Floods in North, East and Central Aceh & North Sumatra: UNORC Field Situation Report 02 Feb 2007

This report is based on information received from local government authorities, UN/NGO teams in relevant locations and the media reporting.

General Situation

The United Nations is responding to the request by the Government of Indonesia to coordinate emergency relief to the North, East, Central Aceh regions that have been affected by widespread floods since 22 December 2006. Six weeks since the floods, most of the app. 400,000 temporarily displaced people have returned home, while roughly 50,000 remain displaced in Aceh Tamiang district. Clearing of mud and debris left by the floods is still ongoing. Most of the affected areas are now accessible by road, while the sub-districts of Tenggulun, Bandar Pusaka, Tamiang Hulu and Sekerak in Aceh Tamiang remain difficult to reach. The international community continues its support by deploying staff to the area and providing relief items. The focus of the response has now shifted towards identifying outstanding needs and planning for the restoration of houses, infrastructure and livelihoods while ensuring that those who are still temporarily (or permanently) displaced continue receiving necessary aid such as food, water, tents and hygiene kits.

International and National Response for the December Floods

The number of beneficiaries for the second round of WFP food distribution has decreased to 188,006 from the initial 295,539. The adjustment has been made based on the reporting by the Camats from 12 sub-districts in Aceh Tamiang. As of 25 January 2007, WFP has reached 188,005 people with 218.462 MT of fortified noodles, achieving 100% of the total allocation.

IOM facilitated water trucking for UNICEF and logistically supported the distribution of food and non food items for various NGOs and UN agencies.

Saudi Arabian relief items arrived in Medan two weeks ago, consisting of 1,500 tents, 3,000 blankets, 3,000 sleeping bags and 6,250 carpets for mosques. Custom clearance for these relief items is still pending. Transportation from Medan to Kuala Simpang / Tamiang is supposed to be arranged by IOM.

1,600 UNFPA tents have arrived in Banda Aceh. The Aceh Tamiang district government has requested 1,000 tents and Bener Meriah has requested 200.

The international community, both UN agencies (WFP, WHO, UNICEF, IOM, UNFPA, UNDP, UNORC) and donors / NGOs (GTZ, GAA, Safe The Children, OXFAM, CWS, CARE, IRC, CARDI, SCF, CORDAID, CRS, CHF, IFRC, Atlas Logistique, HELP EV and others) continues its support by deploying staff to the area and providing relief items.

Similarly, the GOI, local governments and Indonesian GOs and NGOs (PMI, YTB, Air Putih, Yayasan Leuser, Ibu for Aceh, PKPU, Ober Berkat Indonesia, Ibu for Aceh, WAHLI, KNPI, Mapala Leuser, PKBU, APPI, Yayasan Budha Tzu Chi, and others) continue provision of aid in flood affected areas.

Aceh Tamiang

Coordination Mechanism

Weekly coordination meetings are still being hosted by SATLAK and UNORC. UNICEF and PDAM (State Drinking Water Supply Department) have taken the lead in coordination of WATSAN related activities. UNORC has also started focussing on coordination efforts at sub district level.

General Situation

The local government officially confirmed 11,314 households or 49,727 people still displaced in Aceh Tamiang. The number of affected villages is 191 out of a total of 213 villages in the district. Altogether 2,295 houses were washed away or destroyed by the flooding, while 12,518 houses and 12 traditional markets were heavily damaged. In Sekerad sub-district, electricity supply for 5 villages was cut off due to the floods. Four elementary schools were destroyed and dozens of schools are still covered in mud or being used as temporary shelter by the displaced population. To ensure the resumption of regular classes, the provision of alternative temporary accommodation and the restoration of schools are urgently needed.

The UNORC Flood Response team has identified two types of temporarily displaced populations in Aceh Tamiang: those whose houses have been washed away or destroyed and living in tents, and those whose houses have been heavily damaged and living with host families while awaiting their houses to be repaired. According to the local government, a total of 179 temporary shelter sites have been set up. On 29 January, the regent of Tamiang submitted a letter to BRR, urgently requesting provision of 1,000 UNFPA tents for displaced families in the sub-districts of Kota Kuala Simpang, Bandar Pusaka, Sekerak, Tenggulun, Kejuruan Muda, Rantau and Karang Baru. The tents are likely to be released next week.

As many IDPs remain in camps and the majority of wells have not yet been cleaned, one of the government's major concerns is to ensure the continuation of water supply. On 30 January, the Bupati of Aceh Tamiang addressed a letter to UNICEF requesting the extension of water trucking. In response, UNICEF will continue water supply for another 2 weeks. Excavators, levellers and other heavy equipment, as well as common cleaning equipment such as hoes, shovels and wheel barrows are still needed for post-flood cleanup. The government requested debris and mud not to be dumped in proximity to any streets or public infrastructure as happened in the past few weeks. Other priorities are reactivation of education and health (cases of dengue fever and malaria have been reported from various camp sites) services, return of IDPs to their villages, relocation of communities located near the rivers, rehabilitation of infrastructure and markets. Contrary to the earlier reports, local government is not in favour of setting up TLCs / barracks, as this could create long term dependencies and would rather focus on supporting the affected population in re-establishing their livelihoods. In this context, the provision of (rice) seeds, fertilizer, agricultural tools and inputs as well as support for income generating activities have been identified as crucial for mid to long term assistance.

The government of Aceh Tamiang once again requested the UN and NGOs to continue their activities in Tamiang for at least another couple of months. Paddy fields have been affected in several sub-districts. Heavily damage to fish ponds is also reported in Manyak Payed sub-district. Local government stressed the importance for a follow up assessment on agriculture, aquaculture and other means of income generation. A first step could be FFW programs aiming to clean arable land, plantations and public infrastructure.

CARDI, CWS, CARE and GAA are committed to remain on the ground for another couple of months.


UNICEF, in collaboration with MSF, Ibu for Aceh, GAA, CWS, IOM, OXFAM / APF and PU Jakarta / PDAM Tamiang, continues water trucking to IDP camps throughout Aceh Tamiang. Total delivery per days is 292,000 litres. Two UNICEF sludge trucks for cleaning of wells and mud covered public buildings will be dispatched from Aceh Besar.

OXFAM, in collaboration with the Aceh People's Forum (APF), is working in 10 villages in the sub-districts of Kuala Simpang, Rantau and Tunggulun. Their activities consist of water trucking (22,000 litres per day to be continued until 16 February), installation of water bladders, construction of emergency latrines (37 latrines in Kuala Simpang and Rantau already finalized, 26 more planned in Rantau and Tenggulun) and well cleaning. During the last week 15 wells at public facilities have been cleaned, and 2 new wells have been built at camp sites. The construction of another 2 wells is planned. In addition OXFAM is conducting health and hygiene awareness / promotion training in cooperation with local health centres.

Ibu for Aceh, in collaboration with GAA and HELP EV, has installed 11 UNICEF water bladders and is providing water trucking in 3 villages of Tenggulun sub-district and 2 villages of Taming Hulu sub-district. About 50 wells have been cleaned and hygiene awareness training was conducted in Tenggulun and Tamiang Hulu.

CARDI has opened a sub office in Aceh Tamiang and continues extended well-cleaning in 5 villages in Kuala Simpang sub-district (142 wells cleaned) and 2 villages in Karang Baru sub-district (22 wells cleaned). Health and hygiene trainers are being sent out to both well-cleaning sites and emergency latrines have been constructed in the IDP camps.

GAA is distributing cleaning equipment (hoes, shovels, boots, etc.) and will soon bring 2 units of heavy equipment to the area. Local government requests GAA to extend activities from Tenggulun to the neighbouring sub-district of Tamiang Hulu.

CWS cleaned 60 wells in the sub-districts of Sekerak and Bandar Pusaka and provides water trucking (to be continued for 2 months) to 17 sites in Kejuran Muda, Bandar Pusaka, Manyek Payet and Karang Baru sub-districts. 22 emergency latrines have been set up in Bandar Pusaka and Sekerak.

PMI is about to initiate a 3 moths well cleaning and health promotion programme in the sub-districts of Sekerak, Bandar Pusaka, Tenggulun and Tamiang Hulu.

Food and NFI Distributions / Other activities

GTZ, in collaboration with German Agro Action (GAA), is distributing non-food and food aid items (water, rice, supplementary food, hygiene and household kits) to 2,600 households in Tamiang Tenggulun sub-district. GTZ staff has pulled out of Tamiang with GAA now taking over the distribution of food and non-food items until the end of February. GAA plans an assessment for mid to long term interventions in the agricultural sector.

OXFAM NFI distribution in Rantau, Kuala Simpang and Kejuran Muda sub-districts has been completed.

PMI offered small trucks to assist WFP / STC / IFRC with food distribution to remote locations that are not reachable by heavy IFRC trucks.

PMI will distribute 5,000 school kits donated by the Japanese Red Cross.

CARDI distributed 1,850 hygiene kits and 546 plastic mats, donated by GAA, in Kuala Simpang and Karang Baru sub-districts,

CWS has a stock of 1,032 baby kits for children under the age of two and is asking other NGOs to identify target groups in need. Next week, CWS will receive 427 UNICEF tents (4x6) for distribution at several locations in Tamiang. CWS is offering volunteering opportunities for those interested in assisting CWS relief efforts. More information on this can be obtained with CWS.

Central Aceh (Bener Meriah / Gayo Loes / Aceh Tengah)

Coordination Mechanism

Flood response coordination meetings in Bener Meriah took place 3 times. With the situation gradually improving it was decided to combine the next general Central Highland coordination meeting with a follow up on flood response. With additional field staff deployed to the area, UNORC has also started focussing on coordination efforts for both, flood response and conflict affected areas, at the sub-district level.

General Situation

In Bener Meriah, the sub-districts of Permata, Bukit and Syiah Utama have been affected by the floods. Most of the temporarily displaced people have moved back to their houses. Local government has requested 200 units of UNFPA tents for those whose houses were destroyed.

In Aceh Tengah, the sub-districts of Linge and Bintang have been affected by the floods. While some people temporarily left their houses by the time the floods occurred, there is no longer IDP in the district.

In both districts, ongoing need of food assistance (rice, noodles, oil, sugar, etc.) remains. The disaster caused considerable destruction of arable land. The land cleaning is expected take another 4 months and the complete restoration of the faming land may take up to 1 year. In the meantime, local government is providing alternative plots of land to some of the affected farmers. Long term assistance needed includes and fertilizer, agricultural tools and inputs, rehabilitation of irrigation systems and WATSAN facilities.

UNORC in Bener Meriah received a report on various villages located in the border area of Aceh Timur, Aceh Utara and Bener Meriah, which were affected by the floods but have not yet received any assistance. Those villages are Blang Senong Uring, Blang Senong Bidari, Blang Senong S. Reje, Blang Senong Sijudo, Blang Senong R. Panjang and Blang Senong S. Gele. All of these villages belong to Pante Bidan sub-district; the total number of the affected population is 73 households (207 individuals).

Food and NFI Distributions / Other activities

IMC, trough IOM and UNORC, provided medicine to the District Health Department in Aceh Tengah.

CORDAID, in collaboration with IOM, distributed food baskets to 2 sub-districts in Aceh Tengah.

In Bener Meriah, all food and non food items, donated by WFP and NGOs has been distributed by IOM in collaboration with Satlak., Emergency relief in the Central Highlands has ended by the end of January.

Pidie Flooding

In response to the floods in Pidie that occurred on 24 and 25 January, German Agro Action (GAA) carried out an assessment on 31 January in the worst affected sub-district of Pantai Raja. According to GAA, 8 houses in the village of Lhook Puuk have been destroyed, while one school in the village of Cubo and a water treatment plant in the village of Keude Pantai Raja have been heavily damaged. The 550 villagers of Lhook Puuk face a shortage of food supplies and drinking water. The school in Cubo is covered by mud and all teaching materials and furniture, etc. were lost to the floods. The water treatment plant in Keude Pantai Raja, serving several surrounding villages, has suffered minor structural damage while some of the pumps and parts of the piping system have been destroyed. More detailed information can be obtained from Wolfgang Schulte, German Agro Action, Mobile: +6281337426375, mailto:

Floods in North Sumatra

On 2 February 2007, UNORC Lhokseumawe visited the flood affected sub-district of Besitang, Langkat district, North Sumatra. As already observed when passing trough the area in early January, 6 villages in Besitang sub-district have been heavily affected, suffering a scale of damage comparable to several locations in Aceh Tamiang. Initially, 11,264 residents from the 6 affected villages were forced to temporarily leave their houses and stay at makeshift shelters. Six weeks since the floods, most of these IDPs have returned to their villages. 152 families (632 persons) from the villages of Aras Napal Kiri and Aras Napal Kanan, however still remain in camp sites, as their villages can only be reached by riverboat. Eighty percent of the houses in Aras Napal Kiri and Aras Napal Kanan have been heavily damaged and a couple of houses in Aras Napal Kiri totally destroyed. The village of Suka Ramai has been reachable only by motorbike. According to ACF, more than 400 hectares of arable land (mainly rice and maize fields, but also palm oil and cacao plantations) in Aras Napal Kiri, Aras Napal Kanan, Suka Ramai, Bukit Mas and Sekcoci villages have been damaged and left under a layer of mud.

In response to the Langkat / Besitang floods, ACF and OXFAM GB opened offices in the district capital Pangkalan Branden in early January. ACF initially focused on the distribution of NFI (hygiene kits, tarpaulins, sleeping mats, blankets, cooking kits, kitchen sets, etc), and is now taking the lead in WATSAN related activities, e.g. cleaning of public infrastructure, wells and distribution of brooms, shovels, wheel barrows, etc. for cleaning of private houses. OXFAM GB is focusing on the provision of temporary shelter, distribution of cash grants for income generation and health / hygiene awareness training. While ACF is committed to stay in the area until early May, OXFAM GB plans to pull out by the end of February. Two other NGOs responding to the Besitang flooding are Save the Children and Cordia Medan, both serving the flood affected areas with the provision of NFI from their HQ in Medan. Local government / Dinas Sosial and local NGOs provided food aid throughout the first couple of weeks. As these distributions have ended, some of the affected villages are reportedly facing food shortages.

In coming months, ACF intends to focus on food security interventions, e.g. initial clearing of arable land followed by distribution of seeds, fertilizer, agricultural inputs and tools. As their capacity in assisting all of the affected population might be limited, ACF suggests that UN (FAO / WFP) assessment teams be deployed to the flood affected areas in Langkat district.

The UNORC Situation Reports & administrative maps on the affected regions are available from ReliefWeb Map Centre

For more information:

Satoko Nakagawa (Ms.)
Office of the UN Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias (UNORC) Banda Aceh
Phone: +62.811.825214

Joint UNORC/WFP Floods Response Centre - Aceh Utara & Lhokseumawe
Office of UN Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias (UNORC) Lhokseumawe Field Office
Jl. Samudera 53, Lhokseumawe
Phone/Fax : +62.645.42052

Enayet Madani (Head UNORC Lhokseumawe)
Mobile: +62.811.840273

Joerg Meier (UNORC Field Officer)
Mobile: +62.812.6989601

Gina (UN WFP Lhokseumawe)
Mobile: +62.812.6039173

Aceh Tamiang:

Andre Therik (UNORC Field Officer)
Mobile: +628121084901

Central Highlands:
Sherry Panggabean (UNORC Field Officer)
Mobile: +628126990376