The Monegasque Red Cross comes to the assistance of the populations of South Pagai

A year and a half ago, a devastating tsunami destroyed the coasts of the Mentawai Archipelago, off the shore of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, leaving many people in an extremely precarious situation. Straightaway, the Indonesian Red Cross launched a vast rescue operation offering medical care, psychological and social support and the construction of shelters for 516 families victims of the disaster. After evaluating the needs on site, the Monegasque Red Cross decided to provide its support to the populations of Mentawai by helping the Indonesian Red Cross implementing the project “Water, Hygiene and Sanitation” on the island of South Pagai, the most affected area. This is the current state of the advances in the field.

Living originally on the coasts, the populations of South Pagai were relocated inland, in the very heart of the jungle. Once the plots of land cultivated and the houses rebuilt, there remained the problems of water supply and sanitation. Without drinking water, it is impossible for the populations to live in decent conditions.

At the beginning of 2012, one year after the initial evaluation, Sylvain Riccio, a water, hygiene and sanitation engineer and a volunteer with the Monegasque Red Cross, once again tread upon Indonesian soil in order to come to the assistance of the Indonesian Red Cross for starting the project “Water, Hygiene and Sanitation”.

Intended to provide the disaster-stricken populations with durable access to drinking water and thus reduce the risks of illnesses connected to water, the project started last March. It namely includes the construction of six complete networks of water supply, the set up of management committees able to administer the infrastructures, the creation of over 50 latrines and showers as well as the promotion of hygiene at community level. In order to secure the continuity of the project, the local authorities and communities have been fully involved in it. As Sylvain explains, “this project is set up in cooperation with all these participants to ensure a global and sustainable response to the problems of vulnerable communities”.

Between now and the end of September, 217 households, in other words 1,100 persons, will benefit from the project.

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