Thousands of people were listed as victims of flash flood and landslide that become the most threatening disaster in Kendari City (Local Disaster Management Agency – Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah – BPBD, 2017). As stated in contingency planning of Kendari City 2018, this city is very prone to flood, landslide, and tornado. These disasters are very potential to cause casualties and material loss. In facing the risk, disaster preparedness is the main capital for community and government. This translates into the existence of Disaster Preparedness Group (Kelompok Siaga Bencana – KSB) that can be one of the solutions to strengthen capacities in terms of building preparedness and reducing risk. KSB operates in village level and consists of village officials, youth group, farmer group, and other community members. KSB has an active role in the community to handle things related to disaster, including leading the evacuation process during disaster.
As a follow up of Law Number 24 of 2007 on Disaster Management, USAID-APIK works together with BPBD of Kendari City to build resilience by establishing KSB in 18 selected villages in 9 sub-districts. The establishment process was initiated through a discussion between Disaster Risk Reduction Forum (Forum Pengurangan Risiko Bencana – Forum PRB), village heads, and BPBD Kendari City at the end of 2018 last year.
The KSB establishment activity was started in Tobuha Village, Puuwatu Sub-district, January 9, 2019. There were 29 people participated, consists of representatives from Neighborhood (Rukun Tetangga – RT) and Hamlet (Rukun Warga – RW) level. This activity was then followed by capacity building and discussion on organizational arrangement and structure. Chief Executive of BPBD Kendari City, Suhardin, S.Sos, M.Si, was there and opened the event.
“BPBD has started the collaboration with USAID-APIK since 2016 in order to face against disaster in Indonesia, in this case in Kendari City. The initiative to form KSB at the village level is one of the concrete actions as part of the collaboration,” said Suhardin.
Also during that event, Andi Ikhsan as the Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist of USAID-APIK in Southeast Sulawesi shared the overview of APIK and the collaboration with BPBD. In addition, the village head of Tobuha, Iqra Alfajri, M.Si, also delivered his knowledge on disaster history in the region. He also stated his commitment and hopes towards KSB. “We hope by having KSB in the community can help the disaster management activity here. However, the whole community also has to participate and support, for example by taking care of the environment and maintain its cleanliness because waste is one of the reason flood happens in Tobuha,” Iqra added.
All participants showed their enthusiasm throughout the activity, especially during the presentation about climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction concept, KSB’s role in the development plan, and disaster management.
The KSB establishment is going to be continued throughout February to March 2019 in the other 17 selected villages. It will be followed by the preparation of an action plan, legalization of KSB through village head decree and series of capacity building activities so that the communities have a better understanding of climate and disaster resilience.
(Author: Sitti Zahara & Siti Ratna, Field Coordinator Kendari City, USAID APIK)
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