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17.12.19 | News

Reconstruction on Sulawesi: Your support counts!

Niketut Sugandi (48) and her husband Putu Rudy fight for their existence.

Niketut Sugandi and her husband Putu Rudy ploughing. (Photo: EMS/Lohnes)

They had lived in a tent since the earthquake on Sulawesi at the end of September 2018. Then the landowner wanted his property back. The couple found shelter in the makeshift building of the Patmos community in Jono'oge, whose church was also destroyed by the earthquake. At this moment, they do not know where to get the money for new housing. They also lost their plot of land and garden where they had grown corn and vegetables – like the house, it disappeared into the liquefied soil.

The severe earthquake and the devastating tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi lasted only 20 minutes. It made the news around the world for only a few days. But for those affected it often takes several years to recover from the consequences of such a disaster. Almost 5,000 people lost their lives. Over 14,000 people were injured. More than 211,000 had to be accommodated in emergency shelters. Houses and churches, fields, livestock and fishing boats were destroyed.

“What was far worse than the earthquake and tsunami was the liquefied soil which triggered mudflows. They crushed everything in their path, carved up roads into jigsaw pieces and swallowed up people and buildings in seconds.” This is how Hans Heinrich, Liaison Secretary of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), summarises the accounts of people who survived the catastrophe. He belonged to the few foreigners that gained access to the disaster area as part of the relief efforts.

(Photo: EMS/Lohnes)

Simple farming families like Niketut Sugandi and her husband Putu Rudy are still struggling to make their farmland or assigned substitute land arable and fertile again. The situation is exacerbated by climate change which extended the dry season. Caused by the catastrophe, there is a critical lack of those means of production urgently needed for redevelopment, such as construction equipment and materials, ploughs, barns and seeds.

"Bangkit berdiri" is the motto of the reconstruction - "We are resurrected, we stand on our own feet again". The confidence and creativity of the people of Sulawesi seem unshakable. Niketut Sugandi and her husband Putu Rudy depend on support – the people, parishes and churches of Sulawesi need your help.

Donation account:
Evangelische Mission in Solidarität e.V.
Evangelische Bank
IBAN: DE85520604100000000124
Purpose “Reconstruction Sulawesi”