Sulawesi Quake-Tsunami Relief – Ops Update

CENTRAL SULAWESI STRIVES TO STABILISE Shortage of food, drinking water and fuel key priority and challenge to stability

8 October, Central Sulawesi - The three-man team deployed by Singapore water solutioning firm, Aquayana, arrived in Palu district last week to support the ongoing relief efforts there.

The team which included a technical volunteer from HSL Constructor, made a 20-hour land journey from Makassar, South Sulawesi province to the quake and tsunami-hit Palu district of Central Sulawesi province.

The deployment from the Singapore private sector worked closely with the Indonesian Red Cross of Central Sulawesi to better understand the ground situation and relief operations structure. A swift physical recce helped the team ascertain the actual locations and needs of affected and displaced communities. A water treatment and distribution point was established at the devastated district of Sigi to serve the affected communities there.

Chief executive of Aquayana, Hassan Ahmad, who led the relief mission, recounted, "The scale of devastation is massive especially at the districts of Dongala, Palu and Sigi. Access to these affected areas is a huge challenge due to the severely damaged roads caused by the quake and the mountains of debris left by the tsunami and ground liquification. Electricity is also scarce due to damaged power grid and fuel shortage."

Vice governor Mohd Hidayat Lamakarate received the water systems on behalf of the Central Sulawesi provincial government. The Singapore-made water solution which was specifically designed for acute disaster relief, and better known as the Suitcase Saver, is a lightweight treatment system (close to 30kg) is capable of churning around 500 litres of potable water per hour. At a time when Palu and Sigi are suffering from severe power and fuel shortages, the Suitcase Saver is appropriate to meet the needs on the ground as it operates on car battery. Its portability also allows for easy access, hence swift deployment and service, to communities isolated by broken roads and landslides.

The team returned to Singapore on Sunday evening, 14 October.