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At a glance: Indonesia

Quake-affected children and families in Central Java begin return to normalcy

UNICEF Image: Indonesia: Earthquake survivors
© UNICEF Indonesia/2006
Young earthquake survivors gathered at a Children's Centre. For thousands of children, the centres provide a safe place to play and a way to heal trauma.

By Raquel Wilson

NEW YORK, USA, 30 October 2006 – Five months after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated parts of Central Java, Indonesia, UNICEF and its partners are giving hope to many of the survivors.

The recovery and rebuilding assistance under way in the quake zone has helped villagers to recapture some sense of normalcy.

UNICEF has helped open child centres for thousands of young people affected by the quake. The centres, which offer trauma counselling and safe recreation facilities, are a place for children to play, meet friends and heal in the aftermath of the disaster.

“I play soccer, do some colouring and like to draw mountain landscapes,” says Tita, 11, a child at one of the centres.

© UNICEF Indonesia/2006
A resident of the Central Java quake zone prepares to clean his damaged well with a team from the non-governmental organization YKY.

Safe water sources

With the assistance of local partners, UNICEF also has worked to clean wells, latrines and septic tanks in earthquake-affected areas. So far, more than 20,000 wells and 13,000 latrines have been restored in the region.

Ati Suwarno, 80, lives in Candi, a quiet village north of the devastated city of Yogyakarta. Her home was one of the 300,000 flattened in the massive tremor, and the walls of her well collapsed. Unfortunately, it has not yet been repaired.

“The water is not clean enough for drinking,” says Ms. Suwarno. “We only use it to wash clothes and take a bath. What can I do? It’s the only water source I have.”

Working in close collaboration with trained volunteers and other agencies in the Yogyakarta area, UNICEF plans to continue its efforts to provide safe water and sanitation, and to help rebuild the lives of vulnerable children and families.










30 October 2006:
UNICEF's Sophie Boudre reports on a project to repair thousands of wells in earthquake-damaged regions of Indonesia.
AUDIO listen


30 October 2006:
UNICEF's Sophie Boudre reports on centres providing care and support to children in the Central Java quake zone.
AUDIO listen

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