Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger broadcasts were found to be significantly useful during the recent widespread flooding in Jakarta.
The critical condition of last week’s flood gathered individuals and communities from and outside Jakarta to quickly aid those affected in any way they can. Word about areas to avoid, persons trapped in the flood waiting to be rescued, and the gathering and distribution of donations were a few of the information dispersed online.
While some tweets received great notice by the amount of retweets it got, other information remained ignored. Seeing the scattered information, Sinergi Muda, a non-profit youth led organization, created a portal bridging informers to information seekers.
On Jan. 17, Sinergi Muda created an online movement that filters information relevant to flood relief like financial, food and clothing donations, sites of refugee camps, traffic conditions and volunteering opportunities to be listed on their website database.
Twitter users holding information relating to the flood situation were to tweet adding the hashtag #BantuJakarta (#SaveJakarta). The # symbol, called the hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet to help categorize Tweets and appear easier on the Twitter Search.
In accordance to Sinergi Muda’s slogan, “Through synergy, we acquaint, connect and create,” the #BantuJakarta initiative was to create synergy between volunteers and organizations while also providing a one stop destination for social activism.
While activities seemed to have resumed normally, the aftermath remains very devastating to areas affected the most. Trash and diseases emerge from the receding waters while thousands of people remain displaced in temporary shelters waiting to receive medical aid and anticipating for the next rain fall.
Any form of help, be it financial or moral support to the refugees, is greatly appreciated to get Jakarta back on its’ feet.