Over 500 Indonesian Rover Scouts were among the first responders after 377mm of rain fell on 31 December on Indonesia’s capital and the surrounding Greater Jakarta Area—the most since records began in 1886, according to the state weather agency.
The torrential downpours have continued in January, leading to severe flooding and landslides, with reports of waters rising to nearly eight metres high in many parts, immersing houses, overturning vehicles, turning streets into rivers, forcing an estimated 173,000 residents to seek refuge elsewhere and claiming the lives of at least 67 people.
True to their Scout Promise, over 500 Rovers, trained through Scouting in disaster preparedness and emergency response, volunteered to join the search and rescue attempts and assist with the evacuation of residents in Jakarta and the surrounding cities of Bogor and Bekasi in the Greater Jakarta Area. The Scouts also deployed ten rubber boats to these areas to help, in particular, with the evacuation of children, babies and elderly persons to safer locations and they prepared an emergency base to help with efforts to check the health of survivors and to supply food, clothes, sanitary supplies and clean water to survivors. Scout headquarters in Jakarta and the Greater Jakarta area were used as operational bases to coordinate the Scouts' emergency response and map the disaster.
And whilst the floodwaters are reported to have started to subside around Jakarta, heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast in the coming days with Jakarta and the central area of Java expected to receive as much as 102mm of rain.
What is sure though is that whenever and wherever disaster strikes—in Indonesia, Australia, Philippines or elsewhere— Scouts will always be there, showing leadership and putting their training into action to serve others.
The Indonesian Rovers emergency disaster preparedness training is a long-standing programme and part of the Messengers of Peace Initiative, made possible with the support of a number of key WSF donors, including Alwaleed Philanthropies.
With grateful thanks to Brata T. Hardjosubroto, National Commissioner Indonesia Scouts Gerakan Pramuka, in charge of International Affairs, for news and updates.
Photos © Kangtaufik94 showing Scouts of West Java transporting people to safety through the floods.
Photos © Bogor City Pramuka Peduli (Scouts Care) showing the Bogor Scouts Care group distributing supplies to people displaced by the floods in Nanggung Village under Mounth Salar, Bogor (75km from Southern Jakarta) via https://www.scout.org/node/550767