Supporting the people of Palu, Indonesia
It has now been over a month since a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. More than 1.5 million people have been impacted by the disaster, including at least 600,000 children.*
As a company that is present in many cocoa growing communities across Indonesia, particularly in the regional capital of Palu, which is one of the most severely affected urban centres, we have first-hand experience of the destruction that this incident has reaped on the local people. Not only have thousands lost their lives but the city has been without running water, electricity or sufficient aid supplies. We want to play our part to alleviate the further suffering of the people of Palu.
Based on advice from the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management, we are focusing our efforts on the most pressing issues: providing food, water, medical facilities and care for children.
Our on-the-ground Olam Indonesia team has been coordinating a public kitchen to feed 1,000 people at least twice a day and supporting the distribution of additional food to shelters across the city of Palu. Due to a lack of medical facilities in many areas, we have also opened a medical camp on our premises which is being run by the Doctors Association of Indonesia, Makassar Chapter, and are arranging for the use of an ambulance. We have further set up a central communications centre and we are leveraging our presence to actively work with Save the Children to help identify and collect data on the many children who have been separated from their families or are orphaned as well as helping to place children in safe accommodation.
Vijay Karunakaran, VP of Olam Cocoa Indonesia, shared his update on the situation so far: “It is heartening to see how the entire Olam Indonesia team has rallied to help the people of Palu immediately after the disaster. Many of them are coordinating with multiple government agencies and NGOs as well as providing support to the local people.”
In the coming weeks and months, Olam Cocoa will continue to provide as much support as possible to help survivors in the aftermath of this crisis.
*Save the Children