Mercy Malaysia to upgrade transit shelters of Palu disaster victims

Palu villagers drive across a temporary road on the liquefaction site at Baloroa, which has since been marked as a red zone for all forms of development. — Picture courtesy of Mercy Malaysia
Palu villagers drive across a temporary road on the liquefaction site at Baloroa, which has since been marked as a red zone for all forms of development. — Picture courtesy of Mercy Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Six months after the devastating earthquake, tsunami and soil liquefaction in Palu in Sulawesi, Indonesia, affected residents there are still grappling with an uncertain future in their makeshift tents.

The question of basic necessities from housing to food and education still remains uncertain for over 200 families there.

To lend a helping hand, Mercy Malaysia recently kicked off a plan to upgrade 205 transit shelters in Antara Lere for victims of the disaster.

The new shelters will be made of pre-fabricated lightweight steel frames, wooden walls and zinc ceilings to provide the villagers with a more subtle lodging until their homes are rebuilt by the government.

Mercy Malaysia’s temporary school at Hunian Antara Lere allows over 100 students to continue their education. — Picture courtesy of Mercy Malaysia
Mercy Malaysia’s temporary school at Hunian Antara Lere allows over 100 students to continue their education. — Picture courtesy of Mercy Malaysia

Mercy Malaysia president Datuk Dr Ahmad Faizal Mohd Perdaus said what the Palu community needed at the moment was a sense of normalcy.

“This means being able to accept the reality of what had happened, and finding the strength to rise above the challenges at hand,” he said.

“It will take time before they can get their old lives back. But for now, there is strong resolve and community spirit, with the women conducting regular gotong-royong cooking, and silat practice every night.”

Dr Faizal said authorities and non-governmental organisations also conducted a “Build Back Better and Building Resilient Communities programme” for the local community to help increase their emotional resilience.

To date, Mercy Malaysia has spent RM1.8 million on humanitarian aid in Palu, which includes emergency medical response, building of toilets, tube wells, shelters and safe spaces for women and children.

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