The Urgency of Providing Food in Disaster and Pandemic-Hit Areas

One month after the earthquake, survivors in West Sulawesi still need assistance especially food. During this period of post-disaster recovery, the economy in the disaster-hit areas has not been fully recovered.

Children who survived Mamuju earthquake enjoy a meal from ACT’s Public Kitchen. The meal packages were distributed directly to their tents. Until now, food provision has been ACT’s main focus in disaster-hit areas. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, MAMUJU - Suparman, a resident of Puncak Indah Neighborhood in Bebanga Village, Kaluku, Mamuju Regency, has depended on humanitarian aid since the earthquake that shook in mid-January. The magnitude 6.2 earthquake damaged his house severely. In addition, his economy has also been severely hit by the earthquake as the turnover of his vegetable sales decreased.

Like Suparman, 283 evacuees from Humanitarian Post 8, Salutahonga Village, Malunda District, Majene Regency also depends on aid for their food. Hundreds of people are still living in shabby tents after their houses were destroyed by the earthquake. There’s only a limited amount of aid packages. To make sure everyone has enough, the aid packages have been rationed out.

The amount of aid is limited while there are many evacuees here. We made a regulation here that the aid packages that reach this neighborhood must be stored in the warehouse before being distributed. Every day, the food packages are rationed out to each family. Food is an urgent need now, and it’s starting to decrease,” explained Tahir who was appointed as head of the warehouse, Friday (1/29/2021).

The same situation is also faced by the evacuees in Te'beng Hamlet, Kasambang Village, Tapalang District, Mamuju Regency. Until February, they had not received assistance, especially food. In this place there are about 30 families of earthquake survivors. They camped in an isolated location that is difficult to reach.

ACT continues distributing food

Aksi Cepat Tanggap continues to assist earthquake survivors in West Sulawesi in this post-disaster recovery period by providing various kinds of aid. In early February, the Humanitarian Ship for West Sulawesi arrived at Belang-Belang Harbor, Mamuju, carrying a thousand tons of humanitarian aid. The aid packages from the ship have been distributed to the evacuation sites.

Coordinator of ACT’s Main Humanitarian Post in Mamuju Lukman Solehudin, said on Monday (2/15/2021) that, until now, the earthquake survivors were still in dire need of food aid. Even though the conditions are improving, the economy is still lagging. One of the reasons is the Coronavirus pandemic that still goes on.

"Here, we are still distributing aid packages to earthquake survivors, especially those who rarely receive them,” said Lukman, who coordinated hundreds of Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) volunteers who are being assigned to various points in Mamuju and Majene. []