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Provision of Food and Drinking Water


Contributing Toward A Greater Cause
Source: Care USA

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, fresh water became a scarce commodity across the region, as reservoirs were damaged, and other water sources contaminated by ocean water, and decomposing bodies. Experts estimate that this could lead to the widespread occurrence of water borne diseases such as cholera, which could cause up to twice as many deaths as the direct impact of the tsunami. Thus, a primary task in the emergency relief was to provide clean water to the survivors.

This was carried out in a series of efforts. Firstly, medical workers have to locate water sources that are uncontaminated, and protect them from contamination by building cement walls, protective fencing and drainage systems. Next, the people have to be educated on the various water purification techniques. For example, chlorination, or the addition of water purification tablets.

In addition, potable water is transported to affected areas, to meet the short-term demand. Water purification systems have been set up at affected areas, to ensure a constant supply of clean water. For example, the Australian authorities has established a water purification system which can treat 20,000 litres of water in an hour.

There was also an acute shortage of food, as a result of the tsunami. Farmlands and rice paddies have been inundated with salty seawater, and it could be years before the soil can again sustain crops. An estimated 53% of all of the protein in the dietary intake of Indonesians come from fish. The destruction of the eco-system meant the lost of habitats and subsequent decrease in the number of fishes. Thus, the lost of the 2 main sources of food ensured its scarcity. However, due to spontaneous international relief aid, almost 12,500 tons of food was delivered to Banda Aceh, effectively alleviating the situation.


Counting Grain
Source: Care USA

References

  • Humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 21, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanitarian_response_to_the_2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake
  • Tide of Grief - Newsweek World News. MSNBC.com. Retrieved February 21, 2005, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6777595/site/newsweek/?ng
  • BBC NEWS | In Depth | 2004 | Asia quake disaster. BBC News. Retrieved from March 1, 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/world/2004/asia_quake_disaster/default.stm
  • Singapore Armed Forces Relief Efforts in Tsunami-hit Countries. Ministry of Defence, Singapore. Retrieved March 3, 2005, from http://www.mindef.gov.sg/tsunami/
  • DNA science used to ID bodies. USATODAY.com. Retrieved February 28, 2005, from http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/genetics/2005-01-13-dna-tsunami_x.htm
  • Devastated hospital receives ambulances and beds. World Vision. Retrieved March 18, 2005, from http://domino-201.worldvision.org/worldvision/comms2.nsf/stable/erdm_indianocean_ambulances?Open&lid=ambulances&lpos=main

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