The Homecoming of Donggala Earthquake and Tsunami Refugee

“All these times, I saw tsunami occurred from the television. Earthquakes happen quite often here, but it was never as powerful as last year. Unexpectedly, I experienced it myself. I could not stop believe it happened before me. But it has passed and I need to survive this new given life.”

Ms. Fadilla (39) is a representative of hundreds of family live in the western side of Donggala regency. Her house located just 60 kilometers away from the earthquake epicenter at Sirenja sub district, Donggala regency. The house was just meters away from the shore. Luckily, the area where she lives was not affected by the tsunami.

“My mother said, she has never witnessed such rolled-dark-towering-water above the sea surface. At that time, we just knew something terrible was about to happened. I rushed my mother and two daughters on my motorbike to reach the mountain area. The land shaken so I cannot drive too fast either. It felt like a wave along the road. Right after I put my mother and two daughters, I came back to get my husband from home. Just when I arrived, my house has tilted and soon to collapse. My husband and I just rushed ourselves to the mountain. We left our home.”

For more than a year Ms. Fadilla and her family members stayed under a plastic tarp tent at their used-to-be front yard. The remaining part of the house stands has cracks in most part and too dangerous to live in. The family had suffered from various illness ever since. Ms. Fadilla herself was rested for about a month due to overwhelming new role she had never experienced with, becoming a survivor of disaster.

Now the tragedy stays in the past. It has been two weeks since Ms. Fadilla and her family moved in to the temporary house which is proper enough for the family to live in. The 5 x 6 meter house built at the front yard on her land. There are two rooms that function as bedroom and living room.

The process of house establishment done in one week period by the task force consists of representatives of three beneficial villages. The family had responsibility to clean up the ruins and to monitor every steps of the way together with project officers. “I prepared snacks and beverages to support the builders. I am so grateful of this house. It is simple yet so meaningful for our family.”

Ms. Fadilla is one of the beneficiaries of the temporary house and drilled well support done by Gugah Nurani Indonesia. We built 140 temporary houses in three villages of Dalaka, Toaya, and Toaya Vunta, Sindue sub district, Donggala regency. This post disaster project is a collaborative work between Gugah Nurani Indonesia, Good Neighbors Japan, and Japan Platform.

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