Ministry, geological agency provide clean water to Lombok evacuees

August, 14 2018 | 03:08 am Foto 5

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, in cooperation with the Indonesian Geological Agency, has drilled seven wells to help provide water for residents of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, who lost their homes in last week’s earthquake.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island on Aug. 5, just a week after a 6.4-magnitude temblor hit the same area.

As of Aug. 13, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency ( BNPB ) has recorded at least 436 deaths and 1,353 injuries as a result of the quake. As many as 67,875 buildings were damaged and 387,067 people fled their homes after a tsunami alert.

Evacuees residing in shelters face a shortage of clean water, which the ministry and the agency seek to mitigate by drilling seven new artesian wells across the island’s three regencies where the camps are located: Gangga, Pemenang and Tanjung.

From the seven newly-drilled artesian wells, two of them – located in Gangga and Tanjung regencies – are in full operation. Water from these wells can be sourced with electric pumps.

However, because the three regencies are still cut off from electricity in the aftermath of the disaster, the shelters must use generators provided by the ministry to source water from these wells.

According to an expert staff member of the ministry’s environment and spatial planning division, Satry Nugraha, the most challenging part in drilling these new artesian wells is mapping out the regencies’ rocky terrains to identify potential sources of clean water. It took surveyors some time to complete their field surveys, she added.

“This is why the artesian wells could only be drilled a few days after the evacuees started to populate these shelters,” Satry said.

The ministry’s cooperation, public information service and communications bureau chief, Agung Pribadi, expressed hope that the newly operated wells could help the evacuees resume their day-to-day activities.