Government focuses on providing sanitation facilities in Lombok

Government focuses on providing sanitation facilities in Lombok

President Joko Widodo (center) accompanied by Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono (right) gave a press conference on the 7-magnitude earthquake which struck Lombok on Sunday, Aug 5, 2018. (ANTARA /Wahyu Putro A)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is focusing on providing sanitation facilities for communities in Lombok, Sumbawa, and Bali where the earthquake disaster had struck.

"Firstly, we have to provide water and sanitation facilities. For the first day or two, they might still be fine, but if there are no water sanitation facilities on the third day, it would become a problem for them. There are still groundwater wells and a lot of water in North Lombok, so we can go with boreholes. There are still several water sources for the evacuees," Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono noted in the Presidential Palace grounds in Jakarta, Tuesday.

Impact of a magnitude-7 earthquake that had rattled areas in Lombok, Sumbawa, and Bali on Aug 5 at 6:46 p.m. local time had caused severe damage to facilities at several locations.

Data collected by the Regional Disaster Management Agency recorded a total of 105 people who were killed and hundreds wounded, while thousands of houses were damaged and thousands of people evacuated to camps and shelters spread across the area.

"We are currently identifying the damaged homes. There are 29 thousand citizens in the shore area, and if one house holds roughly five people, it means there are five thousand families whose houses were damaged," he explained.

He further elaborated that if 70 percent of the houses in the equation were severely damaged, it means there are roughly three to four thousand houses.

"Those are the raw equations. We will conduct our calculations and come up with the policy," he added.

Furthermore, Basuki, who had personally visited the locations, stated that no public infrastructure had incurred severe damage in the areas.

"Some bridges have moved, and we need to repair them, but they were not broken. There is also very little water. We have begun drilling, and there are some boreholes that we are already utilizing. Sanitation facilities have also been sent from Bali and Surabaya," he explained, adding that chiefs of the Military and Police Forces will also be visiting the site.

Several heavy equipment had also been sent over.

"Excavators have entered the area, as we have called in some local contractors. They will lend us equipment, including dump trucks," he added.

He also noted that state-owned enterprises located in the area, including Hutama Karya and Nindya Karya, which were working on roads, airport, and dams, were also getting involved.

According to the agency`s data, the highest number of deaths were reported in North Lombok Sub-district, as this region was severely affected by the earthquake.

Of the 105 people, who had died due to the earthquake, 78 were in North Lombok, 16 in West Lombok, four in Mataram City, three in East Lombok, two in Central Lombok, and two in Denpasar City. Most victims died from being hit by collapsed buildings.

Joint search and rescue teams from Basarnas, TNI, Polri, and volunteers are conducting evacuation and rescue efforts for the victims.

Reported by Desca Lidya Natalia
Editing by Aria Cindyara, Yoseph Hariyadi