Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I went back to Kelapa Gading to copy some data from my workstation. I moved out of Kelapa Gading on Monday evening, so I had the opportunity to see how the flood condition changed. The news is good. Basically, the flood is off the major streets of Kelapa Gading area, but most houses are still flooded. It is also rather difficult to get into the area using a regular car as all the access points to Kelapa Gading are still flooded:

Jl. Kayu Putih

Jl. Kayu Putih, on the left people waiting for submarine busway


To get to my place I first went with some truck from Superindo (near Pulomas) to La Piazza - driver didn't request any payment but accepted small tip. Then I was picked up by some truck whose driver was heading to Priok - this time driver didn't even accept any tip, shake of my hand was enough, nice to see such a good people around. We've brought some powder milk for children 1-3 years old and water for refugees and it seem that's exactly what they needed as small children don't like instant MSG loaded food to much and instant food is a type of food usually distributed around. Beside, the support for refugees in this areas seem to be working well. No people starving, just looking for some place to stay for a while.

Area near Mc. Donalds Kelapa Gading

I'm already starting to think about the best methods of helping local communities. In my opinion the best method of helping victims of Jakarta 2007 flood is to help in restoration of local schools that were affected by the flood. According to a brief report by Sampoerna Foundation, “As many as 1,489 schools in Jakarta were inundated. Specifically 1,295 SD, 174 SMP, and 30 SMU,'' said the Head of the Elementary Education Department of DKI Jakarta, Sylviana Murni". Definitely lots of help is required to rebuild all damaged schools.

When I was a kid and our school was badly damaged by the flood, I must say as a kind I truly appreciated to see rebuilt school that looked even better than before. I hope I can do something to make local kids enjoy the same feeling. Thus, if you know of any schools that need help in flood damage restoration, please let me know. I'll try to make list of such schools and try to organise some help.

Note: More information about the flood on WHO web-site.


John said...

Thanks for your reports, Marek!
I took the liberty to quote you in my own blog:


Marek Bialoglowy said...

FYI today, there was another incident that made my jaw drop. My sister in law runs a small restaurant nearby. It is located in a pretty big space, which is now occupied by refugees from area of Kelapa Gading, mainly people from flooded TNI housing complex. Water is still one meter deep there, so they can't go back to their homes. I supply those people who stay at the area of our restaurant with towels, water, powder milk, food etc. Today, my sister in law brought some more food for them, mainly good quality powder milk so the poor kids can stay healthy. Sometime after she gave the food to the flood refugees, owners of neighbour restaurant came to her and said "Don't bring them food or they will stay here longer!", indicating that nobody wants to eat in his restaurant with so many refugees around.

I was truly shocked to hear this. I think this goes on the first place of my ranking of most disappointing people attitude I've seen during this disaster. FYI those poor people who stay at the restaurant are poor, but they are good and honest. They haven't touched anything in the restaurant, even if they could easily steal lots of equipment. Few days ago I put some towels for them on the cashier counter and didn't clearly explain that it is for them. Surprisingly, they didn't touch it until my sister in law asked next day why they don't use towels. They explained that they were not sure if they could and thanked a lot for giving them some towels as all towels were already wet.

Honestly, I'm seriously disappointed with some rich people around. When flood started they just ordered trucks with containers, packed most valuables and moved out to hotels without having a single thought of poor flood victims around. Most of poor people were seriously affected themselves, but they still did all their best to help other people in need and share the support.

treespotter said...

count me in. let me know if there's anything i could help with.

Old Monkey said...

Well, to be honest I am not surprise Marek. I have seen a lot of these things happened in Indonesia. If I am not wrong you also had a similar problem with Mbak Sri? I guess thats where the judgment came from. Take for the extreme? What If these refugee stay in your sister in law for long period of time? Will she able to cope with that? Will the government take control for this situation?

I remembered when I was in Indonesia I made a wrong judgement about 'tukang ojek'. I thought there were poor that's why I used to give 3000-4000 Rupiah more than the standard trip. It turned out I was wrong, the driver had better mobile phone than mine :)

Marek Bialoglowy said...

Sri was an exception, I didn't have such problem again. Last group of refugees move back to their homes today. It was no problem at all to close the place for a week considering their difficult situation. Your tukang ojek comment somehow doesn't sound credible, because my drivers have a motor bike and prespective of being tukang ojek does not sound anyhow interesting to him.

Pawel Maciejewski said...

Great reportage, man :)

As for photos - "If your photos are not good enough, you were not close enough" (Roberto Capa). Get closer! Get inside! Be in the very middle of things!

Btw. have you tried photographing those people living between railway tracks in suburbs of Jakarta?

Best regards


Marek Bialoglowy said...

Thanks for your advice. It's actually my personal notes including some photos rather than a serious reportage. As for the subject, I don't like tragedy photos much, there are more positive things around that I think are more interesting to photograph :-) Check some of my photos of beautiful Indonesia.

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