News Release

Church Helps Ease Suffering Caused by Earthquake in Indonesia

The Church is providing shelter and promoting good hygiene

The magnitude 5.6 earthquake that hit West Java, Indonesia, on November 21, 2022, has affected thousands of people and significantly damaged many villages in two districts.

In the weeks after the earthquake, the situation became dire, with families living in cramped conditions. Often, three to five families, with as many as 20 people, live in one shelter tent. Limited access to clean water, inadequate sanitation facilities and a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission exacerbated the situation. The start of the rainy season also has carried risks of dengue fever and other diseases, which add to the challenges faced by the affected communities.

In response to the crisis, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing 1,400 temporary shelters for families who have lost their homes. Other organizations, including the Adventist Development & Relief Agency and Koperasi Mitra Dhuafa, a local women’s cooperative, are also assisting those in need. The Church and other organizations helped promote good hygiene practices among those affected by the earthquake. The field team observed that many families living in makeshift tents were suffering from upper respiratory infections and diarrhea, which could be caused by contaminated water and poor sanitation.

To address this need, Church representatives organized hygiene promotion activities to educate evacuees about the dangers of contaminated water and encourage them to maintain good hygiene practices while living in tents. They also stressed the importance of not burning waste, which could pollute the air in the shelter. By providing this essential education, organizations involved in relief efforts can reduce the risk of further illness and ensure that affected families can begin to rebuild their lives in a safer environment.

One of the earthquake survivors, Ibu Masidah, faced various post-disaster challenges, especially with her husband’s health condition and the loss of her house. Thanks to the aid package from the Church and nongovernmental organization collaborators, Ms. Masidah’s family has started to rebuild their lives. After setting up a temporary tent over the ruins of her house, Ms. Masidah took the initiative to open a small shop to earn a living for her family.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which strives to follow the Savior’s admonition to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (Doctrine and Covenants 81:5), continues to play a vital role in providing humanitarian assistance during this crisis.

This story was originally published on Indonesia Newsroom.

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