IDEP Foundation

Supporting in the Recovery of Residents Affected by the Mount Lewotobi Eruption, Cross-Organizational Collaboration Conducts Aid Distribution and Psychosocial Support Activities with Children

The process of distributing Family Bucket packages to the eruption-affected community

To support the recovery from the eruption of Mount Lewotobi, several cross-regional organizations collaborated to distribute basic necessities and conduct psychosocial support activities for 474 affected families from Dulipali Village and Klatanlo Village. The collaborative action across organizations held for a week in early February 2024 was intended to ensure the fulfillment of basic needs for the affected residents who had just been repatriated by the government after more than a month of being forced to stay in evacuation shelters since the eruption began. 

The organizations involved included the IDEP Foundation from Bali, Yayasan Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Sosial (YPPS) from East Flores, and Circle of Imagine Society (CIS) Timor from Kupang. hey were supported by Save the Children Indonesia, Octa, and Give2Asia.

The aforementioned basic necessities assistance was received by each family in the form of Family Bucket packages. These packages contained food, drinks, and sanitation necessities including rice, cooking oil, eggs, sugar, coffee, toothbrushes and toothpaste, sanitary pads, and buckets. Each family received one package estimated to be sufficient to meet their needs for approximately 1-2 weeks.

Assisted by village staff, the distribution of the Family Buckets was carried out at the Dulipali village office for 188 families. Meanwhile, in Klatanlo Village, distribution was conducted for 286 families.

The eruption of Mount Lewotobi, which began in early January 2024, forced more than 6,000 residents to evacuate. Approximately seven villages from two districts in East Flores Regency were affected by the eruption of Mount Lewotobi. Among the affected villages were Nobo Village, Dulipali Village, Nurabelen Village, Boru Village, Nowokote Village, Hokeng Jaya Village, and Klatanlo Village.

Maria Rasdiana Hasulie (52), one of the recipients of the aid packages

When the eruption occurred, we panicked, there was fear, and it was the first time we experienced an eruption of this magnitude. It was not like the previous eruptions. The heaviest thing we felt was the loss of livelihood economically; there were responsibilities beyond daily food needs, such as registering children for school and covering daily expenses for their schooling. Returning from evacuation, everyone experienced the same economic conditions. Dulipali and Klatanlo villages even entered disaster-prone areas. The radius of our village from the mountain is 3.8 kilometers,” said Maria Rasdiana Hasulie (52), one of the recipients of the aid packages.

This eruption not only posed a direct threat from eruption materials and pyroclastic flows but also had serious impacts on the daily lives of the community, especially those living in disaster-prone areas (KRB). Dulipali Village in Ile Bura District and Klatanlo Village in Wulanggitang District are two villages included in this area. Located approximately less than 5 kilometers from Mount Lewotobi, the potential dangers of eruption and cold lava floods remain significant. Thus, the safety of local residents still needs to be a primary concern. 

Although the evacuees from the Mount Lewotobi eruption have returned to their respective homes, some residents living within the eruption radius, such as Maria and her family, remain vigilant. Especially during heavy rains, they still have to evacuate to other places to be cautious and ensure the safety of their families.

Coordination meeting with the Head of Klatanlo Village as well as village officials and representatives of the local residents

In addition to targeting families in general, children received special attention in this cross-organizational collaboration. Therefore, while their parents received Family Bucket packages, their children were involved in a number of psychosocial support activities. In these activities, children from Learning Groups and Kindergartens in the two villages were invited to play while learning about Healthy and Clean Living Behavior (PHBS). The aim was to involve children in increasing awareness about cleanliness and health in their own environment and themselves.

This distribution activity is a form of support and assistance for the survivors of the Mount Lewotobi eruption. Our IDEP team and partners have conducted assessments in two villages, Dulipali and Klatanlo, to analyze needs and register the number of survivors. From there, we began distributing food aid and personal hygiene equipment, promoting health to children, and disaster education through fun games,” explained Putu Suryawan Nadi, the IDEP Program Coordinator.

Educational activities with children involving parental guidance

Disaster simulations were also practiced with children so that they could learn what to do in the event of earthquakes or other disasters. They were also taught about disaster mitigation at the simplest level, such as protecting their heads and getting under a table when indoors, or seeking higher ground during floods. This series of psychosocial support activities also served as a bridge for teachers and students who had not started classroom learning activities for more than a month.

Article & Photo: Nicolaus Sulistyo © IDEP Foundation