Pacific responds to Bali disaster

Friday January 19, 2018 Written by Published in Local

Among the many humanitarian volunteers responding to the Bali volcano Mount Agung disaster is Cook Islands Red Cross Society’s disaster management coordinator Mata Hetland.


Hetland is part of the Red Cross Regional (Pacific) Disaster Response Team and since arriving in Bali last week has gained firsthand experience and valuable lessons as well as sharing her own skills and knowledge in training up the local Red Cross volunteers.

She reports on the varied humanitarian work Red Cross is doing in Bali as well as the tough conditions refugees from the volcanic eruption are living in.

As part of her mission work, Hetland has visited and conducted assessments at six campsites where people fleeing from the lava and ash fallout from Mount Agung have found refuge.

The Red Cross Regional (Pacific) disaster response team has arrived in Bali at the tail end of the response operation, but Hetland reports that while many refugees have returned home, there are many others who are afraid to go home, or to what remains of their homes, after the eruption of Bali volcano Mount Agung.

Hetland’s main task has been to advocate and promote gender and diversity in emergencies.

Through a volunteer translating and modern technology she has trained a volunteer to run gender and diversity in emergencies awareness in the Balinese Bahasan language.

During the short mission Hetland will gain more knowledge and understanding of disaster response to bring home to improve our own disaster risk reduction and response strategies.

            - Matariki Wilson 

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