Three days into the state of emergency and many affected Jakartans have yet to receive government aid despite the central and local governments’ claims that flood relief was a high priority.
Gustida Budhiartie, 26, said on Saturday that hundreds of residents in her neighborhood in Kebon Me-lati, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, were still struggling.
“We have received no food, no clean water and no medical help from the government. We have to struggle to provide our basic needs ourselves,” Gustida told The Jakarta Post.
Gustida said that around 1,400 residents in two neighborhoods in the area had resorted to setting up their own and only public kitchen. Gustida’s neighborhood — located less than 500 meters from the city’s main thoroughfare of Jl. MH Thamrin — has also been without electricity for the past three days.
Several hundred flood victims from Kebon Melati also sought refuge in the basement of the Grand Indonesia shopping mall after floodwater swamped their houses on Thursday.
A Grand Indonesia security officer, Heru, said the flood victims had stayed on the lower ground and ground floors from Thursday night until Saturday morning, when the waters began to recede, with the shopping mall’s management providing warm food and clothes.
Christina, one of the volunteers helping flood victims in densely populated Muara Angke and Teluk Gong in North Jakarta, said the residents in those areas had not received any aid from the administration, forcing people like herself to voluntarily seek aid for the victims.
“At least 200 families were isolated and they had received no aid until volunteers started to arrive,” she said.
“We finally established an emergency kitchen for the victims today [Saturday]. However, more basics are still needed, like blankets, medicines, milk and diapers,” she said.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) data shows that more than 18,000 people had yet to return to their homes as of Saturday due to the flooding. A total of around 250,000 people have been affected by the disaster, which began on Tuesday.
The death toll increased to 21 as of Saturday afternoon.