The 5 August Lombok earthquake was devastating in every sense of the word. At least 321 people died, another 1,033 were injured and 270,000 people were displaced from their homes.

Gili Air, home to Grand Sunset, also suffered significant damage to infrastructure and buildings because of the earthquake, and just over a month after the harrowing event, the time to take stock has long passed, together with aftershocks following the quake.

What has been very heartening is the continuous grit of local residents, business owners and employees on Gili Air. Determined to restore this idyllic island getaway to its former glory, people have pulled together in their efforts, and we’re happy to report that things are looking up on Gili Air.

As is always the case in times of crisis, numerous organisations who are concerned about the welfare of the people affected by the earthquake sprung up, and thus far these endeavours have led to the restoration of water and electricity on Gili Air, as well as to the initial rebuilding of damaged buildings and structures.

Restaurants have opened their doors again, and accommodation is once again available to locals and international visitors, with many of the fast boats resuming their normal services to ferry people between the Gilis, Bali and Lombok.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and we are happy to say that the many recreational activities that make Gili Air a popular tourist destination are up an running again – with the added benefit that the lack of tourists in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake has made for especially beautiful diving conditions and an abundance of marine life that exceeds even the breathtaking beauty that tourists get to experience during peak times.

If you are interested in following the rebuilding efforts as they happen, please have a gander at Rebuild Gili, GiliStrong, Lombok Strong and Gili Islands and Lombok Earthquake Appeal on Facebook.

These organisations, made up of concerned locals and expats, have tasked themselves with rebuilding infrastructure and buildings on Gili Air, supplying food, medicine and other supplies to those in need, and with restoring the livelihood of the local staff that do so much to keep things on the affected islands going, even in the face of great adversity.

Should you feel compelled to do so, please donate to these organisations to make their hands strong and provide them with the resources they so desperately need in their relief efforts. After all, rebuilding paradise is that much easier when there are many hands that help to do so.