Entry: its not just Aceh, you know, part II 1/5/2005

In continuation of a previous entry entries over the lack of relief attention to Nias.

So last night I arrived home at half-to-midnight (to be clear, that's 11.30 pm wib) after a long day of procrastination and (somewhat usefull) discussion with the intention of going straight to bed after checking my mail and Wikipedia watch list. Particularly I had expected someone to follow up on the somewhat lacking aid effort in Nias. It turns out that noone has, so I started a flurry of postings to Wikipedia, Wikinews, and Indonesia HELP. Hopefully someone would hear by now.

The number of Indonesian dead (currently at 94.000) certainly is concentrated in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, but the number of displaced and homeless and hungry and injured and still living is most definitely not insignificant in other areas. Half the population of Simeulue island have no home left. That's 7.500 households. In Nias the number is 4.500.

I should be glad that any aid has arrived at all, I guess.

But I won't complain anymore. The quake/tsunami so far is a candidate for the worst natural disaster in modern history, and there's an overwhelming amount of tasks to be done. Relief has come very fast. In fact too fast; too fast for proper authorities to manage and distribute efficiently in a coordinated matter. Too fast for pausing to think before acting. Like the hasty mass-graves threatening local underground water sources. Like Medecins Sans Frontiers request for pausing monetary aid to itself. And the mind-numbing number just keeps going and going...

Official death counts have passed 150.000 already. Unofficial death estimates total over 500.000. The number of homeless have yet to be confirmed, but in India alone estimates are at 1.500.000. That's one and a half million people without homes.

There's only so much anyone can do. There's only so much I can do (very few, in fact). We can't recover from this disaster. Not if we as a whole humanity refuse to work in coordination. I hope the Emergency Tsunami Summit [bbc.co.uk] to be held tomorrow in Jakarta would provide that coordination. At the very least it would be excellent PR for all parties involved. (heh).

Speaking of coordination (although I've yet to search for sources you can check-up on), the Indonesian relief effort has gotten lots of money but are short on volunteers. While a number of illegal TKIs (Tenaga Kerja Indonesia, Indonesian migrant workers) have been recently deported back to Indonesia with no job and no money. There was a suggestion during my family's annual New Year's eve gathering to combine the two together: hire the TKIs using relief money to help clean up Aceh. And North Sumatra too, of course:)


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