Indonesia: 100 Days of Work in Sungai Geringging, and Counting

News and Press Release
Originally published
Sungai Geringging, Indonesia 25 February 2010 - It is morning, and I am on my walk through the village, when I am roused by the calls emanating from Zanibar's house. I am invited in to tea and shown around the improvements her family has made since our rendering team finished the walls three weeks ago, and I cannot help but be overwhelmed by the pride Zanibar and her family show in their newly inhabitable surroundings. Thank you, she says, now my whole family my husband and my children, all five of them can sleep at night without getting wet. Like when we slept in our broken house.

Since 25 October 2009, Hands On Disaster Response (HODR), a US-based NGO dedicated to timely and effective mobilization of volunteer resources to disaster relief projects, has been working in the village of Sungai Geringging, in Padang Pariaman District. Situated in the heart of the impact area, HODR has been assisting families like Zanibar's to recover from the impact of the magnitude 7.6 earthquake of 30 September 2009.

In the past four months, HODR volunteers have helped deconstruct 85 homes and salvaged valuable building materials with a total of 95 households. With the introduction of our transitional shelter program, targeted at households with severely damaged homes and the highest levels of need, HODR continues to enable families rebuild their homes and lives. As part of this program, each beneficiary household has sent a family member to workshops on earthquake-resistant construction techniques delivered by CARE, bridging the gap between emergency relief and long-term rebuilding.

In addition, volunteers have been conducting Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) trainings in 15 local schools, enhancing the capacity of Sungai Geringging's future generations to cope with and mitigate the harmful effects of future disasters, and have built ten water catchment systems and six latrines.

HODR's current deployment is scheduled to last through early April, by which time we expect to have finished the ten T-Shelters to which we have committed, and are looking forward to completing ten more. Despite the potential shift of attention to catastrophes occurring elsewhere, Hands On Disaster Response continues to assist the people of Sungai Geringging to re-establish their own lives and livelihoods.

People like Zanibar, who is still afraid to leave her home, lest she be separated from her children when another earthquake strikes. But upon my latest visit, I am delighted to see the kitchen her family has been constructing, and the new concrete floor they've just poured. This, in preparation for starting her own warung, or snack shop, by which she hopes to help fund the reconstruction of the home she, her husband, and their five children lost in the earthquake.


Toshiro Kida

Hands On Disaster Response

Sungai Geringging, Sumatera Barat, Indonesia