Search & Rescue now turns to Full Recovery Effort
In the aftermath of flooding, what is left to do but build something out of nothing? The now rapid flow of mud from streets and homes into lower area drains and sewers leaves the villages of Jakarta in a state of recovery; the waters have gone down and life must go on.
A considerable amount of time has past since the flooding began in Jakarta and now (one month exactly), so this has allowed time for water levels to go down and most parts of the city to begin clean-up. To be expected, very little assistance in the way of clean-up is being offered.
In an effort to continue on, family members are working together to repair their now damaged lives; the women scrub and sweep mud from their homes and belongings (everything from couches to stereos to baby strollers) and the men are busy repairing flood walls and removing debris piles that crushed many homes, in the mean time grabbing whatever is salvageable.
We’ve been able to spend two days walking through the different areas affected by the floods. I had prepared myself for the worst images and expected many hands reaching out for help. Both days we met two local humanitarian organizations that speed through the city on motorbikes every day offering food and water to displaced persons.
The local animal rescue group we are working with, CARE (Center for Animal Rescue and Education), connects with these humanitarian orgs. every day. Ideally, human and animal rescue efforts are best conducted together.
The IFAW/CARE program that was search and rescue two weeks ago has now turned into a full recovery effort. In the same areas humanitarian groups are working to provide assistance, our team has implemented several activities to better improve the welfare of animals.
A feeding program allows animals to receive a substantial diet for days to come. We have found pet owners to be eager to accept food for their beloved pets, despite having very little themselves. Vitamin and vaccination treatments are essential during this time considering the potential for the spread of disease and parasites is extremely high. It is estimated that approximately 90% of cats are infected with worms, therefore offering a deworming medication can improve an animal’s quality of life considerably. The other proponent to the IFAW/CARE program are daily spay and neuter clinics. Volunteer veterinarians are offering their time to assist in this method of population control.
Today is my third day in Jakarta and we are going to be visiting a neighborhood that has a fairly large cat population (both wild and companion animals) and were impacted by flood waters 4 meters high! They have asked for our assistance in medicating and feeding, so I better be on my way now...