Energy ministry distributes aid to Lombok earthquake refugees

August, 16 2018 | 00:02 am Energy ministry distributes

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has distributed energy and basic aid to help the refugees of the earthquake that recently hit the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the island on Aug. 5, just a week after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit the same area. As at Aug. 13, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) had recorded at least 436 people killed and 1,353 injured as a result of the quake. The disaster had damaged at least 67,875 buildings and 387,067 had people fled their homes after a tsunami alert.

On Aug. 11, the ministry’s disaster task force visited refugee camps across Lombok to assess their energy and related needs, and how the ministry could cater to these needs to support the refugees in their day-to-day activities, such as cooking and boiling water, despite the limitations of these camps.

The task force is headed by the ministry’s environment and spatial planning expert, Satry Nugraha, as well as National Energy Council secretary-general Saleh Abdurrahman and bureau chief Endang Sutisna.

Upon arriving at the refugee camps, the task force immediately surveyed all aspects of current needs regarding oil and gas, electricity and clean water. The team also distributed fuel oil and gas aid, along with an aid package containing basic necessities like blankets and medical kits among all refugees.

Satry said that the task force’s Aug. 11 survey would help the ministry prioritize the refugees’ urgent energy needs for effectively and efficiently mitigating the impacts of the disaster.

“We are working closely with the West Nusa Tenggara energy and mineral resources agency and the BNPB to make sure we can distribute our aid packages effectively and efficiently, in accordance with Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan’s instructions,” Satry said.

He added that the ministry would send its aid packages to its two regional offices in West Nusa Tenggara, and that the two offices would then distribute the packages to the different refugee camps. The aid packages would be tailored to meet the different logistics needs of each camp, depending on the local geography and infrastructure.

“It is important for us to coordinate closely with the two institutions to make sure that we can accurately identify the different needs of the refugees at different camps,” he added.