Indonesia Yogyakarta Earthquake: Appeal no. MDRID001, Operations Update no. 16


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In Brief

Operations Update no. 16; Period covered: 1 December to 1 March, 2007; Appeal target: CHF 38 million (USD 31 million or EUR 24 million); Appeal coverage: 94.1%; Outstanding needs: CHF 2.2 million (USD 1.8 million or EUR 1.3 million)

Appeal history:

Preliminary appeal launched on 27 May 2006 for CHF 12.8 million (USD 10.4 million or EUR 8.2 million) for 8 months to assist 200,000 beneficiaries.

Revised appeal launched on 6 June for CHF 38 million to assist 325,000 beneficiaries for 12 months.

Operational Summary:

In the first three months of the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI) and Federation operation, 119,000 affected families received relief packages, tents and tarpaulins, 2,800 families benefited from water and sanitation activities, and medical services treated over 23,000 people. Partner national societies were active contributors to the relief effort, with Netherlands, Spanish, Japanese and German Red Cross maintaining a longer term presence in Yogyakarta.

A needs assessment with communities was carried out in the early days, concurrently to the relief operation, to determine the starting point for their earliest recovery. The results of the assessment identified shelter as the most urgent need. Framed by the overall goal of community empowerment and the government's request to work with local community systems of mutual support (gotong royong), the PMI and Federation jointly developed a community cash-based shelter programme, forming the basis of the early recovery approach. The shelter programme has been highly successful, with a total of 11,500 transitional shelters completed, providing families in 29 targeted villages with a roof over their heads. As the shelter programme draws to a close, the operation is shifting its focus to other areas identified in the original needs assessment and by the affected, which the delegation is now planning towards. The other significant activities that have been ongoing since the relief operation are psychosocial support, rehabilitation programmes as well as water and sanitation.

The still significant needs of people affected by the earthquake require the operation to be reviewed. This process is currently underway and the results be shared in another operations update before the end of April 2007.


An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struck near the city of Yogyakarta in central Java at 05:54 hrs local time on 27 May 2006, causing extreme and widespread destruction. There was considerable loss of lives and injuries, with villages in remoter areas south of Yogyakarta as well as in and around Bantul being the most affected. The official figures remain at 5,749 people killed, over 38,000 injured and more than 127,000 houses completely destroyed, with over 450,000 additional houses damaged by the earthquake. It is estimated that 1,173,742 people were made homeless. The earthquake epicentre was located some 20 km southeast of Yogyakarta at a depth of 10 km. Tremors were felt across the region, as far away as Semarang and Surabaya on the opposite coast of Java.

Operational developments

Eight months since the earthquake shook Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces, the operation is now consolidating its recovery methodology to meet the remaining needs of people left vulnerable by the disaster. This consolidation includes an integrated recovery approach through a pilot project in six villages (one per district), as well as traditional vertical implementation of programmes such as health and organizational development in other areas identified by Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI). Further details on this programme will be provided in the next operations update due end of April, where a revision to the plan of action and budget is foreseen.

Key achievements of the operation to date include relief distribution to 124,778 families in the emergency phase, as well as the completion of 11,500 transitional shelters for families in 29 villages in the recovery phase (please refer to the Emergency Relief section). Communities work together at night to build the bamboo houses so they are able to work during the day in income generating activities.

At the end of December 2006, PMI and Federation stocks have been moved from the warehouse in Transito to Gamping as Transito's contract was not extended by PMI chapter. These remain under Federation control while waiting for PMI to officially confirm a plan of action for the stocks. Meanwhile, the Federation stock, particularly the medicines and the emergency health kit, were relocated to the Jakarta floods operation. In the meantime, replacement of relief items borrowed from the Merapi preparedness stock during the emergency phase of the earthquake response has been completed.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action - objectives, progress, impact

Emergency relief (food and basic non-food items)

Overall Goal: Beneficiaries have the necessary immediate support to meet their basic needs for food, non-food items and shelter until their permanent needs are met for the long-term


- Food: 65,000 families (approximately 325,000 beneficiaries) have supplementary food support until such time as they are able to resume their own income generating activities.

- Non-food items: 65,000 families (approximately 325,000 beneficiaries) have the necessary household items and basic economic support to restore domestic stability and their own capacity to initiate their recovery is reinforced.

- Emergency shelter: 65,000 families (approximately 325,000 beneficiaries) are provided with the appropriate type of emergency shelter, tools and materials to support their immediate recovery needs, with consideration of temporary, intermediate requirements for coping with the pending monsoon rain season that normally starts in September/October.

The operation completed the last of the planned emergency relief distributions successfully in the previous reporting period (please refer to Operations Update no.15), with 124,778 families from the quake-hit areas of Yogyakarta and central Java receiving essential relief items. Families received relief packages containing family kits, food and hygiene parcels, baby kits, sleeping mats and tents or tarpaulins, or individual relief items such as food and hygiene parcels as well as tents/tarpaulins according to their needs.

Recovery Shelter Programme

The recovery programme has continued to support communities with finance and technical assistance for constructing earthquake resistant, SPHERE compliant shelters. It aims to build 17,000 transitional shelters in targeted districts that were hit by the quake, as highlighted in Operations Update no.12. Communities contribute materials and labour, adding balconies, or cement floors and low brick walls, to the core shelter supported by PMI. This community contribution averages 40 percent of total costs.

At a peak in December-January, 230 PMI volunteers were deployed, supporting 938 community groups in 54 villages, which were spread over ten sub-districts of five districts. A total of 12,435 families have requested assistance and as of 30 March, 11,500 shelters were reported as completed. Indeed construction in 29 villages has finished, while the rest are in final stages of procurement, construction or administration. It is expected that the majority of the shelters will have been completed, checked, and financially reported back by the end of March. The neighbourhoods that started late and have large numbers of shelters to build will complete their shelters by mid-April.

The PMI volunteers have continued to live in villages with affected communities and facilitate the requests for finance, purchase of materials, construction and financial reporting. Construction has been completed in the initial 21 villages selected as pilot areas, with a total of 7,898 shelters, ensuring all families in those two sub-districts are living with a roof over their heads. Name plaques and photos of each shelter have been completed, together with community reports on their usage of leftover finances.

Based on observed community satisfaction, the work area was expanded in stages on a needs basis, through a series of six trainings and deployment of PMI volunteers from three more branches of Yogyakarta province - Sleman, Kulon Progo and Gunung Kidul. The additional trainings allowed Federation support staff to build their capacity in training PMI volunteers in a step-by-step manner. Each of the areas the PMI field teams have entered are difficult to reach. These areas were also away from the epicentre of the earthquake and were not getting assistance from other organizations six months after the disaster. Generally, only where no other organization was willing to work have PMI/Federation agreed to assist.

Construction rate peaked in November with communities building over 800 shelters a week, before the government of Indonesia's (GOI) finance for building permanent houses came on stream. Once the GOI started providing financial support, communities had to split their time between building permanent houses and making a living, leading to most emergency shelters being constructed at night. Construction rates dropped as low as 195 per week. Over the past months, numbers have risen again to 430 per week.

The GOI has mobilized large amounts of resources to assist up to 240,000 families with approximately USD 1,500 per family to rebuild a permanent house. Attempts to mobilize technical assistance to support safer construction have been less than successful. To assist communities in rebuilding their homes, PMI and Federation have partnered with the engineering faculty of the largest State University in Yogyakarta (University of Gajah Madah), to develop and socialize key safe house construction messages. Five volunteer teams have undertaken evening and night village cinema shows, introducing concepts of earthquake resistance in rebuilding and repairs.

To date, 300 sub-villages have participated in this road-show. Based on experience of what communities knew and didn't know, the partnership has developed a series of newspaper public service advertisements highlighting the 12 principles of safe construction in earthquake areas. To support this effort, 2,500 colour calendars were produced with the same messages and distributed throughout the affected area. Most recently, Federation and Japanese Red Cross Society have supported the design, expert review and modification of a cartoon-based 'Safe House Booklet', giving both technical and easy to understand principles and practices of safe house construction. These booklets will be printed and distributed by the government of Yogyakarta to 300,000 families in Yogyakarta province. An easy-to-watch video is also being completed and will be launched for distribution at the same time, in mid-April.

The recovery team is investigating ongoing support for branches that wish to continue integrated assistance to communities who are particularly vulnerable to future disasters. This is possible because of the large amount of community contributions and the relatively low costs of supporting a large number of volunteers in the field.

Volunteers who wish to continue assisting communities will be invited to participate in additional training in community facilitation and technical fields, such as disaster preparedness, sanitation, water, health awareness and environmental rehabilitation. They will then be redeployed to high risk villages to support a community planning process. This process will demonstrate the involvement of the most vulnerable in assessment, planning and implementation of community programming. It will be coordinated within the PMI mandate of helping the most vulnerable and reducing risk of future disasters. Starting small with a pilot in each district, it can be expanded in iterations, if deemed successful, to reach a large number of villages in a way similar to the shelter programme. Ultimately, the project would address real needs and vulnerabilities, build capacities in communities, the PMI volunteer corps and PMI management as well as develop better relationships with local government.