A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Additional aid team arrive in Padang, Sumatra to assist Oxfam partners
Vital stocks of emergency aid have been dispatched to the quake zone in Sumatra, Indonesia today (3 October 2009) from Oxfam’s emergency warehouse in Bicester, Oxfordshire (UK).
Two emergency water treatment units, with the capacity to supply clean drinking water to 26,000 people per day, together with hundreds of rolls of plastic sheeting for emergency shelter for those made homeless by the earthquake, will be flown out to the disaster zone from the UK.
In additional Oxfam aid team have arrived in Padang on the island of Sumatra this morning. They will join staff from local partner organizations who are distributing Oxfam’s pre-positioned emergency stocks, including 5,000 tarpaulin sheets for shelter, as well as 2,500 hygiene kits and clothes.
Oxfam aid worker Ian Bray, who has arrived in Sumatra, said:
“Our partners have been working day and night to get emergency aid to those who need it. The needs are great and we will be bolstering our aid response in the coming days to assist families caught up in this grave disaster. The support of the public around the globe is vital to help us help the people of Sumatra.”
Inel Rosnelli, who works with Oxfam's partner PKBI in Padang, underlined the needs in the disaster zone.
“Clean water is urgently needed. I am lining up with other Padang residents to get the clean water from my neighbors' well. The only other alternative is to get water from leaking pipes. Houses have been destroyed and people need tents and tarpaulin, as they don’t have any shelter.”
Oxfam is also bringing in aid supplies from other areas of Indonesia. 10,000 extra tarpaulin sheets will arrive in Sumatra in the coming days, alongside JCBs (high-powered tractors) that will help with the clean up operation.
The agency launched an appeal for East Asia on Thursday, and has aid teams responding to severe flooding in Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines caused by Typhoon Ketsana. An estimated 2.5 million people have been affected by the floods, and more than one million people who have been forced to flee their flooded homes.
A team in Samoa is also responding to the devastating aftermath of the South Pacific Tsunami.