The people of Palu, Indonesia—a city of over 300,000 people—suffered twin tragedies when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the region and triggered a dangerous tsunami. More than 2,000 lives were lost, over 200,000 people were displaced, and nearly 70,000 homes were destroyed on that fateful day in September 2018.
With an established country program in Indonesia, Water Mission was one of the few organizations invited to participate in the local disaster response. We mobilized within hours, shipping more than 1 million P&G Purifier of Water packets and 20 Living Water Treatment Systems to immediately serve those affected. The packets could provide emergency water treatment for up to 75,000 people for one week, while each Living Water Treatment System was capable of treating enough safe water for 5,000 people each day.
Fortunately, for our friend, Andi, the disaster did not affect his home. But it did have a far-reaching impact on the area where he has lived for most of his life. He says, “We felt the earthquake here but are far enough inland that the tsunami didn’t affect us. It was traumatizing to feel the earth move. It was scary. Although our property was not damaged, about 20% of the people in this community had their homes damaged. Of course, it was much worse near the ocean. Many people came to my village’s health clinic then for help.”
Andi played a key role in our relief efforts through the use of his family’s well. He explains, “Our well is not iron-laden, so although it’s a smaller water source that others in this area, it’s a good one. Water Mission approached me about using this water for the health clinic, and I was happy to do it because there is a lot of water coming out of this well.”
The safe water from the well brought his community together in a spirit of unity after they had been torn apart by devastating disasters. Andi explains, “So many people are glad to get water here and they can just come and take it at the stand. It makes me feel very happy because they have their needs met. There is safe water so many people come. They come at all times, up until midnight. They even come from the internally displaced people (IDP) camp! They are all happy to have it, and that makes me feel good.”
As the region began rebuilding, we transitioned our water treatment systems to support the long-term needs of health clinics, schools, and communities. Today, we provide lasting safe water solutions to nearly 13,000 people.
When disasters strike, supporters like you make it possible for us to respond quickly with short and long-term solutions that change lives. Most recently, Water Mission served more than 3 million people in Honduras affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, two back-to-back storms that have devastated the country.
This Christmas, please pray for Andi and millions of others around the world who are working to overcome natural disasters and consider how important safe water is to their recovery.
Water Mission Christmas Tribute Cards!
This Christmas, make a gift in honor of someone you love, and bring hope, life, unity, and peace through safe and Living Water to people around the world. Order by December 16th for delivery by Christmas.