To make writing concerning the earthquake that ever hit Serempah village is certainly a new thing for me. Details surrounding the disaster have swarmed the media, yet it was still missing the important piece of which was the story from the village residents. One week’s placement in the village was my ticket to get the story directly from the local people. The story had its own emotional side that I found really touching.
Madam Mistiani, 30 years old resident, explained about the devastation that the earthquake brought to her home as well as her household. She was facing a difficulty to get food supplies. Post-earthquake, Serempah village was in a state of isolation. And her main source of food supplies was only the limited grant from the neighboring village. In her story, she also explained her life during the evacuation period. They took shelter for about a month, then moved to a farm to establish a makeshift house there. At the time, the government was already on the move to provide the villagers with building materials. Rice fields, farms, and fields have become the area of choice for the residents to build their houses. Mistiani and her family had to stay on the farm for a week because the village was under the process of relocation back then.
Nuraini, 40 years old local people, had other narratives to tell. After the earthquake, her house was excavated and her children became one of the casualties of the disaster. Another sad truth of this event was the body has never been found up to this day. The accident is taking a toll on her. Anyway, she offered us a stay at her place. And this particular moment reminded her of the evacuation period. She had to move her belongings from one place to another. “It is similar to your case, and that is why I have sympathy for you,” she responded after knowing about our situation of which we have to relocate from one house to another. The reason differed here in our case as the relocation is prompted because the previous houses were still not granted the permits.
Those are all the stories I could gather. Apart from that, the village condition was still not in a good state. If we were to visit the village of Serempah, we could still find the banners of underprivileged households attached to each of the villagers’ houses, including the head of the village. The school had been reconstructed with a well-established building, yet it is lacking the educators. The local health center is only a building, without any staff nor medicines. It is a really saddening fact especially when compared to our living conditions in the city.
Written by Rizka Malda Phonna
Translated by Priscillia Sharon