INDONESIA CARE provides emergency assistance to flood victims

Worst flooding in five years leaves 200,000 displaced

INDONESIA (February 5, 2007) – CARE is distributing food and water purification solution to more than 15,000 flood-affected people in the district of Tangerang, Indonesia, after the worst floods to hit Jakarta in five years. Entire parts of the city are underwater, with the water levels reaching as high as two metres in some areas. More than 200,000 people are displaced from their homes and seeking shelter in community centres, schools and mosques across the city.

“CARE works in the Jakarta area, so our staff were able to respond immediately to this latest disaster,” said Gail Steckley, CARE’s Country Director in Indonesia. “Many of our staff are also among the families affected.”

Up to 20 people are reported dead, due to drowning or electrocution from downed electrical wires. Electricity and water supply was cut off to most parts of the city, and the swelling rivers are carrying debris and raw sewage into people’s homes, raising the risk of water-borne disease.

"The lack of safe water is one of the most urgent needs that must be met immediately," said Steckley. "Diarrhoea and water-borne illnesses are two of the biggest threats posed by a flood. Even as the floods recede, people will remain at risk."

CARE is providing 15,000 people with Air Rahmat, a locally-made water purification solution that you add to water to purify it, and jerry cans to keep the treated water free from further contamination. At the same time, CARE is providing health education about the risks of contaminated water and how to properly purify water before drinking. Starting 6 February, CARE will also begin distribution of food to up to 10,000 people.

The floods are the latest in a string of disasters to hit Indonesia. Parts of Aceh, the site of 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.

About CARE: CARE is one of the world's leading humanitarian organizations, working together with the poorest communities to end poverty. CARE has been in Indonesia since 1967, and operates a broad range of integrated projects in disaster risk reduction, emergency response, environment and natural resource management, health, livelihoods and water and sanitation.

For more information contact:
Bill Dowell, Media Coordinator, CARE International
[email protected] or Tel: +41 79 590 3047 [email protected]