Water is still an Urgent Need for West Sulawesi Earthquake Survivors

After the earthquake, water became scarce in areas affected by the West Sulawesi earthquake, especially Mamuju and Majene. The survivors are forced to fetch water far away from their houses and rely on water distributed by aid agencies.

MRI volunteers filling buckets owned by the locals with clean water from the Humanity Water truck. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, MAMUJU – Until almost two weeks after the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that rocked Mamuju on Friday (1/15/2021), water is still scarce because the pipes that carry the water from the sources had been damaged. One of the areas experiencing a water crisis is near Jalan Diponegoro where Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)’s Main Humanitarian Post is established. The offices and shops that are already open around the area have been facing difficulties in getting clean water.

Water is also scarce in evacuation sites. It is very common to see evacuees carrying jerry cans and buckets to fetch clean water. For those living in the countryside, they can still take water from springs and rivers whose water is not exactly clean and clear. Meanwhile, in urban areas, the residents rely largely on clean water distribution from aid agencies.

“Almost two weeks after the earthquake, the residents’ need for clean water has not been fully met. This can be seen from the many residents who often hail the Humanity Water Truck and ask for their water storages to be filled," said Intishor Jundi, ACT’s Coordinator of Clean Water Distribution in Mamuju, Tuesday (1/26/2021).

For the last few days, ACT has been operating the Humanity Water Truck in earthquake-affected areas in West Sulawesi. The water tank truck that came all the way from the Waqf Distribution Center in Gunung Sindur, Bogor Regency, can carry up to 20 thousand liters of clean water in one trip. With such a large capacity, it can distribute clean water in many locations in one go.

Apart from distributing clean water with the Humanity Water Truck, ACT also provides large, easily refillable water containers at points that are accessible to residents and evacuees. "With the water containers, it will be more effective in meeting the water needs during the period toward the recovery phase because it doesn’t have to be refilled every day," added Jundi. []