Aceh tsunami response programme external update 15 Jun 2005

News and Press Release
Originally published
External Update
Released on 15 June, 2005
Reporting period: June 1-June 15

Oxfam is currently present in 6 locations in Aceh, with 585 staff (528 national + 57 international):

- Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar, based in the central office in Banda Aceh;

- Aceh Barat, based in Meulaboh and with a sub-office in Arongan;

- Lamno and its surroundings, in Aceh Jaya district;

- Calang and its surroundings, in Aceh Jaya district;

- East Coast, based in Lhokseumawe with a sub-office in Sigli.

- Nias Island based in Gunungsitoli

1) Key Highlight

Since the March 28th earthquake Oxfam has delivered 40 million litres of water in Nias. 15 water tankers deliver more than 500,000 litres a day to more than 74 distribution points. The amount of water currently available in Nias is twice as much as was supplied before the tsunami. As Nias moves into the recovery phase, Oxfam has started its Cash For Work programmes with the first project in the devastated area of Lahewa which will be cleared of rubble and the wreckage of tsunami-damaged buildings.

2) Programme Activities

Aceh Besar

Work continues to assist those returning to their villages with the installation of 3 bladder units to supply drinking water, rehabilitation of 13 wells and the completion of 9 latrines and 4 bathing units in these areas.

A bridge has been built in Jeulingke village in the Central area and another is being repaired in Gano village to facilitate the return of villagers. Land drainage has also been completed in Gano village, as the area was still flooded.

Water and sanitation and Solid Waste Management activities are being carried out on both islands of Pulo Aceh and for 6 villages in Pulo Breuh and 5 villages in Pulo Nasi.

Around 999 people took part in the Cash For Work programmes in the past two weeks - more than double the figure that usually participate. This can be attributed to the large number of people who have already returned to their villages or are planning to do so. The activities centred around rehabilitation of villages, including building community centers, cleaning common areas and rice fields. 6 villages were part of this period's Cash For Work scheme and almost 40% of the workers were women.

Livelihoods programmes have been running in some villages with Oxfam-supported activities ranging from doormat making to a pedicab driver. Grants have already been approved in 12 villages for 428 women and 418 men.

A range of NFI's have been distributed to 556 people in 2 villages including household sets (cooking pots, spoons etc), hygiene sets (tooth paste, soap) and construction materials such as zinc, nails, hammer and timber to build temporary shelters and community centers

Cleaning materials were distributed in 4 areas and water and sanitation units such as latrines and water bladders were monitored at 15 sites.


Water tankering at the Bayu IDP camp and the local health center provides drinking quality water to 1,000 people and will be continued till the residents move back to their original village of Lancok. A further 600 people receive drinking water at the Blang Mangat barrack and 1,250 at the Samudra barrack

At the Samudra camp the Oxfam team have worked to improve the health environment of the residents of the camp. Soak-ways have been created to improve drainage around water tanks and to stop disease from spreading through stagnant water. Waste bins and handcarts to transport rubbish have also been distributed at this camp and Oxfam will work with the Department for Public Works to remove waste every two days. This work has been greatly reinforced by Public Health Promotion activities.

Septic tanks are being built in Keuniree camp and of the 30 latrines that are expected to be built by the end of June, 15 have already been completed. In the Bayu IDP camp, the Oxfam team has repaired 8 latrines.

In the Keuniree relocation center a permanent water supply pipe system has been established

In addition, Oxfam has completed its work on improving the booster conditions in PDAMs' booster station, including installing a new booster pump, rehabilitating an old one and installing a new flow and pressure meter

The Cash For Work programmes served a dual benefit, focusing on restoring livelihoods activities through providing immediate jobs for people. In the current period, residents of 5 villages participated in the programme, which integrated Cash For Work schemes and livelihoods recovery as well as hygiene activities. In 3 areas, 990 villagers cleaned the local fishpond that was damaged during the tsunami and was a major source of income in the area as part of the scheme. Once the project is done they can resume fishing in the pond. Another 385 people have cleaned and rehabilitated a rice field and the canal, after which they will use the land to cultivate rice.

An Oxfam team cleaned a drainage canal and 24 people on the Cash For Work programme to ensure better flow of water in Beringin Barrack.


Since the March 28th earthquake Oxfam has delivered 40 million litres of water in Nias. Oxfam is tankering 500,000 litres a day to more than 74 distribution points using 15 trucks. A further 140,000 litres is delivered to 24 distribution points in Lahewa.

Water and sanitation activities continue to be of priority, with work completed in 6 IDP camps, including 12 hand dug wells, 11 latrines and 8 bathing facilities.

30 households were reconnected to their water supply by repairing their pipelines, and 1 spring box was repaired.

Cash For Work has just started at Lahewa to clear the area of debris.

430 shelter boxes have been distributed through local partners. These will be the final batch of shelter boxes as no more emergency shelter kits are required.

Health promotion messages such as boiling drinking water, diarrhea prevention and control were spread in 10 camps.


Water is continuing to be distributed to around 40,000 people to meet their immediate needs. In one week, 4,100,000 litres of water have been delivered through the tankering operation. Also, 9 wells have been cleaned and 72 latrines emptied.

A waste disposal facility has been installed in the Johan Palawan camp and five latrines and shower rooms were constructed there.

A ceremony was organized at the Suakribe camp to celebrate the opening of the school and the completion of Oxfam's project to install a water supply system and rehabilitate the washing and latrine facilities.

Building and rehabilitation of facility sets has finished in 7 areas in Johan Palwan, Samatiga, Meureubo and Arongan.

Two Cash For Work projects have been completed this week. In one project, 101 people travelled by canoe to their village that has been flooded over by the tsunami to clear it of debris. In another village, 148 people have cleared the rice fields and irrigation canals in the rice fields to prepare it for cultivation.

There are 4 ongoing livelihoods projects. In two areas, Pinem and Planteu, 56 households have been provided with tools for farming such as hand-held tractors, fertilizers and seeds to aid them in planting rice.

The PHPs have incited a lot of interest from communities due to their intense programme on health education and community participation. As a result, environmental clean-ups have become a regular activity after Friday prayers at all locations. The PHP teams are also partnering local students who are carrying out health education studies


Voluntary, unpaid work has been encouraged by Public Health Promoters to mobilize the community. In Dayah Baro, 10 people participated in cleaning 6 wells along with Oxfam staff, while in Lhock Buya residents have undertaken to clean the rubbish themselves. The Cash For Work activities have made it easier for people to return to their villages because it offers them a chance to earn some money. More importantly, they can participate in rehabilitating their village by clearing land or building bridges and roads.

A road has been built in 10 days under the Cash For Work programme between two villages, which will provide them better access to each other. In another village, a temporary bridge is being built out of wooden planks in order to allow villagers to cross submerged areas.

There are 10 ongoing projects being carried out in 7 villages, most of which involve clearing the village of debris.

The team has finished building 10 latrines and 2 bathing areas in the past two weeks.

7 villages were surveyed for Public Health Promotion activities through focus group discussions and mapping of women and men separately

3) Background information on Oxfam work in Aceh

Oxfam has worked in Aceh from 2000 to 2003 and returned to the province in late December 2004 to respond to the tsunami disaster. In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, our teams provided relief assistance to the population living in IDP settlements in the form of non-food items distribution (such as hygiene kits) and implementation of water and sanitation facilities and public health promotion. Whereas this is still in place, the focus of the work has shifted to supporting IDPs return to their villages. Besides providing water and sanitation support in returnee communities (water tanking, cleaning wells, building latrines), we develop cash for work projects and support livelihoods recovery. Oxfam is also supporting IDPs' living in host communities and has set up water supply systems in 6 temporary living centres (5 on the East Coast and 1 in Aceh Besar).

Through a partners support and liaison unit set up within Aceh Programme, Oxfam also supports local and national organisations to ensure that they are active in the assistance to those in need and that they participate in the recovery of Aceh. Their activities range from basic health care and education to livelihoods and community participation in decision-making process for Aceh recovery and rehabilitation plan. Partners programme area cover Medan in North Sumatra province Aceh Besar, Banda Aceh, Aceh Barat and Nagan Raya on the West Coast, Pidie, Bireun, Aceh Utara and the island of Nias.

What Oxfam has achieved so far

Over 219,503 beneficiaries in Aceh Besar, Lamno, Meulaboh, Lhokseumawe, Calang and Nias have benefited from Oxfam programmes

Oxfam is now reaching over 52,155 beneficiaries across Nias with assistance, which includes; water, sanitation, food, shelter and the distribution of non-food items. We have supplied more than 40 million litres of water since the March 28 earthquake.

Livelihoods and Cash For Work programmes have assisted around 62,532 people in all areas. These include cash grants to restart small businesses. Apart from the cash, the groups participating in the Cash For Work projects also receive essential tools. The average daily payment of cash for work is 35-40,000 Rupiah per person per day.

Oxfam engineers have repaired and decontaminated more than 1,425 wells that were damaged by the tsunami.