SurfAid leads response to the Mentawai tsunami

October 29, 2010 | Surfing

SurfAid: leading operations in Indonesia

The Indonesian Government has requested that SurfAid take a lead in coordinating the Non Government Organisations’ (NGO) response to the Mentawai tsunami.

SurfAid CEO Andrew Judge initially met with the Indonesian Vice President, Bapak Boediono, and Indonesian cabinet members, in Padang on Tuesday.

At that meeting, the Vice President asked SurfAid to provide an assessment to the Indonesian Government of the situation on the ground in the Mentawai Islands.

“To take the lead coordinating role in this disaster is a great honour and a huge level of responsibility,” Judge said today. “SurfAid is a locally based NGO with commitment to, and extensive knowledge of, the Mentawai. We have worked here for 10 years and this is our fifth major emergency response.

“SurfAid is rapidly expanding its operations to provide the essential assessment information so that the necessary responses can be targeted to the areas in greatest need. We have also delivered shelter, building, hygiene and kitchen materials to thousands of people and those deliveries are continuing.”

Distribution and assessment continue

SurfAid’s Mentawai Program Manager Tom Plummer is leading a response team that is distributing shelter, hygiene and building kits via surf charter boat Huey at village Sabaegungung, on South Pagai island.

Due to bad weather at midday yesterday, the team had to stop distribution and head to Sikakap to coordinate distribution with other SurfAid teams and the local disaster management coordination centre.

SurfAid’s small boat Sibex will continue assessing the bottom of South Pagai island today.

A cargo boat is shipping SurfAid’s Non Food Items (NFI): 2000 shelter kits, 1000 building kits, 1000 hygiene kits, and 500 kitchen kits. The cargo boat is heading to Sikakap today, a 10-hour steam, and will distribute from there.

After the Indonesian Government’s request for SurfAid to lead a comprehensive assessment of the Mentawai, SurfAid is scaling up its assessment work. On Wednesday night a team of 19 - a combination of three SurfAid staff, eight KOGAMI staff (a respected Padang based NGO) and eight Mentawaian volunteers, headed to Sikakap to do rapid assessments.

Four experienced Rapid Assessors from the ASEAN Secretariat arrived in Padang last night and are heading to Sikakap today to join the SurfAid assessment teams. And SurfAid Program Manager Asrial is heading to Sikakap to coordinate with local BPBD in Sikakap.

The surf charter boats Mangalui, Addiction and Barrenjoey, and resort owner John Ocean, are also carrying out assessments of various villages in the Mentawai so that the response can efficiently target the much-needed emergency supplies.

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