From rubble and a tarp to a transitional home

Delti watched as her house crumbled to the ground on September 28th, 2018, as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Palu, Indonesia.

While she was running to find safety, all Delti thought about was how her life would change completely – if she even survived the disaster. Delti was one of about 212,000 people displaced immediately following the disaster.

She and her neighbors lived in makeshift tents until late November 2018, when they could finally return safely to their homes. Since Delti’s home was mostly debris, she lived under a tarp that was attached to one safe wall from her old house. She thought she would never have a proper home again.

However, the new year brought good news. In January 2019, CWS staff were able to tell Delti and 48 of her neighbors that they would be supported in building transitional shelters – small steel or wood framed, two-room houses – to get them out from under tarps and away from the ruins of destroyed houses.

Since January, when immediate, lifesaving response activities started to slow down and transition to recovery, CWS has focused on upholding the dignity of women and vulnerable people displaced by the earthquake and land liquefaction by prioritizing them for transitional shelter support. For months now, CWS has supported more than 320 families to build their own transitional shelters with CWS and partner technical support, starting with construction training so families could be active in construction. “I am happy to have learned how to help my own family,” said Delti.

Of course, CWS, our donors and partners are grateful for the thousands of Indonesian families like Delti’s with whom we have worked during the past year. Everyone who was able to do so has joined in their own recovery and rebuilding. This makes everyone hopeful for the likely success of our continuing shared work toward future resilience.

Watch a video about transitional shelters in Central Sulawesi here.