Heavy rains from late March through to early April, triggered by Tropical Cyclone Seroja, have resulted in widespread flooding across Indonesia and neighbouring Timor-Leste. Recent figures report as many as 157 people dead and scores more missing throughout the region. Thousands are now homeless.

Severe damage is being reported to roads, bridges and medical centres, including the Indonesia Baptist Hospital Foundation-run medical clinic in Kupang, Indonesia. The clinic provides much-needed general medical care to the local community, along with mother and child health services and emergency care. Each month, the clinic sees an average of 200 patients, conducts 40 home care visits and coordinates 100 emergency missions. It also conducts regular health and sanitation campaigns to schools, churches and throughout the community.

‘This is a pioneering clinic,’ said Doni Wijaya, the Executive Director of Baptist World Aid’s Indonesian partner, Rebana. ‘The clinic relies on support from Indonesian Baptist Hospital Foundation, churches and personal donations,’ he said.

Smart-phone video footage and photographs show extensive damage to both the internal and external structure of the clinic, rendering it unserviceable. Its closure is an ironic blow to a region now in desperate need of medical care.

The roof of this Baptist-run clinic in Kupang, Indonesia was stripped off due to the cyclonic winds and the building, flooded

The roof of this Baptist-run clinic in Kupang, Indonesia was stripped off due to the cyclonic winds and the building, flooded.

‘If the clinic remains closed, the community will be missing accountable and reliable medical services,’ Wijaya said. ‘People are already asking when the clinic will be open. In this time post-disaster, people need medical care more. We are now doing our best to open the clinic.’

Kupang is situated on the western end of Timor Island. It is the capital and largest city of East Nusa Tenggara Province and an important cargo and passenger port within Indonesia. Kupang has a population of more than 430,000 people.

‘The floods happened over Easter,’ said Hannah Moeda, Projects Manager at Baptist World Aid who also has family living in the flood-affected region. ‘It is sad to think that while we were enjoying our Easter break here in Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste were being devastated by floods. That part of Indonesia is a very Christian area so it would have been a very different Easter for them,’ she said.

Rebana, Baptist World Aid’s Indonesian partner, has stepped in to rebuild the clinic, an orphanage and early childhood centre. Baptist World Aid will be supporting Rebana by providing ongoing disaster risk reduction (DRR) training, food items and essential non-food items (NFI). Additionally, Baptist World Aid will provide support to the affected areas of East Timor through a joint relief effort involving other Christian-based charities including Caritas.

Baptist World Aid has an ongoing Disaster Action Fund, specifically designed to respond immediately to disasters and emergencies when they strike.

Please give to the Disaster Action Fund so Baptist World Aid can provide ongoing support to our brothers and sisters in Indonesia and Timor-Leste and provide a rapid and effective response when disasters strike.