Hundreds of refugees talk to UNHCR staff at their shelter in Kalideres, West Jakarta, on Monday. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

Refugees, Asylum Seekers Remain in Kalideres Shelter Despite Eviction Order

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI & NUR YASMIN

SEPTEMBER 03, 2019

Jakarta. Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers have remained at a temporary shelter in Kalideres, West Jakarta, without electricity or water despite being ordered to vacate it on Aug. 31.

Jakarta city council secretary Saefullah said the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is responsible for removing the refugees from the site.

About 1,500 of them, including women and children, started leaving Kalideres by minibus on Saturday, with nowhere to go.

Those who remained in Kalideres said they had not found an alternative shelter. 

"This is now in the hands of the UNHCR. We've [the Jakarta government] provided the temporary shelter to help them," Saefullah said on Tuesday.

By Monday, around 500 refugees were still in the shelter at Kalideres, where access to electricity and clean water had been cut off. 

The refugees had been going in groups to a public toilet in a night market in the area. Dede, the public toilet manager, said the refugees come and go from morning until evening.

"They pay Rp 2,000 (14 cents) to shower and wash their clothes. We don't mind, as long as they pay the fee," Dede said.

The UNHCR said they will give Rp 1-2 million to each refugee to find another accommodation according to their condition.

The refugees are saying the amount is not enough even to live for a month.

Thomas Vargas, Indonesian representative of the UNHCR, said the refugees should try to find temporary shelter wherever they could. He said the agency would try to assist them with anything they need, especially in an emergency.

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