10 November 2010
Volcano eruption at Mount Merapi
Over 320,000 displaced people are currently located in Central Java. With the continuing eruptions, there is a need to continue to monitor and assess the situation to avoid possible food security problems in the near future as volcanic ashes will likely damage agricultural crops.
In addition to UNICEF staff already on the ground from local field offices, a nutrition specialist, water, sanitation and hygiene specialist and child protection specialist have been deployed to the Merapi area to provide short-term cluster coordination support. UNICEF emergency officers will also continue to travel to the area.
Health and nutrition:
Coverage of the UNICEF-supported measles and polio vaccination campaigns is now reported at between 80 per cent and 100 per cent.UNICEF has also requested to the Ministry of Health to remove a request for infant formula from its website as it is not needed. UNICEF and partners are also supporting government efforts to promote, support and encourage breastfeeding. So far 36 counsellors have been deployed to the affected areas. Access to food needs to be monitored particularly on the nutritional needs of the vulnerable groups such as young children and pregnant and lactating women.
Water, sanitation and hygiene:
UNICEF continues to support the sanitation and hygiene response, with the distribution of 6,500 jerry cans, 6,500 hygiene kits, 15 static water bladders and 8 truck bladders. Although permanent and semi-permanent latrines have been installed, the situation could be aggravated if the displaced people stay for a protracted period. UNICEF is taking part in local government’s radio campaigns on simple sanitation messages such as washing hands with soap.
11 UNICEF school tents, each with a school-in-a-box, are now installed and benefiting 550 primary school students in Sleman district. A similar number of Early Childhood Development kits have also now been distributed in the district. 4 UNICEF school tents are now operational in Magelang district, benefiting 200 students.
A Child Protection Rapid Response Team is currently conducting rapid assessments, supporting basic needs and providing trauma counselling.
Earthquake and tsunami in Mentawai
Torrential rains and stormy seas have continued to hamper aid distribution. There are no roads capable of supporting vehicles larger than a motorbike in some parts of Mentawai and some remote areas continue to accessible only by small boats.
UNICEF is sending experts in water, sanitation and hygiene, health and logistics to West Sumatra to assess the ongoing situation and make recommendations for cluster and UNICEF support.
Water supplies are available, and sanitation facilities will be developed together with the 1,000 temporary shelters. UNICEF has sent recreational kits and water purification tablets and hygiene kits.