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Refugees Hit by Diseases

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  • Refugees Hit by Diseases

    Refugees Hit by Diseases
    Monday, 05 June, 2006 | 18:32 WIB
    TEMPO Interactive, Yogyakarta: Refugees from the Yogyakarta and Central Java earthquakes are now having to face new problems.

    The worst of these is due to the lack of good sanitation and wastage systems, and this has resulted in the spreading of diseases.

    Based on the records of the Indonesian Red Cross, Bantul branch, 93 citizens of Kretek are suffering from diarrhea and acute breathing tract infections.

    These are people who have been unable to find accommodation for themselves in tents or shelters.

    According to Agus Yulianto, coordinator of the Indonesian Red Cross Health Command Post in Bantul, there is human waste everywhere because of there being so few WCs.

    Residents of Gesikan,Gantiwarno, Klaten, have been forced to build emergency toilets by digging holes around their ruined homes.

    The bad sanitation has made Klaten resident demand that the government keep its promise by providing adequate washing, bathing and toilet facilities.

    ?Up to now, this promise has not been kept,? said Darmono, a resident of Kembang Sore, Wedi, Klaten.

    According to Imam Purwadi, Deputy Chairman of the Disaster Relief Coordinating Unit for Klaten Regency, sanitation facilities will be provided when the rehabilitation and reconstruction of homes begins.

    When will this be?

    ?Shortly,? replied Imam.

    The minimal clean water supply has also created another problem with refugees being forced to dig wells amongst the ruins of their homes.

    In Segoroyoso, Plered, Bantul, two wells are being used by about 200 people while the remainder are forced to use the Opak River, approximately 150 meters from the refugee camp, for sanitation purposes.

    Ari Aji, Imron Rosyid and Amal Ihsan,uk.html

  • #2
    Refugees Hit by Diseases

    July 22, 2006 (Reuters)

    Pangandaran, Indonesia ?? Fears of disease grew in Indonesia's tsunami-hit areas on Saturday as thousands of people camped out in the heat with no clean water five days after the disaster that killed nearly 700 people.

    Several thousand people fled to camps in hills above the beach town of Pangandaran after Monday's tsunami, which displaced some 45,000 along a 300-km (185-mile) stretch of the south coast of Java, Indonesia's most populous island.

    Some are still there because they have lost their homes, while many fear being caught in another tsunami if they go back.

    "The risk of catching diseases is there because they live in an open area with limited tents and water," Rustam Pakaya, head of the health ministry's crisis centre, told Reuters.

    "There are reports of respiratory infections but that's not serious considering they live in the heat and in an open area." He said there had been no reports of diarrohea or other infectious diseases, and health authorities had started giving survivors measles, tetanus, and cholera shots from the first day.

    The tsunami, sparked by an undersea earthquake of 7.7 magnitude, struck without any warning to coastal residents. Officials from the regional disaster task force said the tsunami had killed 695 people, with 278 still missing. Nearly 1,000 people were injured.

    People have been returning to their homes after the devastating tsunami, the latest in a string of disasters to hit Indonesia including the December 2004 tsunami, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and bird flu outbreaks.

    The aid network in Indonesia, a vast nation of 220 million, has been stretched thin by the disasters. The 2004 tsunami killed 230,000 around the Indian Ocean, a majority of them in Indonesia's Aceh province.

    Work is still going on at the site of the Yogyakarta earthquake in May which killed 5,000 people, reconstruction efforts continue in Aceh, and Indonesia is also struggling to contain one of the world's worst outbreaks of bird flu.

    On Saturday, some people in Pangandaran sorted out their belongings from the debris while others burnt the remains of furniture and other items that cannot be used any more. "I was cooking in the kitchen when it happened," said Iin Sudir, a 32-year-old-woman. "I didn't see the water coming. I heard people screaming, 'Water, water'. Then suddenly it struck my house.

    "I tried to grab my son, but the water was to strong and I just couldn't hold him any more," Sudir said. She was reunited with her son the next day on the hill about 5 km from Pangandaran.

    Dutchman Paul Beudel arrived on the day the tsunami struck but unlike most tourists in the town decided to stay on for his planned vacation.

    "I think I'll stay for another 10 days", said the 64-year-old, wheeling along his red mountain bike. He said he hadn't met any other tourists since Monday and had few illusions about how long it would take for other tourists to regain confidence in visiting the resort.



    • #3
      Re: Refugees Hit by Diseases

      The quake zone: diarrhea--from 130/year to 150/month.

      Yogyakarta, Kupang report rise in diarrhea cases

      Slamet Susanto and Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Kupang, Yogyakarta

      Three infants died of diarrhea in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara this week and dozens of others have been admitted to hospitals in Yogyakarta as the number of cases rises.

      In Yogyakarta, diarrhea is increasing among quake victims whose wells are contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

      Based on data at Pundong district community health center in Bantul, the worst-hit region during the May 27 quake, 131 cases of diarrhea were reported all last year, but the number has now increased to 150 cases per month. In June and July alone, 341 people became ill with diarrhea.

      "Many people's wells are contaminated by E. Coli bacteria following the quake, so the number of sufferers has sharply increased," the center's head, Sukismi, said on Friday.

      He also attributed some of the increase to better health checks in quake-hit areas, due to the increased number of health offices.

      "Now there's a health post in every hamlet, making it easier to record the number of sufferers," he said.

      The water contamination was found during a recent survey by Yogyakarta's environment and construction testing center. In a survey of 17 districts in Bantul and Yogyakarta, almost all the wells tested were contaminated by E. Coli.

      The center's staff, Herry Siswanto, said the contamination is likely due to earthquake damage sustained by residents' septic tanks.

      He feared the diarrhea would get worse during rainy season if no action was taken.

      Apart from the contamination, many wells are emitting foul odors.

      "Following the quake, many wells have dried up... but when the water does come out, it smells terrible," said Tugiman, a resident of Pranti hamlet, Srihardono village in Pundong.

      Because of the smell, residents use the water only to bathe and wash, relying on deliveries of clean water to cook and drink.

      A resident, Watinem, 45, said many of her relatives and neighbors have fallen ill with diarrhea since the quake.

      "My son, Fajar, is still sick. He has diarrhea for three days, gets well for two days and then gets sick again. I don't know why," said the mother of four.

      The head of the Bantul health office, Siti Nur Zaenap, said her office was not aware of increased diarrhea in quake-hit areas. "We haven't gotten a report. If there's a report and clear data, we'll pursue the matter," she said.

      In East Nusa Tenggara, diarrhea has left more than 200 infants critically ill. Since it struck the province in August, it has killed seven people.

      The acting head of the Lembata health office, Arnold Marbun, blamed the disease on unclean water and air, which has contaminated food. "But to make sure of the real cause, we're still waiting for laboratory test results," he said.