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2010 Indonesia Earthquake and Volcanic Eruption: One-Year Report

A Report to Donors on Projects & Impact
One Year After the Disaster


In October 2010 Indonesia was devastated by two disasters. On October 26, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck near the Mentawai Islands, a chain of approximately 70 islands off Western Sumatra, and triggered a tsunami. The three-meter wave penetrated 600 meters inland, destroyed 10 coastal villages, and killed over 400 people. The same week, Mount Merapi in central Java began a month-long series of increasingly violent eruptions that killed 353 people. Most victims fell prey to pyroclasts, fast moving clouds of hot toxic gases that swept down the mountainside. Together, the two disasters forced nearly 400,000 people to evacuate their homes. Those who returned to flattened homes and villages have become internally displaced people (IDP).

One major obstacle to the Indonesian recovery is the certainty that the disasters will recur. Mount Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and though 2010 was especially severe, it generally erupts each year. The Mentawai Islands sit in the Sunda megathrust, a geographic landmine where two tectonic plates converge and frequently cause strong earthquakes, including the West Sumatra earthquake and resulting tsunami on December 26, 2004. It is no surprise that because of the frequency of these events, vulnerability to natural disasters has been identified as one of the main factors perpetuating the cycle of poverty in Indonesia. For this reason, Give2Asia has granted over $200,000 not only to relief and recovery, but to disaster preparedness education as well.

At this time recovery efforts are still ongoing due to the severity of the disasters and the remote location of many affected areas. At the request of our local partners, Give2Asia will continue to accept donations and make grants to local organizations as our funds allow. To show our impact, we have included a brief description of each project funded by Give2Asia and our partners.


Yayasan Indonesian Development and Permaculture (IDEP)

Yayasan Indonesian Development and Permaculture (IDEP) has been working in Indonesian communities since 1999 and in October 2010 was in a unique position to impact areas affected by both disasters. In Java, two members of IDEP even led a midnight evacuation from a mountainous village as Mount Merapi erupted.

In both the Mentawai Islands and Java, IDEP began relief efforts by delivering food aid and disaster risk reduction (DRR) education materials to 2,200 people from four villages in the Mentawai Islands and Java. Education and DRR materials were aimed at helping existing local Emergency Response Teams successfully run their camps for displaced people. Materials included information on supply logistics, capacity building, communication, and networking.

In addition, IDEP instituted three IDEP National Emergency Teams, which consist of doctors, volunteers and camp managers, to be dispatched to affected areas following future emergency scenarios across Indonesia. Once dispatched, the teams will implement evacuation procedures, establish camps, network, fundraise, and provide water, sanitation systems, and health services.

Indonesian Society For Social Transformation (INSIST)

When survivors began returning to their ash-covered villages after Mount Merapi’s eruptions subsided, one of the most pressing needs was for clean water. Not only had the pyroclasts destroyed nearly all the local water containers, but the natural water sources in the area had been contaminated. Villagers were required to purchase water from private suppliers or walk a minimum of five kilometers to the nearest source.

The Indonesian Society for Social Transformation (INSIST) has been working in affected communities for three years. Prior to the eruption, INSIST had built several water reservoirs in local villages. Though the water had been contaminated, these tanks became famous locally as they remained standing while the houses surrounding them were destroyed. Because of their durability, villagers were requesting that INSIST build the required new water tanks. With Give2Asia’s support, INSIST built 48 water tanks to ensure daily access to clean water for 194 people in three villages. Each tank holds 5,000 liters of water, which can last one family for 10-15 days.

Perkumpulan Untuk Peningkatan Usaha Kecil (PUPUK)

During the Mount Merapi eruption, locals lost more than their homes. Most also lost their livelihoods. Since people began to return to their villages, Perkumpulan Untuk Peningkatan Usaha Kecil (PUPUK) has helped create jobs and income sources for women. Through its training program, PUPUK has trained 100 women in small-scale food production and sales. The women were given the raw materials and equipment to make and package snack products in their home as well as training in business operations. Through a partnership with Jawa Inc. the women then send their products to be sold at market.

Stiper Agricultural University (INSTIPER)

Funded by Cargill

Stiper Agricultural University (Instiper) learned a few tough lessons from working in central Java after the earthquake disaster of May 2006. As the recovery moved forward Instiper witnessed a migration of the labor force from necessary agricultural production to necessary construction projects such as rebuilding homes and community buildings. When rebuilding inevitably subsided the community was left with a dearth of agricultural land, labor and production.

Building on its lessons learned, Instiper began a program of natural and human resource recovery following the Mount Merapi eruption. To address the need for natural resources, Instiper replaced lost stocks of poultry, fish and plant crops for farming cooperatives in the three villages most damaged by the eruption. To protect agricultural land against future disasters, the organization planted vegetation to act as a buffer and provide an emergency food source.

For restoration of human capital and livelihoods in the area, Instiper is training men and women from three districts in small-scale food production. In addition, Instiper provides trainees access to microfinance and markets to build their sustainable income.

Lembaga Kemanusiaan Nasional (PKPU)

Funded by Johnson & Johnson

The eruption of Mount Merapi destroyed medical facilities in seven surrounding villages, affecting 10,000 villagers. Over the next six months, PKPU operated a mobile medical unit that delivered much needed medicine and nutritional supplements to each village every two weeks. The mobile medical unit also gave basic health check-ups to local villagers and provided treatment and medicine as needed.

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