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More needs emerge along Sumatra's coast

Indonesia, October 8, 2009

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The Mercy Corps team has begun distributions, giving out much-needed items like tool kits to help people rebuild their homes and their lives. In each village, the Disaster Preparedness Teams that Mercy Corps and local partner Kogami trained during the on-going program organize their community in groups of ten households. These groups will share the tool kits, working together in the traditional Indonesian method of gotong royong to collectively rebuild their houses one by one. This will support the villages’ cohesiveness and self-sufficiency while helping them with their most pressing need: shelter.

As Mercy Corps continues distributing to more villages, traveling north and south along the coast to the areas where we have been building relationships with local governments, people and schools for almost a year, the news of more and more damaged areas continues to emerge. Assessment teams come back with stories of interior areas with no roads, where houses were toppled by the earthquake or smothered in landslides.

Today Mercy Corps sent an assessment team to the north of the province, where aid is still scarce and people are facing the same dire situation as elsewhere. Houses and other buildings are cracked, collapsed or unusable. Water supplies have been disrupted, making it difficult for people to care for themselves and their families.

As the understanding of the disaster’s full impact continues to expand, Mercy Corps is also expanding its coverage to support more communities in their work to rebuild.