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Clean water needed for Indonesia disaster survivors

When disasters strike, families and communities can lose everything. And in the aftermath, children are left vulnerable and struggling to survive under desperate circumstances, at risk of hunger, cold, disease, and violence.

Cleony is nine and lived with her family in Sigi in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, before the earthquake and tsunami devastated her island in September.

She was at home with her mother and her two-year-old sister, Cleora, when the disaster struck. Terrified, they fled the house through the moving ground.

“Our belongings were falling and breaking, blocking our path as we tried to run out of the house”, Cleony remembers.

“Afterwards, we gathered with the other villagers in an open field where we stayed the night.”

The disaster killed 2,081 people and left 206,494 with nowhere to live.

Providing immediate assistance to children in Indonesia

Since the disaster struck, ChildFund supporters have been helping provide urgent aid to children like Cleony and Cleora.

In the earliest days, villages were completely destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were cut off from essentials like food, water and shelter.

“In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake on Sulawesi, ChildFund in partnership with a local NGO is assisting children and their families affected by the earthquake through family kits to enable basic shelter, personal care and hygiene,” ChildFund Indonesia country director Bridgette Thorold said.

“This is very important in ensuring a sense of dignity and well-being.”

Addressing water shortages in camps

 

Cleora, 2, has a worsening skin conditions because of the lack of hygiene facilities in camp

The extent of the damage throughout Sulawesi left communities without access to essentials, especially clean water and sanitation facilities.

This is a major risk for children. Two-year-old Cleora is one of many children in displacement camps who have developed skin diseases due to the lack of clean water and hygiene.

Most of the water available in their camp is used for cooking, meaning Cleora and Cleony had to walk to a neighbouring camp to wash.

A lack of clean water and hygiene can lead to skin diseases like the one that is affecting Cleora. It can also lead to the spread of deadly diseases.

Supporters of ChildFund’s appeal to help children in crisis can help provide access to life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

ChildFund will distribute 2,000 family kits this month to children who need hygiene related products. ChildFund and local partners are also assessing the current conditions in camps and investigating longer-term solutions to help children can access clean water.

Helping children get their childhood back

“We are also establishing Child-Centered Spaces, which provide children with opportunity for recreational and stimulating activities,” Bridgette said.

“These are critical in providing a safe, supervised routine for social interaction that enable children to overcome psychological effects of the disaster.”

Many of the children who survived the disasters experienced significant trauma. Cleony’s home, school and church were all destroyed in an instant.

When ChildFund spoke to her weeks after the disaster, she still had no idea about the fate of many of her 23 classmates.

You can help provide essential support to children like Cleony

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