As part of the StIRRRD team’s ongoing monitoring and coaching role, during March we visited all districts to gauge their respective progress and where possible, provide support and advice for building on the initial success of the program. In this blog we describe some of the highlights from our visit to Donggala, Central Sulawesi.
Welcome back to Donggala
As the StIRRRD programme moves from phase 1 (plan development and training) to phase 2 (implementation and monitoring), districts are presented with a certificate and small NZ-themed gift to recognise their progress. To mark this occasion, BPBD arranged a ceremony to welcome the StIRRRD team back to Donggala and provided a rousing rendition of the Indonesian national anthem as well as BNPB’s national disaster theme song.
Action Plan Progress
During the morning of 20 March, a workshop was held which included the Secretary Head of District, emergency management, public works and other local government staff to discuss implementation progress in Donggala. During this session, it was clear the district has made good progress on policy reviews which now include DRR objectives, while further opportunities to align existing socialisation programmes with Action Plan activities were also identified.
An update of Donggala’s 2010 building regulations has been conducted and were re-published in 2015. The new regulations now require that new buildings are designed to be ‘earthquake resilient’. The local government spatial planning office is undertaking a programme for the implementation of ‘earthquake resilient buildings’ in both existing and new development areas.
At the workshop, senior representation from a range of stakeholders, identified the potential for further synergy between work programmes where this was previously not recognised. For example, the local government Head of Social Agency has identified planned programmes that will now be aligned with BPBD’s socialisation activities. In addition, the local government Head of Environment Agency provided substantial discussion on the probable exacerbation of flooding and impact on water resources from mining activities. These discussions provide a strong platform to align existing work programmes with Action Plan activities in Donggala.
Action Plan Forward Plan
During the afternoon, the Action Plan and discussion points from the morning’s workshop were discussed in detail with the emergency management office; as custodians of the Action Plan. At this session, it was important to have not only the Head of BPBD but each BPBD Division Head, Readiness and DRR, Logistics, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and BPBD staff to review the Action Plan.
As part of the StIRRRD teams ongoing monitoring and coaching role, we visited all of the districts in the project to gauge their respective progress and where possible, provide some support and advice for building on the initial success of the program.
Following on from a successful visit to Seluma and Bengkulu City in Bengkulu Province, the StIRRRD team travelled to West Sumatra to meet with BPBD in Agam, Padang, and Pesisir Selatan. There, we discussed the progress of the BPBD-led DRR actions plans, as the project moves from phase 1 (plan development and training) to phase 2 (implementation and monitoring). In both Agam and Pesisir Selatan, we presented the district heads with a certificate and a small NZ-themed gift. We checked in with the BPBD in Padang to see how they were progressing as they were one of the pilot districts. The team also met the district parliaments to discuss on-going support of the DRR measures initiated mainly by BPBD.
In Agam we met with members of the district parliament to discuss how the program has progressed, and the success they have had so far. We then met with the regency head (Bupati) who has been a vocal supporter of BPBD Agam’s efforts in raising the understanding of DRR in schools and communities. He even has a music video to raise awareness of DRR. The commitment to the project allowed us to present the Bupati with a certificate to recognise the progress made in Agam towards increased resilience to disasters.
The staff at BPBD Agam are very effective at developing programs and involving other stakeholders in DRR activities. Combined with the government support, there is great hope that Agam will continue to excel and be used as a successful case study for other districts to learn from.
A visit to the Tiku sub-district allowed us to talk with the KSB (Community Disaster Group) about their preparedness plans. They have a special focus on tsunami due to their close proximity to the coastline and they were able to show that they were reasonably well prepared. This has taken a lot of coordination with many government departments and NGO’s (especially Jemari Sakato) under the leadership of the BPBD. It was also here that we learnt from the district BPBD that there was more money allocated in the budget for preparedness than for response, which means that the message of DRR is getting through.
We travelled a short distance back to Padang to check the progress of Kota Padang and see some old friends from the early part of the project. We first met with the BPBD Province, who take a more regional view of the issues that cut across the districts. They are involved in a number of initiatives that involve key stakeholders and NGO’s. They were very supportive of the StIRRRD program and hoped that we could assist with other districts in the province. We believe that the lessons learnt by districts within the program could be very useful for other districts as they start the long process of DRR. We then had a very useful meeting with Kota Padang BPBD who updated us on their progress and the many programs involving schools, local community groups and media outlets.
In 2009, Padang experienced a M7.6 earthquake that caused significant damage, caused over 1000 fatalities, and generated a small tsunami. During that event, it was clear that building structures were not able to withstand the ground-shaking and that there were insufficient evacuation shelters and routes to safety. This experience has focussed BPBD Kota Padang to push for the enforcement of existing building specifications. In addition, progress has been made in the development of tsunami evacuation plans and signage. This includes the identification of existing buildings (such as schools, commercial buildings etc.) that could be used as temporary shelters in the case of a tsunami. Kota Padang have trialled a tsunami evacuation route on one of the main roads in the city. The road has a number of signs that provide a route to safety and the distances required to reach a safe elevation above sea level. A Blue Line has been painted on the road itself but this isn’t signposted at all – we even drove past it the first time!
After Padang, we made our way south to Pesisir Selatan where the BPBD has experienced a number of staff changes over the recent past. Pesisir Selatan has limited resources but it has a team and Bupati leader who are enthusiastic and very supportive of the our DRR philosophy. With further engagement, especially with other stakeholders, the BPBD will hopefully gain some program momentum.
We visited a KSB from Salido Saiyo village – a group that has been active for the last three years. They described their planning and preparedness activities that mainly focussed on tsunami. Meeting with KSB’s provides us with a real insight into the understanding of the locals at the grassroots. It is at this level that the success of the programs supported by BPBD can be seen. This KSB in particular were well aware of the hazards posed in the region, how they could help provide support for government programs, and where they would like further assistance. They were a group that were keen to learn from us about how NZ prepares for disasters and how effective learning in schools permeates through the community. All in all, there is a lot of potential for the successful implementation of DRR programs within Pesisir Selatan despite their lack of resources.
A StIRRRD team has been in Seluma and Bengkulu City in Bengkulu Province, as part of the ongoing implementation of the BPBD-led DRR actions plans, as the project moves from phase 1 (plan development and training) to phase 2 (implementation and monitoring). A small ceremony celebrating the collaboration and support of the districts during phase 1 was held, with a certificate and token of appreciation presented to the district heads. The team also met the parliament of each district to discuss on-going support of the BPBD disaster risk reduction measures.
The team met with the BPBD, and other government agencies, in separate meetings, to discuss progress, reaffirm commitment to the Action Plan Initiatives, and discuss implementation options.
In October 2016, Bengkulu City BPBD implemented a tsunami “Blue Line” project and included it in an evacuation simulation for schools. Unfortunately, the contractor used a water-based paint and the line has quickly faded. However, the BPBD are committed and have budget to implement more blue lines along the coast, improve evacuation routes, involve the local communities to raise awareness and upgrade signage.
In Seluma the team met with the disaster volunteers of Rawa Indah village, where a vertical tsunami evacuation shelter has been constructed. Despite not yet officially taking control of the shelter, the locals are using it for weddings, mother’s groups and other social occasions and ceremonies. The community obviously value this structure, and are making some effort to keep it clean and tidy. For minimal cost, it would be possible to make this structure more suitable for community use. This part of the Seluma coastline is a flat broad plain, and the villages are susceptible to flooding, tsunami and storm surge events. The evacuation shelter may therefore also be useful during other disaster events.
Seluma has limited resources but despite this, it is trying to implement its Action Plan, and will benefit greatly from the coaching and mentoring provided by the StIRRRD team over the next year or so to gain some momentum. In contrast, Kota Bengkulu has gathered momentum with a number of initiatives currently underway, and planned in the current financial year.
It is vital for the sustainability of the program that local universities are involved in providing expert advice as well as student resources as part of their community service. In both Seluma and Bengkulu City, the University of Bengkulu (UNIB), particularly the Disaster Research Centre, is providing this key support role. A number of initiatives are likely to be led by, or involve UNIB, including development of local building clinics, hazard education in schools and tsunami education and socialisation. UNIB will also be conducting geophysical and geotechnical research projects that aim to improve understanding of natural hazards in the region.
A recent GNS Science project involved a small team of Maori community leaders visiting the Agam Regency in West Sumatra, Indonesia.
The purpose of the journey was to exchange cultural knowledge and experience of natural disasters between representatives of Maori and the local Minangkabau people of Agam . Maori participants included Tui Warmenhoven and Jean Palmer of Ngāti Porou and Robyn Rauna, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri all from the Gisborne District, and Joe McLeod of Te Pringa O Te Awaikairangi in Lower Hutt. Accompanying the visitors were Phil Glassey and Julian Thomson from GNS Science, Dr Megan Collins, a musicologist who has extensive knowledge of the local Minangkabau culture indigenous to Agam, along with Drs Esti Anantsari and Arry Retnowanti from University of Gadja Mada (UGM).
After a traditional ceremonial greeting by the Regent, the first location of our visit was the Tiku community on the Agam coast. The people here depend largely on fishing for their livelihoods. They are also subject to a serious tsunami hazard as the coastline faces a major plate boundary fault.
We were introduced to a group of local women who had taken steps towards self-empowerment and community resilience through micro businesses related to fishing. This had different aspects, including economic, educational and disaster planning elements.
The women showed us how they had developed dried seafood products, which they sell under the label, ‘Beautiful Coral’, that can be stored long term which added value to the fish that were caught by the men in the community.
This local lady lived nearby. Although her husband died some years ago, as a couple, they had purchased land together, which she has now been able to develop with the assistance of Jemari Sakato, a local NGO supported by Oxfam. They gave her some chickens and a couple of goats. Over time she has expanded her livestock and, along with selling coconuts and caring for the neighbours cows, she has become financially independent. She is able to afford micro-insurance that protects her livelihood in case of a natural disaster.
There were many cultural treats for our group during our visit. Here is a performance of the Shi’a Islamic music called Tambuah Tasa (bass and snare drum ensemble), from Bukik Malintang, with dancers from the randai theatre group ‘Santan Batapih’. The drumming performance was incredibly powerful.
Next we headed inland and stopped at a village that had been designed and built in a Sumatran jungle clearing to house people who had been impacted by a large earthquake in 2009. There were roughly 120 identical houses, along with a mosque and community centre. The village is more or less ready, but yet to be occupied.
We then travelled on to Lake Maninjau. This is a dormant volcanic crater (caldera).
The people living on its shores rely on fishing also. The photo shows the nets used for intensive fish farming.
Because the sides of the crater are so steep, they are subject to many landslides that endanger the locals. This is one that we drove across and must have been very recent. The road had not yet been properly repaired.
These signs indicate evacuation routes down to the lake shore in case of an emergency.
From the lake we made our way to to Canduang and a traditional house called a Rumah Gadang, where we had been invited to stay the night. The traditional architecture of the roof is typical of the Padang area. The points represent buffalo horns from a legend in which a buffalo saved the local minangkabau people from invasion by the Javanese.
In Canduang we were again welcomed with by the Pasambahan dance, which this time included silek martial arts, demonstrated by senior masters. The two men were sparring with knives.
We shared a community meal inside the big house, which belongs to Mrs Zulharty and her extended family.
Afterwards, the team where treated to a performance of Saluang jo Dendang (flute and voices). Megan Collins also gave a performance on the rabab Pasisia Selatan (fiddle from the South Coast) singing the opening of a kaba narrative that was much appreciated by the local audience.
The Rumah Gadang is a meeting space with several bedrooms at the back. Communities in this area are based on small extended family units that live in each Rumah Gadang, and the family structure is matrilineal. Women have the main authority in the family and the oldest woman in the family owns the house. Her daughters each have a bedroom allocated and when they marry, their husband moves in to the house with them.
Here Jean and Robyn sit with the matriarch of the household , who is highly respected and is 92 years old.
Our next visit was up on to the slopes of Mount Marapi, a volcano that actively threatens surrounding settlements. In this photo it is seen from the town of Bukittinggi.
We were welcomed to Lassi village, on Mount Merapi, by the local disaster management group ‘Marapi Alert’ who demonstrated their katentong bamboo ‘clappers’. These make a very loud drumming noise when the handle is pushed back and forth, and are used as an alarm system to relay warnings of volcanic activity from village to village. Cellphones are also used.
Edi is the local co-ordinator for disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities in Lassi village. Here he explains the local volcanic hazards and about some of the projects that are used to develop local resilience and safety.
A powerful display of traditional martial arts from two teenage girls accompanied by boys playing the Tambuah Tasa drums at Sungai Pua, Mount Merapi.
Mr Datuak Mangkato Saripadois a master craftsman of the West Sumatran talempong gongs. His family has been making these classical instruments for nine generations. exports them all over Indonesia and Malaysia.
Mount Singgalang is the second large volcano that looms over Bukittinggi.
On our final day we visited Institute Seni Indonesia (ISI) Padang Panjang, a Tertiary Arts Institute. We learnt how performers of local music include stories of natural disasters that give information about the particular impacts they had on the lives of people. These stories are even woven into modern pop music and include recent events such as the damaging Padang earthquake of 2009 and flash floods in Kambang in 2011. Tui Warmenhoven and Jean Palmer give a talk on how knowledge of natural disasters in embedded in Maori traditional stories of the creation of Aotearoa.
Mrs Susasrita Loravianti, Mr Rafiloza from ISI and Megan Collins gave talks about West Sumatran music and dance, indigenous knowledge and disasters.
In this photo L to R: Tui Warmenhoven, Jean Palmer, Robyn Rauna and Joe McLeod
On 8 April 2016, participants of the second StIRRRD comparative study tour learnt about tsunami risk reduction activities in place in Wellington. Dan Neely from the regional emergency management office (WREMO) provided insight into the internationally awarding winning blue line initiative. The initiative is much more than blue paint marking the maximum credible tsunami inundation extent. It provides a platform for communities to understand their potential tsunami hazards, the associated risks and how they might collectively manage these risks.
Participants visited a street in the Island bay community where the blue line initiative was initially developed. Dan explained that the project has been effective at raising community awareness on what to do in the event of strong, long earthquake; more than conventional signage mounted on poles. Also, schools in the blue line areas have conducted evacuation drills with one school fundraising to construct a staircase so children and staff can evacuate quicker and more safely in the event of an earthquake.
Near the coast in Island Bay, Dan showcased public education messageboards that have been erected in locations where the public gather, such as playgrounds. These strategically placed boards provide information on evacuation zones, key routes and what to do in the event of an earthquake.
There was substantial discussion from our Indonesian participants and many questions on implementation of the project. These discussions continued on the following day where participants presented their draft DRR action plans, some of which had been amended to include similar community-led initiatives.
Other StIRRRD districts, including thos from the 2015 comparative study tour, are also considering similar projects. Pesisir Selatin has been in discussion with StIRRRD team members on how they might apply the blue lines project in their local context. Support by BNPB, the national disaster agency, the role out of this project would be a first for Indonesia. Watch this space!
Bencana yang sama bisa membawa dampak yang berbeda bagi kelompok gender yang berbeda. FGD ini dilakukan pada hari Selasa, 18 Februari 2016 di Kantor BPBD Kabupaten Morowali. Kegiatan FGD ini tidak hanya melibatkan para perempuan akan tetapi juga para laki laki. Selain perwakilan dari beberapa lembaga pemerintah di Kabupaten Morowali, juga melibatkan perwakilan kelompok masyarakat yang berasal dari Karang Taruna, Majelis Mualimat dan NGO.
Kegiatan ini bertujuan untuk; 1) menjelajahi konteks lokal seperti konteks geografis dan konteks sosial (peran gender), 2) menjelajahi pemahaman masyarakat terhadap ancaman bencana di daerah mereka, 3) memetakan masalah dan kerentanan yang timbul ketika berhadapan dengan bahaya dan bencana, 4) relasi gender dalam kegiatan PRB, dan mengeksplorasi gagasan dari pemerintah, masyarakat dan para pihak yang terkait untuk perencanaan program PRB di masa mendatang.
Held on 16 February, Morowali’s Action Plan workshop received positive feedback from local stakeholders and parliamentarians. Having experienced frequent flooding and coastal abrasion issues in recent years, local authorities have been concentrating reduction efforts on mitigating the impacts of these natural hazards, largely through physical works.
Morowali’s Vulnerability Profile
Working through Morowali’s vulnerability profile showed that while flooding and coastal abrasion are frequent occurrences, the threat of large earthquakes affecting the district is very high. Due to the presence of active faulting across Central Sulawesi and the specific location of some faults (see image), Morowali ranks in the top 40 out of 500 districts prone to earthquake activity across Indonesia.
Earthquakes: So what’s the risk Morowali?
In his presentation to workshop participants, Professor Iman Satyarno from UGM University, described the prevalence of the Matano Fault in central Morowali (see image). On 16 April 2012, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred, located on or nearby this fault. The earthquake heavily damaged houses in two communities while also damaging Morowali’s government buildings. Two years later another earthquake occurred further to the east, causing less damage but still being felt across central Morowali. This recurrent activity is a reminder of the prevalent earthquake risk across the district.
Earthquakes: What are the DRR options?
While large earthquakes are relatively infrequent in Morowali, compared to other natural hazards, their impact may be substantially larger than the combined impact of smaller events. This concept has been recognised by members of local government, the emergency management agency (BPBD) and other key stakeholders attending the workshop.
These members of the community are now considering many initiatives to reduce the risk from future earthquakes. Such initiatives include methods to strengthen existing buildings, socialisation of information on building earthquake resistant structures, microzonation of land in close proximity to active faults and regulations for future development and construction.
A Quick Win for Morowali and StIRRRD
Having a wide representation of stakeholders to consider disaster risk reduction initiatives is key to ensuring efforts are coordinated. On 17 February, the StIRRRD team visited the local parliament to raise awareness of the project’s focus on Morowali District and seek support for the community’s action plan going forward.
During this meeting, local parliamentarians (DPRD) raised concerns regarding Morowali’s earthquake risk, particularly in regard to the Matano Fault, which had only been located in the district after boundary changes in recent years. DPRD representatives attending the previous day’s workshops were able to convey the district’s vulnerability profile to decision makers within a matter of hours. As a result, Morowali is now considering implementing earthquake resistant regulations and micro-zonation of properties in close proximity to the Matano Fault.
A great result for Morowali District and StIRRRD team from their short visit! The StIRRRD team will return to Morowali later in 2016 to provide feedback on the district’s risk reduction action plan.
Disaster Risk Reduction was the feature for the Selamat Pagi, Bengkulu TV breakfast show on the morning of Tuesday 24 November, 2015. Prof Iman Satyarno and Phil Glassey from the StIRRRD team, along with Ibu Lena from the Bengkulu City Emergency Management Office (BPBD) and Ibu Erna Sari Dewi the head of the City‘s parliament (DPRD), were guests on the 1 hour interactive TV chat show from 8 – 9 am on RB (Rakyat Bengkulu) TV, the Bengkulu Province broadcaster.
The TV show started by introducing Bengkulu as one of the regions in Indonesia that has a quite high disaster index as noted by the National Agency for Disaster Reduction (BNPB). Some effort has been made by Bengkulu City Government to minimise the risk but many more activities still need to be implemented. Some video clips of what Bengkulu City Government and StIRRRD have done so far were also shown during the broadcast.
It was discussed that to effectively reduce disaster risk requires that the stake holders such as the community itself, the local government, the local university, and the local NGOs to work together. Each has its own role and the local university (University of Bengkulu) will support with its research and technology with back up from UGM and GNS Science. One example of technology that can be used to reduce the risk of buildings from earthquake is by using base isolation technology.
The role of DPRD is considered very important as it is the one who prove all the legal aspects and the budget required to carry out activities to reduce the disaster risk. The head of Bengkulu City DPRD explicitly stated that she will do her best to get the support of parliament for any disaster risk reduction activities.
One viewer called the show saying that he supported the StIRRRD activity in Bengkulu City and thanked UGM and GNS Science for their help. He also requested more socialisation about disaster risk reduction program in Bengkulu City, and asked for more signs for tsunami evacuation and simulation drills so that the community is ready.
The StIRRRD team were back in Bengkulu City to facilitate the BPBD and other local government departments to finalise a Disaster Risk Reduction Action Plan with all stakeholders in a one day workshop, and present that plan to the local parliament for provisional approval. The Plan has been developed over a period of 6 months and the process included an initial 2 day workshop in April 2015 and a comparative study visit to New Zealand in June 2015.
The StIRRRD team were back in Donggala this week on our third visit, supporting the local disaster management agency in its final stages of developing an action plan aimed at reducing risk. Many stakeholders joined the discussion and there will be follow-up workshops to fine-tune the details next week.
The plan is an attempt to coordinate risk reduction activities across different local government work units: development planning, public works, health, disaster management, education, agriculture, environmental management, etc. It also involves and is supported by the local university, Tadulako University, and NGOs.
Workshop participants listen to Dr Agung Setianto from Gadjah Mada University.
The plan was presented to Donggala’s parliament which generally supported the workplan. We hope that greater priority will be given to DRR and a greater budget allocated as a result. A robust debate was had about the role deforestation and aggregate mining were having on increasing risk, particularly increasing the frequency of landslides, flooding and coastal erosion. It was great to see the awareness of these issues and local government debating ways of managing these problems. The proof will be in changes over time, one step at a time.
Presenting the Action Plan to Donggala Parliament.
The team also took the opportunity to meet with colleagues from Tadulako University, who are an important stakeholder and who will help local government tackle the DRR challenges in the district. Tadulako are taking initiatives to develop capability in risk modelling and are involving students in capturing building asset data in Palu on tablets in order to better understand the vulnerability of different types of buildings to natural hazards. See an earlier blog on Riskscape training.
Members of the StIRRRD team attended the Indonesian National DRR Awareness Event held over 16th-19th October 2015 in Solo, Central Java.
In 2009, the UN agency UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) established October 13th as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. This provides an opportunity for countries to promote the culture of disaster risk reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
In Indonesia, a focus on DRR has become part of the national DRR agenda and events of some shape or form have been held every year since 2011 – Yogyakarta (2011), Yogyakarta (2012), Mataram (2013) and Bengkulu (2014). This year (2015) it’s Surakarta’s (Solo’s) turn to host the event.
Thousands of people attended the series of events over the weekend which included opening and closing ceremonies, 24 special sessions, 8 side events, 3 working sessions, and an exhibition which gave hundreds of organisations and local agencies a chance to showcase the work they were doing in disaster risk reduction and disaster management.
The StIRRRD programme hosted a Special Session which was attended by the NZ Ambassador to Indonesia (H.E. Dr. Trevor Matheson), the Governor of Central Java (Ganjar Pranowo), the Rektor of Gadjah Mada University (Prof. Dwikorita Karnawati), the Chief Executive of GNS Science (Dr. Mike McWilliams) as well as senior Indonesian Government officials, Dody Ruswandi (BNPB) and Suprayoga Hadi (KDPDTT).
There was much spirited discussion from the audience, who raised issues ranging from the consideration of disabled persons in DRR planning, to difficulties with the rules around the use of contingency funds after a disaster. One thing that emerged from the discussions was the need to ‘make a start’. With long lists of tasks and limited budgets, the DRR path can be overwhelming. It’s important to remain focused, prioritise the work that’s needing to be done and take one step at a time.
The StIRRRD team also had a booth in the exhibition space which showcased the StIRRRD programme through videos and the UGM developed early landslide warning system. Our booth was fortunate in that the Governor together with the NZ Ambassador made a point of stopping at the booth and discussing the work featured.
The very high level of participation in the event and the commitment shown by participants at the working and special sessions bodes well for the future and we hope that DRR ‘takes off’ and gets the priority it needs to have across all districts and provinces in Indonesia.
More information about the event and the ‘Solo Declaration’ can be found at