Aid to Kupang disaster victims distributed piecemeal

Aid to Kupang disaster victims distributed piecemeal. (Photo: Kabupaten Kupang Doc.)

IO – Citizens affected by the Seroja tropical cyclone in the Sub-District of Teunbaun, District of West Amarasi, Regency of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), are disappointed by the paltry aid distributed to them by the Government of the Regency of Kupang: a single egg, a packet of instant noodles, and one kilogram of rice per household.

A resident of Neighborhood Association (Rukun Tetangga – “RT”) 7, Community Association (Rukun Warga – “RW”) 4, Sub-District of Teunbaun, Meidel Amtiran (46), declared that his household received this laughable “aid” on Saturday (17/04/2021). “The Government aid distributed through the RT that we got was a single egg, a packet of instant noodles, and one kilogram of rice. I still keep them untouched until now,” he said. “That Government aid only arrived two weeks after the disaster occurred. As disaster victims directly on the spot, we find this sort of aid confusing. We really don’t understand what the Government is thinking with this puny aid, while the disaster is a great one.”

However, Amtiran remains grateful that he and his family survived the disaster. “We think this “aid” is a joke. It’s honestly an insult to us. Yes, we are hit by this disaster, but there are bananas, coconuts, and sweet potatoes in our fields that have higher value than this “Government aid”,” he said.

Amtiran went on to upload the aid on social media, specifically on his friend Ken Adolof’s Facebook account to allow the people to pass their own valuation and judgment of this “Government aid”. He also hopes that the upload can serve as evaluation material for the Government, from the local to the Central level. “Our thanks to the Regency Government of Kupang for having distributed aid for us, the victim of the Seroja (tropical cyclone) Sub-District of Teunbaun, District of West Amarasi, Regency of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, at the amount of 1 kg of rice, 1 package of broth Indomie (instant noodles), and 1 egg for each head of household. Still grateful, even though our homes are destroyed but we are safe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yuli Bureni of Dusun 9, RT 29, RW 14, Merbaun Village admitted to have received the exact same type and amount of aid. She picked up the aid package at the house of her local Head of RT on Friday (16/04/2021). “What a weird aid. We feel like the Government is making fun of us with this “aid” of one kilogram of rice, one single egg, and one package of instant noodle per household,” she said.

Head of West Amarasi District, Kornelis Nenoharan, declared that the District Office has properly distributed aid in the form of rice, instant noodles, eggs, cooking oil, etc. to the citizens in two stages. “We have distributed aid for disaster victims in six villages and one sub-district,” he said. “The first stage aid distributed on Wednesday (14/04/2021) includes 2,500 kilograms of rice, 50 boxes of instant noodles, 48 cartons of eggs, 18 two-liter pouches of cooking oil, and 5 woven mats. The second-stage aid, distributed on Saturday (17/04/2021), includes 2,500 kilograms of rice, one portable electricity generator unit, 30 mattresses, 16 kilograms granulated sugar, 20 cans of fish, one 750-liter water drum, 50 sachets of wet wipes, 50 packets of face masks, 50 boxes of instant noodles, 10 kilograms of granulated sugar, and 5 boxes of 1.5 liter-bottles of mineral water. We have distributed the aid equally. We believed that the village headmen and head of sub-district would have distributed the aid wisely according to the level of damage suffered by each household.”

Kornelis went on to say that if the aid were distributed equally, it’s impossible for residents to receive only a kilogram of rice per household. “Each household should have received at least two kilograms of rice. We admit that there were insufficient amounts of eggs and instant noodles. However, we assure you that we forwarded the goods properly at our end,” he said.

In his turn, Regent of Kupang Korinus Masneno stated that the Regency Government of Kupang has distributed about 4.5 tons of rice to citizens. “The headmen and sub-district heads have an internal agreement with their citizens to have the aid distributed in stages. In other words, aid that has arrived gets distributed first, and instant noodles and eggs were distributed later as declared by the District Office of West Amarasi,” he said.

Korinus then declared that he has instructed that all subsequent aid not be distributed in stages. “I have instructed that the aid should be distributed totally to the people hereafter. Right now, we have prepared IDR 7 billion to operate emergency response, including for providing citizens with rice, instant noodles, and eggs,” he said. “We will distribute aid to the citizens in need until the disaster emergency period ends plus a week. Right now, we are responding to the emergency by taking care of citizens first.” (eka)