A big part of Indonesia is located in the so called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area which is regularly hit by natural disasters. The impact of such disasters can be enormous – as evidenced by the 2004 tsunami, and many times again since then. To help the population prepare, Malteser International, in cooperation with its local partner organisation YEU, supports the creation and training of local disaster management committees. Through a participatory approach, the committees develop action plans for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), including the necessary steps to prepare for emergencies and defining the roles and responsibilities of the disaster management committees. By conducting awareness campaigns and regular mock drills, the population is able to practice the correct conduct before, during and after a disaster.
In addition, the project ensures that evacuation centres are equipped adequately, and provides trainings in first aid and evacuation for the local population. To warn the population in case of an earthquake, a public earthquake warning system has been set up. And, in order to improve the resilience of the coastal communities in the longer term, Malteser International is setting up mangrove nurseries in several villages and training residents to manage them by forming Community Mangrove Preservation Committees.
The province of West Papua is constantly threatened by earthquakes; yet, it has received little attention – internationally and even nationally in Indonesia.
In the coastal areas, the danger of a tsunami with many deaths is particularly high. Often, simple measures can avoid high numbers of victims during and especially after the disaster. The inhabitants of the Manokwari district, who come mostly from indigenous populations, are often not aware of these possibilities, nor of the dangers they face. And, even if they were, they are often not able to prepare for emergencies because of the lack of infrastructure and resources.
To add to the problem, irresponsible development and the excessive exploitation of natural resources have increased the risks of disaster for the population in the region. Deforestation, industrial mining of sand and coral reefs, land clearance for agricultural products as well as the increasing pollution of the coastal areas have all contributed to extensive coastal erosion. This holds most notably true for the decimation of mangrove forests, which once covered huge areas of Indonesia’s coastlines. Mangrove forests provide a natural barrier for people living in tropical and subtropical coastline ecosystems, as they are able to break up to 60 percent of a tidal wave.
Improved resilience of the population living in coastal areas most affected by recurrent natural hazards in West Papua, by:
|Duration:||Since July 2010|
|Financing:||German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), German Federal Foreign Office (AA), Malteser International|
|Partner:||YEU (Yakkum Emergency Unit)|
|Malteser International:||Julia Brunner|