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Indonesia Bulletin No. 5 - 22 March 2005

22-03-2005 Operational Update

ICRC activities to help tsunami victims

 General situation

In Aceh province, on the northern tip of Sumatra, 126,343 bodies have reportedly been evacuated and the official number of missing people now stands at 93,797. The total number of internally displaced persons is estimated at 400,000. The clean-up process is making steady progress, and in Banda Aceh 95 percent of the roads and 88 percent of the public places have been cleaned.

 Evacuation of bodies

The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) still recovers between 40 and 50 bodies every day, an activity the ICRC continues to support. The PMI will systematically evacuate bodies until March 26, after which date its teams will act on request only.

 Economic security

The distribution of community clean-up kits continues, with 80 kits having been distributed to 30 different locations in Pidie, Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar in the past two weeks. The kits contain wheelbarrows, shovels, brooms, mops, wire brushes, buckets, cleaning cloths, sponges, claw hammers, wrecking bars, crowbars, pliers, nails, gloves, rubber boots, aprons, soap, disinfectant, first-aid material and water storage containers. They are designed to help communities of up to 50 families clean their houses and neighbourhoods. To date, 120 kits have been distributed. Household kits, tarpaulins, mats, blankets and underwear are also being distributed, on a smaller scale.

 Health services

As reported earlier, the ICRC/PMI field hospital in Banda Aceh, which provides services that are very much appreciated by the local population, has to be moved away from the stadium to make sure it is not hit by falling debris if there is a major earthquake. All the tents except the operating theatre have now been moved. So far the hospital has treated 5,948 outpatients and 501 inpatients. The camp for displaced discharged patients was closed on 10 March when the number of residents fell to under ten.


 Water and habitat  

The ICRC's water and habitat teams continue to assess and rehabilitate water and sanitation facilities. Twenty-five wells have been cleaned in Lambaro Seubun and 20 in Lampuuk (both villages are in Aceh Besar), and another six have been cleaned in L. Punti in Aceh Utara. The wells had been contaminated with mud, sand and saltwater during the tsunami. In Bireuen, two new wells were sunk.
During the last two weeks the ICRC has trucked 480,000 litres of drinking water into Aceh Utara. It has also provided garbage bins and is seeing to garbage removal at two relocation camps constructed near the field hospital. A bladder tank for water has also been installed.

 Promotion of humanitarian law

Last week the pre-deployment information sessions on international humanitarian law and PMI/ICRC working principles were resumed. The sessions are intended for Indonesian troops newly arrived in Aceh.


In the past two weeks ICRC teams have visited places of detention in Sabang and Aceh Selatan to assess the conditions of detention and the impact of the tsunami on medical facilities, water systems and housing. The teams also register detainees to be followed up by the ICRC and check whether detainees have been able to get in touch with their families. If required, they provide basic assistance such as hygiene kits.

Family links

On 6 January 2005, the ICRC and the PMI launched tracing and mailing services – registering survivors and their current addresses ( " I am alive " lists), unaccompanied children and missing family members ( " I am looking for " lists), making available satellite phones and Red Cross Message forms - to help family members restore contact with each other in the wake of the December earthquake and tsunami.
By 14 March, the ICRC and the PMI had restored family links in more than 2,702 cases. They have placed 10,619 names on the " I am alive " list and 16,069 on the " I am looking for " list. Thirty-five unaccompanied minors have been registered, of whom 13 have been reunited with members of their families (four in the past two weeks).

 For further information, please contact:  

 Bernt Appeland, ICRC Aceh, tel. ++ 62 811 982 504 / ICRC Jakarta, tel. ++ 62 21 720 72 52  

 Vincent Lusser, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++ 41 22 730 24 26/++ 41 79 217 32 64