope to be able to rebuild their homes. If so, the ICS compound will become a village asset to be used for tourist attraction," Dwiko said.