Staff from Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (YPII) report that thousands of children, many of whom were left homeless from the first earthquake on July 31, have been out of school for more than a week.
Many are sleeping in open fields and suffering illnesses from lack of warm clothing and blankets.
Children and families sleeping in open fields
YPII emergency response worker Hana Yulia is in northern Lombok to coordinate the distribution of vital shelter kits to children and families still sleeping in open fields. More than 600 schools have been damaged due to the disaster.
Overnight the children are cold, they don’t have blankets or proper clothing to keep warm.
“Most people are still displaced,” Ms Yulia said. “They need safe shelter, drinking water, hygiene kits, and counselling, especially children, who are very scared about going back inside buildings.
“The shelters people have made for themselves are not safe or secure. Overnight the children are cold, they don’t have blankets or proper clothing to keep warm. A lot of children have developed colds, so they are suffering.
“There is not enough water, so they go to the nearest river to take a bath. They have no water, no electricity and no access to their homes.”
Ms Yulia added that while the first earthquake mostly affected the Eastern Lombok region, the second has devastated the northern part of the island, particularly the Tanjung district, which is still largely inaccessible by road.
Helping surviving children recover
Since the second large earthquake in a week struck on Sunday night, at least 176 aftershocks have occurred and continue to frighten children and residents still sleeping in open fields.
The latest Government estimates are: 105 people are dead, 236 are injured and thousands of buildings have been destroyed or damaged. These numbers are expected to rise as search and rescue teams continue to look for buried people in the sub-districts of Tanjung and Pemenang.
In its ongoing response, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia will also look to prioritise education and psychosocial support as a means of helping children regain a sense of normality in their lives.