In September 2018, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia, impacting around 1.5 million people and leaving an estimated 300,000 cut off from communications and unable to access aid or information. Internews is working with local Indonesian journalists, media, and humanitarian aid agencies to get critical information directly to the people who need it most to help them access services, find their loved ones, and be reassured that aid is coming.
Downed communications systems are making it difficult for aid workers to reach remote areas, leaving people with little information and vulnerable to rumors and misinformation. Local journalists need support to report effectively on the recovery process, and to reestablish their communications and broadcasting capabilities. People need up-to-date, factual and trusted information about how and where to find help, reconnect with family, and rebuild over the following months.
By working directly with local reporters and the Association of Indonesian Journalists (AIJ), Internews will rehabilitate one of the main radio stations in Palu, including an emergency media center that will connect crisis affected communities to recovery and rebuilding information and services. By establishing a coordinated communications network, we will close the current information vacuum and ensure that the delivery of aid is effective in reaching the worst affected communities and areas.
By rebuilding the damaged infrastructure and supporting local media, Internews will enable local organizations to inform their own communities, ultimately providing Indonesians with the ability to participate in the long-term relief and recovery efforts in their country. The rehabilitation of the radio station will allow for a faster, coordinated and effective long term recovery so that people affected by the disaster can make informed choices about how to rebuild their lives.