7.4 magnitude earthquake displaces 270,000 Indonesian families

Mar 10, 2020

On September 28th 2018, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit near Sulawesi, Indonesia, triggering catastrophic liquefaction, landslides and a tsunami that displaced 270,000 people.

Soon after the disaster our team from Habitat Indonesia commenced a 3 year recovery plan to support displaced families by providing transitional housing, delivering training programmes and partnering with communities throughout the rebuild process. Habitat for Humanity New Zealand launched an appeal to provide recovery assistance in Sulawesi, and our supporters gave generously to the fund. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade supported our plan with dollar for dollar matched funding from the New Zealand Aid Programme for the first $52,000 we raised.

Habitat’s priority in the immediate aftermath of a disaster is to enable the self-recovery of affected families through the provision of emergency shelter kits and rubble removal kits. Habitat’s longer-term response follows our model of assisting affected communities with housing solutions ranging from repairs to transitional shelter interventions and on to permanent home reconstruction and disaster risk reduction training (PASSA).

In January 2020, our senior adviser for international projects, Lou Maea, spent a week in Sulawesi to monitor and evaluate how the response programme is progressing. (See Lou pictured above: L to R – HFH Indonesia local project leader and managers, the home owners Harun and Medla with their 1 year old son Aditiator, Lou Maea HFHNZ and Herbert Harimbing from Habitat Central Sulawesi).

Lou met with families in the Habitat sponsored district of Sigi, where many families lost their home and possessions in the earthquake. With the donations raised from supporters like you, Habitat distributed hygiene kits, rubble removal kits, run training programmes and constructed 23 transitional homes. Each home uses a light steel framework with weather resistant exterior board panel. The transitional shelters kits contain construction materials such as cement, timber, framing, roofing and wall panels. The families may choose to re-purpose and reuse the transitional kit materials when they start to build their permanent homes.

Lou also spent time meeting with PASSA representatives in Lombonga to to discuss their Community Action plan. Habitat develops partnerships with local organisations so we can better support and empower communities through direct engagement. Together, we can address their specific housing needs. This kind of transformational work with families was made possible by generous donors who gave following this disaster.

With your ongoing support, Habitat is creating positive and lasting change as seen here, in Sulawesi. Please give generously to help us continue our work around the world, building homes, communities and hope.