Jon Afrizal, The Jakarta Post, Jambi
Residents are facing difficulties in obtaining clean water due to floods occurring in various regencies and cities in Jambi province over the past week.
They are unable to use their wells because they have been saturated by floods, forcing people to consume rain water or buy bottled water.
"We have to collect rain water to drink," said a resident in Seberang district in Jambi city, adding he is unsure how long he will keep doing so since the floods have shown no signs of receding.
Children are particularly at risk of being infected by various illnesses, such as skin and respiratory diseases.
Floods have engulfed residents' homes and schools, a number of which were forced to close temporarily.
Sulastri, a teacher at the SDN 104 state elementary school in Legok, Telanaipura district in Jambi city, said the school has been closed since Dec. 23. She said flooding reached the floor of the school even though it was built on a platform.
"Teachers let first and second graders stay home for fear the building might collapse, " said Sulastri.
Floods have also spread to other regencies, such as Muarojambi, Batanghari, Tebo and Bungo, besides Jambi city, inundating hundreds of homes and destroying crops.
The water level of the Batanghari River in Jambi city stood at 13.6 meters, only 27 cm from its highest level of 13.87 meters.