I wasn’t afraid, just worried
Written by Yohanes Baskoro, Albert Deby S. and Victor Dimas B. Putra (Karina-KAS’ volunteers for Caritas Joint Response).
Rosmaini in front of her house
We had to stop our assessment process for a while. The two umbrellas for eight volunteers from Karina were not enough to continue in the rain.
We stopped in front of a brown house. There we met Rosmaini, a 46 year old woman. “It was very different than the previous earthquake about a year ago. At that time, my house didn’t collapse. Now, we live in the living room. It’s the only room we can use so far,” she said.
Just like most earthquake survivors at Sampan, Punggung Lading, Pariaman, Rosmaini and her family are still living in her collapsed house although it was categorized as “heavily damaged” by a Technical Team from the universities in West Sumatera.
According to her, there was no early warning signal to help her recognizing and anticipating the coming of 30 September’s earthquake.
Her house was built 26 years ago, bit by bit. “Now, we prefer to get back in our own house. Though, I don’t have many rooms to use, but I have all the memories inside, happy and sad. Sleeping in a tent for couple days made me sick,” she said.
Rosmaini is not sure when she can start rebuilding her house. What she can do is only collect usable debris.
People at Sampan received 3 kilos of rice and packets of instant noodle just few days after the quake. Since then, no emergency aids had been distributed. There was only one tent at the posko (centre of coordination) and it fell down because of the heavy rains which fell on Pariaman and Padang lately.
Other emergency needs, such as medical treatment and psychosocial assistance, for kids and elderly people are also important. Such assistance has not been given there.
Eliminating the fear of aftershocks is a very important work in the trauma healing process. Moreover, in this psychosocial assistance we can find out the real needs of earthquake survivors in order to rebuild their lives. It should be not only physical but also a mental recovery process. The support given to the survivors should not always be just rice and instant noodles.
“Up to now, I feel worried if I’m left alone in the living room. I am not ready for the aftershocks. I don’t know when it will happen. It’s like a nightmare,” she ended the conversation.
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