Rotary Clubs helping victims of the Lombok earthquakes
The Rotary Club is a not-for profit service organization made up of volunteers and professionals in the local business communities where they are based. One of their mottos is reach the unreachable and nowhere could this be more appropriate right now than in Lombok following two devastating earthquakes in the space of just one week.
"The situation on the ground is much worse than is being reported," said Nyoman Suastika, Rotary Club Bali's Head of Disaster Relief Chair for the District and Incoming Governor. "We saw massive damage on the way from Mataram Airport at Kranggan, Pemenang and to the epicenter at Kayangan on Lombok's north coast."
Volunteers from the Rotary Clubs unloading basic supplies for earthquake victims in Lombok.
While it is true the government has already sent considerable aid and resources to Lombok, including navy ships and personnel, the area affected is very large and there are still a lot of people who need help, some in remote villages where no form of aid has been received.
"We stopped at the village of Kranggan, about one hour from Mataram Airport, on the way to Kayangan" explains Wanda Somdani, Rotary's Nusa Dua Disaster Relief PR Spokesperson. "All 400 houses in the village were destroyed or damaged. The village is home to around 2,000 people, including many, many children. We visited five villages and all of them have similar stories to tell of destruction and the urgent need for help. The priority is to help the kids."
Five Rotarians from Bali have been working together with five from Jakarta and ten from Lombok. They have established a base camp in Mataram and are coordinating with local police to assess urgent needs, particularly for those areas that have yet to receive assistance from the government's ongoing efforts.
"It's very much a team effort," says Suastika. "Our teams in Lombok assessed what was immediately needed and on our first visit we took water, medicines and milk as well as the sorts of things people would normally be able to buy in shops like pampers and light snacks but because shops are closed they don't have access to even these basics."
Although Bali also felt the affects of the earthquakes local businesses and concerned groups have come together to help their neighbours. Patagonia Xpress fast boats to Lombok's Gili Islands for example, are offering to send supplies from Bali for free.
Here's how you can help.
The Rotary Clubs of Bali have short, medium and long term plans for helping those in need in Lombok:
Short Term is focused on the immediate needs being faced now and for the next 6 months.
Medium Term will be focused on house and home recovery for around 18 months.
Long Term will be focused on educating people how to respond to future disasters and this will be ongoing.
Donations that are most urgently needed now include.
- Tents. Around 80% of houses in the area have been damaged and people are afraid to go back to what might be left of their homes.
- All sorts of clothes especially t-shirts and socks for kids.
- Blankets and mattresses.
- Water purification and filtration equipment.
- Financial donations.
There are deposit points where people can make their donations and the Bali Rotary Clubs Team will be taking these to Lombok every Friday.
Bali Rotary Clubs for drop-off donations:
Pelangi Resto on Jalan Dewi Sri 7x, Kuta.
Jalan Diponegoro 157, Denpasar
Jalan Kemuda No. 6, Denpasar
Warung Kampung on Jalan Cok Agung Tresna, Renon
Perum Taman Griya, Jalan Danau Tamblingan VI/1, Nusa Dua
Financial donations can also be made through the Yayasan Rotary Klub Bali, Kuta and BCA Bank:
Bank Central Asia
Account No,: 6485399996
Account Name: Yayasan Rotary Klub Bali Kuta
Mark Savage, President of the Rotary Club Canggu advised those who want to make financial donations to do so through the Rotary Disaster Relief Fund as 100% of the money received goes to the victims and our volunteers are all self-funded.