It has been one year since a series of earthquakes struck the island of Lombok, changing the lives of nearly half a million people living there.  The aftershocks continued for two months and nearly 75 per cent of all structures were damaged or destroyed in Northern Lombok. An estimated 129,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, displacing over 445, 000 people. In some villages, not a single home remained standing.

Now, one year on, communities are building back better and stronger.

Photo credit: Haroiman Loker/Palang Merah Indonesia

Throughout the year, the Red Cross has reached an estimated 78,100 people with materials such as tarpaulins and shelter toolkits to help people strengthen their temporary shelters. Cash grants are helping more than 24,200 people repair their damaged houses, water sources or water pipelines, and helped many families cover their most immediate needs.

Photo credit: Fajar Septian/IFRC

They are also using vouchers distributed by the Red Cross to obtain better building materials, choosing stronger building foundations and replacing asbestos roofing with corrugated iron sheets. In the wake of the earthquake, people are looking at building stronger houses, replicating the design from neighbors whose homes did not collapse.

Photo credit: Andung Wahyu Asyari /Palang Merah Indonesia

In the past year, Red Cross medical teams have provided over 13,300 health services to people affected by the earthquake, including first aid, medical check ups and home-based care for communities in North and Central Lombok, and Mataram.

Photo credit: Andung Wahyu Asyari/Palang Merah Indonesia

As water sources are being rehabilitated, the Red Cross continues to play a crucial role in providing clean water for communities. To date, Indonesian Red Cross has distributed over 25 million liters of clean water and have helped with the installation of around 46 kilometers of pipeline in 17 villages and 40 sub villages providing water to over 3000 people.

Photo credit: Surya Kusuma/IFRC

As communities continue to walk the path to recovery, they are being supported by the Indonesian Red Cross’ psychosocial support team, who travel around the province to provide a listening ear, a safe space for children to play and learn, and also provide training on agricultural and seed planting methods. Much remains to be done, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent remains committed to help people recover.