Contact: Alina Labrada, 404-979-9383, 404-457-4644 firstname.lastname@example.org; Melanie Brooks, +62-812-699-1793, email@example.com
JAKARTA, Mar. 14 /Standard Newswire/ -- "Along the road, I could see people wading through water up to their necks, and small children playing in the dirty brown water that flowed through the streets in front of their homes," said Melanie Brooks, Communications Manager with CARE, who was on the ground helping respond to the worst floods to hit Jakarta in five years.
The floods that hit Jakarta in late January killed 22 people and forced almost 300,000 people to evacuate their homes. Over 100,000 houses were flooded with dirty water from swelling rivers, which carried debris and raw sewage into people's homes, threatening to spread disease throughout the city. Electricity, phones and clean water supplies remain problematic in many areas.
Gail Steckley, CARE's Country Director in Indonesia described CARE's response to the crisis as instant. "CARE works in the Jakarta area, so our staff were able to respond immediately to this latest disaster," she said. CARE's work on the ground included:
- distributing water purification solution to more than 15,000 flood-affected people
- providing containers to keep the treated water free from further contamination
- providing health education about the risks of contaminated water and how to properly purify water before drinking
- distributing food to up to 10,000 people
"Diarrhea and water-borne illnesses are two of the biggest threats posed by any flood. Even as the floods recede, people will remain at risk," said Gail Steckley.
The floods are the latest in a string of disasters to hit Indonesia. Parts of Aceh, devastated by the 2004 tsunami, were also flooded in December 2006, and the government is currently working to contain outbreaks of dengue fever that are being reported across the country. In March 2007, Indonesia's disaster-prone island of Sumatra was also struck by two major earthquakes. Early accounts reported at least 70 killed and thousands displaced by the shocks, which flattened hundreds of buildings.