A “made-to-measure” house for Rosida | Humanitarian Coalition
A “made-to-measure” house for Rosida
April 13, 2020

“I was asleep in my chair when the earthquake happened in my village,” says Rosida. “The earthquake was very strong. I fell off my chair. I screamed and told everybody to leave the house.”

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on September 28, followed by a tsunami with waves up to 6 metres high. The quake led to the liquefaction of the soil in some places, softening the earth and causing it to flow. The combination of the earthquake, tsunami, liquefaction and landslides caused significant damage and loss of life across the affected areas of Palu, Donggala, Sigi, and Parimo districts.

“I watched as my house collapsed and struck one of my family members, who unfortunately did not survive,” says Rosida with tears in her eyes. “I am really sad about losing my relatives and also my house which was built just a year ago.”

Immediately after the quake, Rosida went uphill with a hundred other villagers, since the liquefaction had caused their neighbourhood to sink. Rosida stayed in a modest tent with several other villagers -- without clean water or proper sanitation – for more than a week.

“I had to use water from a small ditch. It was dirty, it made my skin itch and sometimes we had to use it to drink. It was horrible, but I had no option,” she says.

Islamic Relief went to work in Rosida’s community, providing clean water for more than 400 families, and also building shelters for people whose houses had been destroyed or heavily damaged, including Rosida.

These new homes were known as “Rumah Tumbuh” or Growing Houses, because the structure could expand based on the needs of the residents. People who had lost their homes were involved in the design of their new houses, to make sure they would be suitable for their family.

“When I received shelter support, I was asked to participate in the design of my new home, so I included my need for my well to be fixed,” says Rosida. “I am really grateful to have this house which makes all four of my family members feel comfortable and I appreciated being able to participate in the process.

“Thank you Islamic Relief!”