The Forgotten Life of Malabar: West Java Earthquake

10 11 2009

That afternoon, over a IDP* Camp in the south part of Bandung, the capital city of West Java, a skeptical look of this women caught my eyes. She’s a mother of three children; sharing their life with 200 other households in this over-crowded camp in Malabar Mountain.


Photo courtesy of Ilham Ariawan for European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, Indonesia

Titin, that’s how she introduce herself to us. She withholds their future, knowing that her family had no place to go. Their house severely damaged from the earthquake of 7,0 Richter scale on September 29, 2009. Not only that, they cannot return to their village as the earthquake had made the land in their village vulnerable and prone to landslide that could be happen at any time, especially rainy seasons approaching to its peak.

Throughout the province, recorded approximately more than 200.000


Photo courtesy of Ilham Ariawan for European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, Indonesia

houses damaged, covering more than 15 districts. This has made the scale of destruction is more massive than West Sumatra Earthquake that devastating more than 135.000 houses few weeks later.

While Titin struggling to live in the camp, international organizations do their best to improve her living situation as required by SPHERE – Humanitarian Standard Minimum Standard on Disaster Response. However, it’s been 6 weeks since the earthquake happened, their life is still yet to be improved, and the minimum standard seems becoming way too low. Donors and International organization now undergone advocacy on land for relocation, ignite a quick response from the local government to relocate these IDP’s to a better condition as their tents is no longer sufficient for a decent living. Proposals from Non-Government organization is now has been pre-selected for temporary shelter.

Titin’s life and other 200 households is just a glimpse of a forgotten life asthe media attention got West Sumatra earthquake as their focus. Not knowing that these IDP’s are in high need of International assistance. Media, once again prove their strength. Media has proof that its hand may redirect the eyes of the world.




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