Disaster of Injustice: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia

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♦Title: Disaster of Injustice: Reflection on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia ♦Author: Puthut EA dan Nurhady Sirimorok ♦Editor: Hasriadi Ary ♦Publisher: INSISTPress dan LPTP (member of INSIST) …

♦Title: Disaster of Injustice: Reflection on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia ♦Author: Puthut EA dan Nurhady Sirimorok ♦Editor: Hasriadi Ary ♦Publisher: INSISTPress dan LPTP (member of INSIST) ♦Edition: I, Agustus 2010 ♦Detail: 15x21cm, iv+ 168page

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  • 2. DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia NATIONAL LIBRARY: Cataloging in Publication (CIP) INSIST Policy Paper Series Editor: Hasriadi Ary Writers: Nurhady Sirimorok, Puthut EA Translator: Mellanie Febrista Design: Eddy Susanto Lay Out: Ronny ©August 2010, first publication publisher: LPTP KANTOR KOMUNITAS LPTP Jl Raya Palur Km 5 Desa NGringo Kecamatan Jaten, Kabupaten Karanganyar. 9876543210 Printed by: INSISTPress Jl. Gandok Tambakan No.85 RT04 RW20, Sinduharjo, Ngaglik, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55581. Tel/Faks: 0274-883452. press@insist.or.id www.insist.or.idii DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 3. Daftar IsiDaftar Isi iiiForeword Breaking the Ice 1I Policy PaperDisaster is Not Merely Natural Rage 111 Disaster is Not Merely Natural Rage 122 Policy Analysis of Disaster Management Law 333 Towards Community-Based Disaster Management 43II Stories from the Field 53 Conservation Ala Saridin 54 Two Hazards in Pondok Kelapa 67 Rations for livestock 77 A Trance Trick to Conquer the Water 86 The Tale of the Whispering Sand 96 Strategies amid the Conflict 104 Many Ways to Survive in Kompang 112 Steep Road To Lembang 124 Working on Two Feet 131 Local Wisdom in Disaster Management 140DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia iii
  • 4. III Epilogue Disaster of Injustice 150 Reference 153 About the Authors 155iv DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 5. Foreword Breaking the Ice
  • 6. Breaking the ice “... Never again teaching us patience. The people are trained to keep patient for a long time.. “A cultural activist, Emha Ainun Najib, with his Kyai Kanjeng Community, expressed this statement on a religious gathering or finely called as a cultural dialogue, in a village in Yogyakarta, not long after Yogyakarta and Central Java was hit by a deadly earthquake in 2006. He commented statements of some Indonesian elites that asked the earthquakes survivors to keep their patience in dealing with the disaster. In another place, in another time, a school principal organized the students to perform prayers for tsunami victims in Aceh and Nias. A friend commented this action: “.. Of course, there is nothing wrong to pray. But, by performing such prayer, as well as those who said that the disaster is a fate and a destiny, I am afraid we put the responsibility of human made-disaster to God.. “ There is a line connecting the two statements above: for the majority of people, a disaster is still considered as a matter of destiny. And it turns out that the ruling class, perhaps because lack of understanding and trying hard to hide their incapacity in taking responsibility in disaster emergency, preach the story of patience. Both attitudes are based on a similar behavior: that the issue of disaster should be positioned on “someone else’s responsibility”. And indeed, in many places, this view has deep roots in the society who still views disasters as a warning of God which is unpredictable and unavoidable. Maybe this is what is called the magical consciousness. A serious “thinking fallacy” took place here.2 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 7. In the theory of disaster that we believe, we assume thata threat (hazard) will turn into a disaster when it meets withvulnerability and low capacity. So an earthquake or a tsunamihazard, for instance, will not turn into a disaster if it not meetswith vulnerabilities and weak capacity, which cause casualties anddamages. In other word, the hazard will only turn into a disaster ifit has caused damaging effects and resulting casualties. In Sudan,since years ago, giant floods often hit the area and killed so manypeople. But because its government then took responsibility toprevent the flood from happening again, the annual flood todaydoes not caused significant casualties anymore. Our government, with their entire infrastructures andknowledgeable bureaucrats, suppose understand that this countryis located on the earth’s plates meeting that moves very dynamicand have potential to create earthquake, tsunami and volcaniceruption hazards. And with this awareness, they should take fullresponsibility for disaster prevention by implementing a policythat is integrated in inter-sector related to prevent the emergenceof disaster and to put it into action. Indeed, these are the dutiesand responsibilities of states, governments, politicians and all thecitizens. This is the responsibility of human being! Most part of Indonesia, because it is on the plates meetingmovement in the bowels of the earth, is located on the path ofthe Ring of Fire. The accumulation of the friction dynamics, inthe history of disaster record, Indonesia is vulnerable to be hitby earthquakes and tsunamis. After Mount Krakatau eruptionthat caused a giant tsunami in 1883, at least there were 17 majortsunami disasters in Indonesia within a period of almost a century(1900-1996). This record not includes the data of other disasterssuch as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. In the last ten years, there is a quantitative and qualitative nincrease of disaster in Indonesia.The emergence of such disaster hasDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 3
  • 8. a very serious impact on ecosystems in different parts of Indonesia and has threatened human life in particular. But the high frequent disaster hazards that hit Indonesia more often these days do not have strong influence to make people think that indeed disaster can be prevented or avoided. This, however, happens because the disaster management models are still working on sporadic style with low coordination and slow emergency response. And the most significant of this model is it fails to put the community as the actor of disaster management. More bizarre and worse, as if it does not want to be outdone by other policy sectors, indication of corruption is rampant in the disaster management. As a result, any disaster management program does not have much positive impact on disaster risk reduction. The ability to minimize the disaster risks at the community level is also still weak. Attempts on disaster risk reduction programs are mostly seen as unpopular programs. From INSIST experiences, it is more likely caused by one of the top vulnerabilities among the communities: poverty. Therefore, disaster risk reduction programs are most likely slowed by the community’s initiative to fulfill their livelihoods. The community seems do not really put into concern about characteristic of areas where they live and earn a living, because the most important thing for them is to meet their daily basic needs. Of course, this is not the community fault and it is merely unjust if we only blame them. Because in accordance with Article 5 of Law No. 24 of 2007 on Disaster Management, the law mandates, “[t]he state government and the local government should be responsible in working on disaster risk management.” But the problem is we often have a sense of government “absence” when we really need its responsibilities. At the local government level, for instance, we still do not see the disaster issues integrated in all development strategies and policies. Although the local governments are the main actors to4 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 9. solve the disaster problems and to work on the policy issues in thisregional autonomy era. The political parties which often crowdedthe country with their flags in providing disaster relief also donot take part in joining the integrated prevention programs eitherdirectly or through their representatives in parliament. Ironically,their emergency assistances turn into a hidden “campaignactivities”. Disaster hazard is still continued to happen in the comingyears. At least it is according to the official prediction based onscientific analysis. And the difficulties mentioned above are stillgoing on quite a long time. And the state (all elements of triaspolitica) still seems so busy taking care the recent porn film caseand working very hard to maintain and strengthen the power withall of their imagery political strategies. This, perhaps, should be therole of other parties such as Non-Government Organizations anduniversities to take more active parts. Although already so many“blue prints” or standards made by official agencies for disastermanagement, but the most important is to conduct a criticaldialogue on text books based methodology or approach with therealities on the community. Disaster analysis or assessment shouldno longer be based on an inventory of problems, but it should bemore emphasized on the mapping of potential, capacity, knowledgeand strength of the community. And from there then begin thework of disaster risk reduction programs with the community asits main actors. Based on various ideas and issues above, the DisasterRisk Reduction Program, the INSIST’s Building CommunityResiliency, runs since 2007 with support from CORDAID. Thisprogram was initiated for: first, to develop an initiative in buildingcommunity alertness along with the other parties to reduce disasterrisks. This also includes efforts to put disaster management inpolicy’s strategy and development implementation. Second, asDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 5
  • 10. a systematic effort to develop and to implement manual of the Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR). Third, to increase capacity of INSIST’s network field workers who work in prone disaster areas, in order to avoid or to reduce disaster risks. INSIST selected six districts that have high disaster risks. The location’s choice is based on the area’s high level of vulnerability, complex disaster hazard, high poverty level, and regional policy that has yet support disaster risk reduction. The INSIST DRR program areas are:  Pacitan District, East Java Province. There are two villages selected for the pilot project i.e. Ketro village and Kali Kuning village. They are chosen because they have several number of hazards i.e. erosions, floods, droughts and high agricultural pests.  Kediri district, East Java Province. In this region, two villages were chosen as a pilot project. They are Sempu and Sepawon. These two villages are located in the closest position of Mount Kelud’s peak (ring one) that have higher potential hazard of mount eruptions, as well as floods and landslides. Besides, these two villages also have a very serious issue in term of land tenure status/rights.  Ende district, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province. Two villages are selected in this region: Tiwutewa and Dungga. The two villages are located in volcanic regions which are the Mount Iya, the Mount Mutubusa, and the Mount Kelimutu. The village’s selection is also based on various hazards such as landslides, droughts, climate change, and giant floods.  Sinjai district, South Sulawesi province. In this province, two villages that have different geographic characteristics are chosen: Panaikang village is located in the coastal area and Kompang lies in mountainous area. These two villages are6 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 11. connected by a river. For Panaikang village, it is threaten by giant floods sent by Kompang village and droughts. While for Kompang, it is threaten by landslides, floods, and tornados. Southeast Maluku district, Maluku province. Two island- villages are selected for DRR program. They are Warbal and Tanimbar Kei. Hazards experienced by these two villages, like most small islands in Indonesia, are droughts that threaten food reserve, tidal waves, earthquakes, tsunamis, and diseases. North Bengkulu district, Bengkulu province. For this region, the selected villages are Pasar Palik and Pondok Kelapa. Hazards in these villages are earthquakes, floods, tidal waves, coastal erosions, and droughts. In implementing the Disaster Risk Reduction program,INSIST and its network members realizes that Disaster RiskReduction (DRR) activities cannot be separated from community’sproblems. This lesson teaches INSIST that disaster risk reductionrequires an increase in community’s capacities to meet their basicneeds. Because INSIST believes that the good community’scapacities is the best way to reduce disaster risk. INSIST and its members have been working in the sixdistricts for 2-3 years. We have learned a lot of lessons in learningprocess together with the community. Of course not all of theworks show rapid progress and bring about change. Some areeven stories of “failure” or slower acceleration. There are even areasthat showed stagnation signs of disaster risk reduction organizingwork, which resulted on a strategy to choose new DRR program’slocation. From various regions, there are different levels of progressin achieving project targets. Some areas even had influenced thedistrict public policy, but there are regions that still work in thevillage policy. These different levels are mostly determined byvarious social dynamics in each area.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 7
  • 12. These diverse experiences are very interesting to learn for anyone interested in working on disaster risk reduction programs. Meanwhile for INSIST and its network members,these experiences are important for a reflection process. Not a few organizations also wish to study the works of INSIST and its network members in carrying out disaster risk reduction programs. These reasons make us eager to write and to publish this book. This book begins with INSIST’s point of view in perceiving disaster and disaster risk reduction management in Indonesia. This point of view is the result of INSIST critical reflection on various Disaster Risk Reduction activities developed in Indonesia, either conducted by other organizations (national and international) and especially from INSIST own experiences. In paradigm section, INSIST wrote about basic rules which must be held by all INSIST’s activists in disaster risk reduction work. The first part which wrote about INSIST’s paradigm or INSIST’s policy position in the work of disaster risk reduction is a summary of a reflective seminar on disaster risk reduction and climate change organized by INSIST. While the next section displays field stories from six DRR project areas. Stories appeared in this book is selected stories, because it is impossible to write down all the community organizing stories in this book. Stories written here are not only telling us about the success, but also the failure in the community organizing. Because we believe that all forms of success and failure are valuable in learning process. Even though all sources are based on real experiences in the field work, we choose summary approach. The writing of all these field work experiences is by asking writers in INSIST network’s circle who are not involved in the program implementation. And we provide full freedom to the two writers to see firsthand the field reality, to interview and to write the stories.8 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 13. We feel obliged to say many thank you to those who involve inthe program implementation, for their assistance, discussion andreflection, in writing this book.To Kharisma Nugroho, CORDAIDLiaison Officer in the beginning of this join cooperation, we saythank you and appreciation for the refreshing critical discussions.Also to Anath Prag which continues the position of Kharisma,that faithfully become a discussion colleague through her criticalquestions. To Saleh Abdullah, INSIST executive secretary, whichrelentlessly beating the slower process in program implementation.To Ahmad Mahmudi, INSIST president, which constantlymonitors the quality of programs being implemented. To RoemTopatimasang and Toto Raharjo (the chairmen of INSIST’sBoard of Education and Development), the “school teacher oflife” and who are always faithful to accompany the discussion andimprove the methodologies of DRR. Thank you and appreciationof course are certainly not enough for them both. This book also will not present to you all without theinvolvement of our two best young researchers and writers:Nurhady Sirimorok and Puthut EA. They both are not only theresearchers and writers who work in ivory towers, but in manyoccasions they are also very much involved with activities directlyrelated to the community although in different issues. Therefore,the readers can immediately feel all their experience in their everychosen word in this book: a collection of words that are not presentin the “vacuum air.” For writing the book, we finally have to saythank you to a young “militant editor”, one of our “combatants”that always show his loyalty, integrity and professionalism everytime we need him: Hasriadi Ary. He is the one who puts the “finaltouch” in this book. We do not have others rather than words toexpress our gratitude and thank to the three of them: they’re themost excellent and promising that we have today.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 9
  • 14. Finally, to the teams of DRR program which engages directly or indirectly in the field, we also feel obliged to express our respect and sincere appreciation. To Hambali and Sastro (Mitra Aksi Jambi /Bengkulu), Karno Batiran, Imran Gadabu, Happy, and Dedy (SRP Payo-payo/Sulawesi Selatan), Sulistyo, Untung, and Sapto (SUSDEC-LPTP), Ronny So and Onis (FIRD/ NTT), Pieter Elmas, Fritz Elmas, and Lilly Jamlaen (Nen Mas Il /Southeast Maluku), Heri DK, Rudi, Ipung, and Azhar (Surya Sejahtera/Kediri). We also thank Rahadi as program coordinator, the management team at the Institute of Rural Technology Development (LPTP) Surakarta, and to INSIST Secretariat. Without them, this program will not run. Without them, particularly our field facilitator teams, we as well the readers, will never learn the important and meaningful lessons. What the field facilitators did perhaps is not a big deal to create a change. But they have started their works with the spirit of devotion, both professionally and voluntarily, to do something. And for us, big changes will not occur without small changes. Puthut E.A. once said: “it is always disturbing to see our footprints behind ...” Like other books, this book is meaningless without a reader and if only put in dusty book shelves. And the readers for us are the one who will “write other books”. The readers will give birth to new thoughts after reading this book. That’s our expectation. Happy reading! Happy debating! Thank you.10 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 15. IPolicy Paper Disaster is Not Merely Natural Rage
  • 16. 1 is Not Merely Natural Disaster Rage The desperate assertion that the ’nature is raging’ often expressed accompanying the growing massive disaster threats attacked many parts of Indonesia, from series of earthquakes to tsunami. Through countless times of repetitions in the arena of public media, this expression is gradually revealing the true nature of mainstream paradigm in this country in examining the incident called ‘disaster’. The way of thinking, or thinking fallacy, like this is very problematic for the following reasons. First, this expression assumed human as passive being that could only desperately welcoming the coming of gigantic flood dan earth seismic without questioning who is the most vurnerable to be hit by this giant overflow and shock, or who is the most forced to settle in these disaster prone areas with or without knowing the vurnerability or the possibility of risks. This view is also impeding the people from the question of who is the most difficult to restore their lives after the disaster. Shortly speaking, disaster is also a political issue that discloses who has the dominant opportunity to avoid and live safe and sound in secure place, and who is marginalized and unavoidably deals with the vurnerability. It’s about who usually being prioritized to get help and who should strive to help themselves. Indeed when the disaster hazard has attacked, human being could not reject it. When earthquake and tsunami are attacking, the gigantic flood and earth earth are unstopable. However what12 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 17. is still possible to be done is reducing the effect, by avoiding thevurnerable areas, preparing special design for the environment andsettlement housings, preparing effective early warning system anddisaster preparedness. All these endeavours required institutionaland technological preparation to prevent and restore the peoplefrom the effects of disaster. This is including establishing socialinstitutions at the community level that has been proven to beeffective and efficient in overcoming this condition. Yet to developa sovereign community’s institution required the political will ofthe ruling elite – that more often not affected by the disaster thusthey lack of sensitivity - to hand over some of their traditionalauthority, either materially or institutionally. Second, the the ‘natural rage’ paradigm also tend to maskthe conversation on the type of disaster that obviously the resultsof human actions, like conflict. This type of disaster was oftenregarded as social conflict, that most of the time accused ‘the cultureof conflict’ as the main cause. Therefore the solution was sendingmore troops to ’secure’ the people who are of keen of conflictingeach other. And this is still happening today although it has beenproven that the cause is not ‘culture’ but the political economicinterest of various parties but the people, and that people’s ‘culture’indeed prevent the people from the escalation of conflict and evenbring it to an end. Third, the believe of ’raging nature’ made most of us to forgetto ask where the ’natural rage’ is coming from, that lately is gettingmore outraged and taking more tolls. Indeed there are types of’natural rage’ that really natural such as earthquake, that the numberof tolls can be reduced through the institutional strengthening ofthe community and the sophistication of tehnological information,but there are also the type of ‘natural rage’ that clearly caused byhuman actions, such as flooding, storm and drought, that actuallycreated by the human themselves.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 13
  • 18. This fallacy is then, as proven in many cases, very much likely to prevent us from discussing about the political rage that often accompanying every hazards and the process of disaster recovery. Yet by openly discussing it, as performed by many parties, we can reach better understanding, and with this comprehension all parties could develop more comprehensive and just steps, especially for the people who are vurnerable of disaster attack. This policy paper will explain the cause, effect, and various ways and results that left problematic in some aspects. This paper is divided into three parts; the first part will present various causes and effects of disaster either in Indonesia or at the global scale as comparison. The second part discuss various management methods and its results, as well as analyzing the latest policy of the government in disaster management. The last part will offer some solutions and alternatives to the government policy, based on the emerging problems and examples of emerging success stories. At the Beginning is Human One of the most fenomenal and widest scope of disaster causes – spread to the entire earth and the space above it – is climate change because of global warming. This is the reason, among others, and because it strikingly presents the map of global inequality, global warming will be discussed in considerable length in this part. Climate change has melted the glacier and ice in the the Pole in the speed that never imagined before. This has become more broadly discussed as the sea surface if getting higher. Because this danger is attacking the countries adjacent to the poles, which are the developed countries around the north and south poles, it is this effect that grasp biggest attention in the international public fora. However, climate change is not only about the rising14 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 19. of sea surface level. Beside that the change of everage temperature,water pattern (snow/rain) fall from the sky in more intensive leveland in shorter duration also occurred. In tropical countries likeIndonesia, and other developing countries, it means, the rainyseason is shorter, on the other hand the drought dry season isgetting longer. Then what is really interupting the natural work of thenature? And who is really responsible for ’the rage of nature’ thatkeep escalating? The global warming is caused by the increase of greenhousegas concentration (GGC). The GGC is the gas on the air abovethe earth surface (atmosfer) that enables partial heat from thesun kept above the earth surface. Naturally this greenhouse gasesis also reflecting back the sun heat thus nota all absorbed by theearth, yet allowed the earth to absorp some part of it. Therefore,DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 15
  • 20. the greenhouse gas made the earth temperature is in the level of habitable for the living being. GGC is also naturally keeping the stable climate. It is this temperature and climate adjustment that we have destroyed. The polluting smoke like carbon diokside (CO2), nitrogen ocside (N2O), metan (CH4), troposferic ozone (O3) and steam add this concentration. The increase of GGC, that cause this dramatic climate change, mostly caused by human activities, such as the use of fossil fuel for transportation, industry, electricity, the change of land use, deforestation, and forest fires. Charcoal, or trees remnants, could become emission. Data from World Resources Institute Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) mentioned that the emission resulted from the burn of fossil fuel contributed 2/3 of the total emission released to the air. While the rest 1/3 produced by human activities from forestry and agriculture sector, as well as garbages. In other words, industrial sector beome the biggest contributor for global warming. Undoubtedly since the Industrial Revolution, the average temperature of earth surface increase about 6-8 celcius (IPCC). If we, human being, did not do anything, it is estimated that increase of earth temperature will only reach the level of 1, 4 – 5,8 Celsius. Why human being is so agressive in destructing the globe where they live? One of the answers is because we excessively treated income, and therefore improving access to superficial life comfort, as the parameter of success of a community. Using various kinds of technology to increase income and life comfort turned the developed countries as the biggest contributor of pollution on earth, because they are becoming the biggest users of fossil fuel in the world. Data also mentioned that United States is the energy user number one, followed by a small numbers of developed countries, members of OECD, then far below are most of the countries that often called as developing countries. This16 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 21. number sequence is consistent with the number of income andthe amount of pollution to the atmosphere.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 17
  • 22. Futhermore, CDIAC data about the per capita emission contribution also showed striking imbalance. The people of US, Australia and Canada are polluting the sky with carbon diocside for more than 15 metric tonnes, compared to the people of China that each citizen only producing emission at the amount of 2,7 metric tonnes, or Indonesia with 1,4 and India that only contributed 1,2 metric tonnes. This data was not considering yet that the factories operating in the developing countries were mostly owned by investors from developed countries, that can go beyond the national borders through economic globalization system such as Foreign Direct Investment, that can easily moving to other places when it is not profitable anymore.18 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 23. Taking a close look on this injustice what actually happenedis we are facing atmosfer colonization. In the past the Europeanssticked the peg of colony in about half of the globe. Now theygo up to the sky and colonize almost entire atmospher layers.The countries of the main beneficiaries of the tehnology, namelythe developed countries, will experiene that smallest effect ofthe destructions that they created. On the contrary, the leastcontributors of pollution, mostly poor peoples from the developingcountries, will experiene the worst impacts of this climate change.They are the countries and communities that are most unpreparedand unable to adapt, because of economic and politial situationvurnerable to manipulation, not ready with the institutional andtehnological infrastruture to overcome this climate change. TimorLeste, for instance, who have limited number of industries, thus itscontribution to the climate change is relatively insignificant, mostlikely will not be ready to cope the impact of climate change. Whilethe countries and communities the biggest contributor to climatechange, like US and Canada in the North Pole, and Australia inthe South Pole, as the highest contributors of emission, are waymore well prepared for any possibilities that might occurred. While in Indonesia, in 2006 only, WALHI recorded 135ecological disasters. More 7,000 lives passed away and more than10 millions forced to be refugees. An estimate even mentioned thatin 2050 the number of refugees can be up to 200 millions people,this number is almost equivalent with the number of populationof Indonesia. Even the World War II, one of the biggest disasteron the globe until today, was not overwhelmed with this numberof refugees. It also means the most serius security threat today isnot terrorism, but climate change. The number of 200 millionsrefugees is definitely not a small amount. If the present process ofclimate change is not significantly altered, these predictions willcertainly come into reality. Indonesia is situated in Asia, where itDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 19
  • 24. is estimated will experience approximately 90% of the disasters that take place because of the climate change. Even in Bali island – the place where the huge event of climate change conference was held – is predicted to experience abrasion in about 430 shoreline, the height of sea water level will increase up to 6 meters. Therefore according to this prediction, in 2030, Kuta and Sanur will be flooded, Bali Post reported. Moreover, this level of increase is still a conservative estimate. The most recent prediction can reach up to 10 meters. In addition, again according to similar prediction, if the sea water increase that high, then in 2050, there will be many seashore areas in Bali that sink. The historical sites in the Island of Gods will be vanished by the sea. And equivalently frightening, it is not difficult to imagine small islands scattered in the eastern part of Indonesia, like Kupang, Timor, and some islands in Maluku will be flooded. Studying deeper this climate change indicator, in one hand flood will occur more frequent and on the other hand serious drought, in some places the rain drops decrease and increase in other places. Therefore, the hazard is sinking or no water at all. The intensity and duration of season will permanently changed, that means rainy season in many places will be shorter with intensive drop. The time of season is also changing, sometime rainy season stop earlier or coming late. In 2008, for example, just until the first quartal, Jakarta has experienced floods twice. One of them badly humiliated Indonesia with the cut off of acces to largest airport in this country. As an agricultural country of course this change will severely hit the local food production. Just at the global level, an estimate mentioned that 280 million tonnes of cereal potentials, such as rice, corn, maize, in the developing countries will diminish up to 16%. Beside, more important for us, there is a theory that the20 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 25. increase of average temperature for one level will make the riceharvest decrese for 10%. Climate change also contributed negative effect to healthcondition. The extreme climate will hasten the spread of newdisease and can potentially raise old diseases. The World HealthOrganization predicted that the increase of temperature and raindrop because of climate change have caused 150,000 humandeaths every year. Diseases like malaria, diarhea, and dengue areestimated to increase in the tropical countries like Indonesia. All these effects of climate change enhance the vunerabilityof poor people when the disaster hazards are attacking them.People in the developing countries, like Indonesia, who suffermore limited food and water sources and sickness, of course canbe easily be the victim of disaster (see box). But this is merely the hazards caused by climate change, thatmore or less caused by excessive human exploitations at the globallevel. Furthermore, there is another kind of vurnerability causedmore by the imbalance of state governance that lean more onthe ruling-elite, that inside them we can call as disaster, namelystructural poverty. This type of vurnerability is also seriouslythreatening at the global level that some parties were gathered andcreated Millenium Development Goals where the main objectiveis reducing the poverty number up to half of the sum since thelaunching year until 2015. The next part will discuss this type ofvurnerability.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 21
  • 26. Climate change caused the change of seasonal pattern that make it more difficult to predict. In some parts of the world, it increases the rain drop intensity that potentially triggers flood and landslide. While the other part of the earth can experience prolonged droughth season, because of the increase of temperature and the decrease of moisture. According to Re Swiss Insurance company, 90% of the disaster related to climate took place in Asia. The weather pattern will become extreme – the possibility of excessive heat, hot wave, and heavy rain will be more likely to occur. In addition, the tropical cyclone storm will be more intensive, accompanied with strong wind and heavy rain. Furthermore climate change will affect our lives like this:  Food security threaten – The agricultural production of food and fishery will decrease because of flood, drought, wáter warming and pressure, sea water increase, and strong wind. Climate change also will influence the harvest schedule and duration of cultivation. The 10 celcius temperature increase is estimated to reduce the harvest of rice as much as 10%.  Environmental effect – Many varieties of living being will bound to extinct because of climate change and disruption of ecosystem sustainability (fragmentation of ecosystem). The coral reef will lose its color because of hot climate, being damaged and even dying because of high temperature. The researchers estímate that 15% - 37% of the entire species will extinct in six parts of the globe in 2050. The six regions that they studied represented 20% of earth surface.  Health risk – Extreme climate will hasten the spread of new disease and can raise old diseases. World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the increase of temperature and rain fall because of climate change have caused 150,000 deaths every year. Diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and dengue are predicted to increase in tropical country like Indonesia.  Water – Water availabity is reducing 10% - 30% in some regions especially in dry tropical areas. Water scarcity will hit millions of people in Asia Pasific because of long dry season and intrusión of sea wáter to the mainland.  Economy – The loss of productive land for the increase of sea surface and drought, disaster, and health risk have economic impact. Sir Nicolas Stern, the advisor of UK prime minister said in next 10 to 20 years climate change will have huge economic impact. Stern mentioned that the world has to take necessary efforts to reduce emission and help the poor countries to adapt with climate change for the sustainability of economic growth. He explained that it will require 1% of the total global income to prevent the loss of 5% - 20% income in the future as the impact of climate change. Social, cultural and political impact. Climate change related disaster will boost the number of refugees in one country or inter-country. This process make many people impoverished and uprooted from their social and cultural roots, especially the relation with their ancestor and cultural roots. On the other hand, crisis of food, wáter and resources, and the increase of refugee numbers will create horizontal conflict and trigger political conflict in one country or inter-country.22 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 27. Poverty Disaster In accordance with the international standard, those withincome below USD 2 per day are (still) regarded as poor. If we usethat poverty standard, then in Indonesia, the number of peoplewho live like this have reached striking number, namely 59,5%or about 135 millions of people. BPS/Bappenas themselves applylower standard (2.100 kkal; or USD 1,55 USD/day). As the result,the number of poor people in Indonesia in 2007 can be ‘reduced’into 16.6% or 37,17 millions (BPS, 2007). Yet the story is not ended on these figures, as poverty isalways dynamic. We know that there is upper and below level inpoor community that is very vurnerable to shock. In other words,there is a level who is in ’poverty’ line, and the group categorizedas ’very poor’, that should be really fed, and lastly those who arein the level of almost poor. If any shock occurred, for instance therise of fuel price, flood, landslide, or conflict, then they can easilyfall into lower level: those who are almost poor become poor andso on. Poverty alleviation program is also still using problematicparadigm. The poverty alleviation program in Indonesia is stilladhering to the “neo-liberal paradigm” too. Loan, for example, isstill the main source in financing the Program Nasional Pember­dayaan Masyarakat (PNPM - National Program for CommunityEmpowerment). However, the total amount of foreign loans thatare not absorbed into similar scheme are still huge. Based onBappenas data, until Desember 2007 the unspent foreign loanswere up to USD 9 – 10 billion. Moreover, it was indicated thatonly quite a few budget allocation in several offices were actuallyreaching the poor in need. Indeed, in 2008, it was planned that 100 percent of povertyreduction programs were already under one of coordination, so thatthe various poverty reduction programs, spread over 19 technicalDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 23
  • 28. departments, could be properly targeted and not overlapped each other. The government has integrated two poverty reduction programs, i.e. the Program Pengembangan Kecamatan (PPK – Sub-district Devlopment Program) and Program Penanggulangan Kemiskinan di Perkotaan (P2KP - Urban Poverty Alleviation Program), previously managed respectively by Department of the Interior and the Ministry of Public Works. Both programs, now integrated into the Program Nasional Pemberdayaan Masyarakat (PNPM - National Program for Community Empowerment). In 2009, the government was targeting both poverty reduction programs, which until 2006 has covered 39,282 villages/kelurahan in 2,600 sub-districts, could reach all the 5,623 sub-districts in Indonesia. Yet again, PPK and P2KP are poverty reduction programs which aimed at job creation through rural infrastructure develop­ ment programs through labor intensive and capital provision for small and and medium enterprise development models. They targeted to create 250 jobs over three years! So if it could be implemented in 50,000 villages, then for three years it will create 12,5 million jobs. In 2005, the budget allocation for poverty reduction was Rp 23 trillion and in 2006 increased to Rp 43 trillion and Rp 52 trillion in 2007. All these calculations seem to allocate less attention to complication factors outside of economic aspects that obviously occur more often. Neo-liberal paradigm is standing on many very fragile assumptions that the social, political and ecological condition in Indonesia will always be in equilibrium atmosphere. Of course, this assumption is minimally considering the transaction cost of the long and expensive Indonesian bureaucracy. Then, to our current affairs, it is difficult to imagine them to provide space to think about the impact of various disasters, whether caused by natural phenomenon or by human conflict. For example, by24 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 29. only looking at collective violence, Indonesia has seen 3,608 casesin 14 provinces, out of 33 provinces, from 1999 to 20031. Notto mention when bearing in mind that social conflicts are morelikely to occur during the local elections, and when consideringmore frequent disasters will happen with the worsening ecologicalcondition of the world. Since the beginning, the series of failure of these on-the-paper calculations has been presented in front of our eyes. In 2002,the number of poor people was 36,4 million. Until September2006 (with the standard of $ 1,55/day), it was increasing to 39,40million. At the same time, it was reported 25 percent of childrenaged up to five years were suffering from malnutrition. Also,307 maternal deaths per 100,000 births, or three times highercompared to Vietnam and six times than Malaysia or China.While the number of unemployed, one of the numbers that thisambitious program is intending to reduce, according to BPS datain 2007 was 38% of the total work force, close to the poverty ratein 1978 and 1980! Thus, we are still confronted with the worsening povertydynamics and the failure of the assumption (too simplifying)that underlie the solutions to reduce it. This situation makesus wonder how the poor and vulnerable people will face theincreasingly deteriorated natural conditions. Poor people is thegroup who always suffered the most pathetic public services,ranging from packages of food, clothing, shelter, education,health and information. How they can avoid disaster and lessenthe impact they are facing, with all the inadequate facilites? 1 Varshney, et al., 2004 in Lucia Fransisca (2007). The Dialectics of Action inBuilding Community Participation: The Case of Post Yogyakarta Earthquake HousingReconstruction, Indonesia. Research Paper, Insitute of Social Studies, The Hague.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 25
  • 30. Therefore, we must review the definition of disaster and what the impact of the fallacy of that definition. When Hazard Meet Vulnerability In order to re-build the people-oriented concept of ‘disaster’, there are several other concepts that need to be explained in relation to the concept of disaster. From the literature, there is the concept of disaster hazard (the threat of disaster), risk (the risk) and vulnerability (susceptibility). Hazard or disaster threat can be read as a latent danger or risk factors that constantly threaten human life. It is emerging because of natural or human activity, keeping the destructive power and demanding for losses. But it can only be a ‘disaster’ if a human community that vurnerably affected by the hazard.2 This definition revealed that disaster could only happen if there are vulnerable people affected by disaster threat or danger (hazard), or when losses exceeded the community’s ability to absorb, cope with and recover.3 Disaster is not a ‘naive’ rage of nature phenomenon, but also arises from human action. Nor is it something that necessarily occurs when ‘the nature is raging’ caused by human actions or natural phenomena. It is the convergence of two aspects, on the one hand, there are vulnerable populations, such as those who resided in the territory of the ring of fire or flood- prone riverbanks because there is no more safe places left for them, and/or because it did not receive quality information regarding the hazards haunting them. On the other hand, there is a degrading natural/social condition because, for example, the augmentation of global warming, forest declines, the social class gap, and so on. 2 Hewitt, 1983: 5; Cardona, 2004: 38; UN/ISDR, 2004 (in Thywissen, 2006:463); Kiunsi and Meshack, 2006: 229 in ibid. 3 Blaikie et al., 1994; O’Keefe et al., 1983; Westgate and O’Keefe, 1976 in ibid.26 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 31. In addition, the commoners’ view on disaster perceive humanand natural disasters as a separate entity, so that nature is seen astargets of human domination and control for the convenience ofliving and self-realization through the practice material shaped bythe market exchange.4 They also tend to consider nature as evil andbarbaric, as opposed to orderly and civilized human beings. Thesupporters therefore suggested that nature should be controlledfor the sake of development and progress. In fact, a lot of evidencesshow that it is precisely the pursuit of economic growth throughthe exploitation of nature that placed human beings as a target ofthe disaster hazards, for example by destruction of forests and thesocial cohesion of the surrounding community. Therefore, in line with this thinking, the vulnerability mustbe viewed as a hierarchical layer consisting of a pile class of peoplewho are in the path of disaster hazards in different degrees, bothin terms of the realization of these hazards or in terms of theability of community groups the cope with the threat effects andhow much they can help other community groups to recover aftera disaster.5 If we return to the prospect of disaster in Indonesia, thediscussion above suggests that it is the impoverished people,vulnerable ecology, and weak institutions that potentially make thepoor people, whose numbers more than half of total opulation, astarget of catastrophic hazards. When something like the tsunamiin Aceh and Yogyakarta earthquake are occurring again, then withthe current conditions it is hard to imagine that Indonesia couldreduce the impact of the disaster hazards. Disasters will continueto occur at the same level, or perhaps worse. For example, the Gajah Mada University, who conductedrapid assessment on the phenomenon of houses destruction after 4 Oliver-Smith, 2004: 13; Hewitt, 1983 in ibid. 5 O’Keefe, et al., 1983: 264.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 27
  • 32. the earthquake in Yogyakarta, revealed the strong links between the types of house materials, and level of prosperity and education. This study showed that 43 percent of houses destroyed (which means 814 houses), the head of the household only attended primary school or below. This figure is higher than households headed by middle-educated household heads and so on, which is 31 percent (542 homes).6 Adding this explanation I Wayan Sengara, from the Research Group on Disaster Mitigation Institute of Technology, supported this study with interesting facts that most of the destroyed houses are located in rural areas where most vilagers work in agriculture and home industry.7 To overcome the vulnerability phenomenon requires the perspective of Disaster Risk Reduction, which saw the threat of disaster as something that can still be avoided by relocating potential victims from places vulnerable to hazards. If the houses were not built in areas identified as prone to earthquakes, when the houses were built to absorb earthquake shocks, or if early monitoring systems could warn citizens to relocate before the earthquake, of course the impacts of these shocks could be mitigated. Because there’s no man-made technology today that can stop an earthquake, as imagined by those who believe of the unlimited human capacity to conquer nature. But on the other hand, there are still much that can, and should, be done to face of the inevitable work of nature. And not just despairingly waiting the giant flood that commonly held as the ‘fury of nature’. Politics of Aid Other hazards to the impoverished people indeed come from the intention and practice of disaster management itself. The mess in the form of corruption cases that occurred during the 6 Bappenas et al., 2006 in Lucia Fransisca 7 Widyanto et al, 2006 in Lucia Fransisca28 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 33. distribution of disaster relief is just the tip and a small part of alarger problem, namely the seizure of land, the implications thatfor disaster victims will take place in the long term, far beyond theperiod of post-disaster rehabilitation. The issue of business that intrude the disaster field is indeedhas become a theory. Naomi Klein, in the “Shock Doctrine” men­tioned, one of the founding theoretician of neoliberalism, MiltonFriedman, suggested that the change of an existing system alwaysrequire crisis. If the crisis comes in form of disaster from naturalphenomenon it would definitely become a pleasant coincidencefor Friedman supporters. If the crises do not happen, than it canbe created, for example through conflict. With the occurrence ofthe crises, the land and social institution will be lost or weakened.Therefore it would be easier to establish new system on the bareland. It means, at this part, at least we can talk about two types ofthreats, firstly related with the seizure of direction and forms of postdisaster reconstruction, and grabbing of land left by the disasterrefugees. Both prevail to the refugees of natural phenomenondisaster, or the one caused by human such as conflict. Basically disaster always cause people to leave their homes,that means vurnerable to lost their land either for living spaceor their place for earning income. Unfortunately the commonphenomenon of losing the land is one of the issues that rarelybeing touched in the policy making or the refugee managementplan, especially if indeed there has been already an intention toremove the community from their homes. This is usually the casein profitable places to start commercial businesses. The studyabout this particular issue is still rare in Indonesia; therefore itis still not become public consumption for wider people. Someexamples could give initial idea about this particular issue.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 29
  • 34. A study examined the pattern of ‘social’ conflict in various places in Indonesia since 1999 revealed disturbing findings. For example, after the ‘inter-religious’ conflict in Poso, after many Moslems and Christians relocated from their villages, giant companies started to enter the villages left by the people. Multi- national companies like Inco, Freeport, Arta Graha and other big companies could easily enter the ‘empty’ places. Another example, after the murder of religious leaders and community elders in East Java, from Tuban to Bayuwangi in 1998 – 1999 (about 248 people), Monsanto8 could easily procure concession of 100 thousand hectares for soya bean and hybrid corn planting for the period of 25 years.9 Exxon, Santa Fe and Santos obtained concession for oil and natural gas from Tuban to Pasuruan. The north coastal of East Java has changed from fishpond region into five stars hotel region. The same case also occurred after the first conflict in Ambon. The first project constructed after the bloody conflict is an inter­ national airport. As the result, one of the most luxurious airports in Indonesia now already existed in Ambon and Manado. Even in Ngadi Island, the small island in the southeastern of Maluku, an export import port has been constructed; this tiny island has become a host for an international class port. Of course, this port was not constructed to relocate the community to abroad. It was not constructed to meet the urgent need of the post-conflict community. Back to Bali, after Bali Bombing I, the economy of Bali was halted. Most of the production sector that the final market was in 8 When the shooting of farmers by the marines in 2007, general public people merely perceived it as land tenure conflict between the local farmers and the marines. People did not clearly examined that Grati, the place of the shooting, was the candidate location for oil and gas drilling, the second after Sidoarjo by a Santos consortium, in the framework of oil and gas exploitation of the golden triangle of East Java, Madura and Bali. 9 Don K. Marut, “Globalization and Conflicts among the Poor in Indonesia”, Keynote Speech Paper in Groen Links Party Conference, Groningen, October 2003.30 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 35. Bali also went bankrupt. Just in 2003, for example, in Pekalonganthe batik producers were collapse. The same case also experiencedby the artisans of Yogya and Solo. Not long after that, hotel andrestaurant owners were also lamenting, they couldn’t afford to payback the credit. What happened next was a logical consequence, thetransfer of hotel ownership to the parties who could pay the debt.Of course, considering this information, it is not unpeculiar, oneyear after the accident new hotels were built in the most profitableregion in Bali, but the ownership has changed. The Balineseare not the owners anymore. The small hotels have turned intoluxurious hotels. The transfer of property ownership in Bali washappened very fast. The expansion of luxurious hotels and resortswere very quick. At the same time Head of Jembrana District wasplanning to construct new airport and toll road in Bali. Althoughit is not necessary to be an engineer to know that even without tollroad, Bali will not experience serious traffic jam. One of the localfigures even makes a joke, “if Jembrana is eventually success forconstructing the infrastructures, why other surrounding districtsare not following?” It was obvious that the neighboring districtsdid not gain any points to learn from Jembrana. The effects of the aid politic are not only the grabbing of landand direction of reconstruction, but also go deeper to the damagingof social values of the community. Examples that revealed how aidscheme destructed the social system of the people have becomecommon stories in many disaster sites. After the disaster inYogya, for example, the common people got appreciation for thesuccess of their communal strength that made them not passivelywaiting for aid. By counting on what they have around them andthe help from their neighboring communities, they graduallyable to clean up the ruins, started their daily activities, in theprocesses of emergency response to reconstruction. However afterthe involvement of big organizations brought huge fund for theDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 31
  • 36. reconstruction process, many community groups were involved in the conflict of aid and eventually become suspicious with each other. Similar case, in wider scale, happened during the reconstruction of Aceh. Corruptions were rampant, mis-targeted aid happened everywhere, level of community dependence kept growing, and finally the multi-parties conflict occurred everywhere. If this phenomenon considered in aid politic frame, we can read it as intended actions. It means, if the community members are in conflict, it will be easier to relocate them, and in many examples of social movements so far, the seizure of private properties will happen when a conflict take place within a community. When conflict happened, the social solidarity will be easily to vanish, and all properties of the community will be taken over easier. This is the pattern that prevailed in many places in Indonesia. The players were mostly from multinational companies. To prevent the land grabbing and reconstruction direction, the people need to immediately establish strong institution; therefore they can select the information and programs that come to their place. In addition there should also be strengthening of government apparatus so they are aware about the impacts of mis-directed aid, and be wary of land grabbing that might happen in a very smooth way and will be very harmful for their people.32 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 37. 2 Analysis of Disaster Policy Management Law The making of Disaster Management Law (No. 24/2007)has been performed. This legal product is promising enough forsome reasons. Firstly it includes some principles that can giveopportunities for wider public to take parts in disaster management.Second, it seems that the law is quite conceptually precise, thus itwill prevent mis-interpretation during the disaster management. Third, the disaster vocabulary is accurately defined, so it willenable people to differentiate disaster and disaster hazard andthe relation with vulnerability. As in the conceptualization above(see part 1), the hazard should meet the vurnerability to presentdisaster. In other word, if the vurnerability decrease the impact ofdisaster can be reduced. This concept is already in line with theconcept of disaster risk reduction that now aclamatically acceptedeverywhere. Fourth, this Law is also revealing the governmtent willingnessto be fully responsible on disaster management. Article 55 forexample mentions that national and local governments becomethe responsible institutions in the implementation of disastermanagement. Among others they will work on disaster riskreduction, community protection, guarantee the provision ofpeople’s and refugees’ right to restore the condition of disastereffect, and allocate fund in APBN (State Budget), and ready touse financial allocation.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 33
  • 38. Fifth, the local and national government as well as Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB – National Body of Disaster Management) at the local and national level will implement the management of disaster aid resource (Article 66). And Article 78, stipulate the sanction for misuse of the disaster aid resource management. These regulations are very important to solve this problem that has frequently occurred in the past. Sixth, although it is not specifically mentioned in the preamble about the relation of government policy and geographical character of Indonesia as archipelagic country, Permendagri No. 27/2007 (about the preparation of infrastructure and facility for disaster management), in Article 3, has mentioned about refugee management. This is important because according to some studies, the impact of climate change and environmental damage, the influence will be more intensive to happen in small islands rather than in continental region. Although Indonesia is archipelagic country, the development policy tends to follow the development direction of the geographically continental landscape countries. The disaster risk in our country even threatens the most populated areas, the seashore areas. We can clearly see the impact of climate change that the geographical areas of Indonesia will decrease, especially in coastal line. That is only one of the effects. In addition, rain will come late; dry season will be longer and drier. And the impacts are, among others, rice and corn production will decrease, it will definitely weaken the food security (see part 1). Therefore the budget proportion supposes to be taken out from refugee fund. Yet behind all the good potentials of the legal product above, there are still some things that should be noted that need to be sharpened here and there, either through public test or by variety of derivative legislations that follow.34 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 39. First, one implementation of this Disaster Management Law isthe establishment of “National Body of Disaster Management “and “Regional Body of Disaster Management” (Article 10 and18 of Law No. 24 of 2007). This legal product still shows theimpression that the government intentionally or not has createdan arena for the vested interests of political elites. It is very possiblebecause the position is a ministerial-level agency on a nationallevel and a level below Governor or Regent/Mayor at the locallevel. These positions must be very strategic and “seductive” in theeyes of political elites. This attraction can be difficult in variouslevels of implementation of this legal product. Secondly, the fact that most of the derivative implementingregulations contained the bureaucratic job descriptions from theplanning to the implementation of disaster management programsneed to be critically examined. This government regulation isdominated with the establishment of management structures,rather than describing in detail how the disaster managementworks will be carried out together with people, who are oftenthe main victims. This is also reflected in its derivative regulationnamely PP no. 21/2008, concerning the implementation of disastermanagement. In Article 11, for example, disaster risk analysesprepared and determined by the head of BNPB, by involving the‘relevant institutions’ only. However it is this analysis that will beused to “prepare the environmental impact assessment, spatialplanning and take disaster prevention and mitigation measures”(Article 3). Third, the factor of climate change due to global warming andhigh level of poverty are not clearly articulated in this Law. And itturns out after reading all of PP 21/2008 on disaster management,none of these articles that specifically talk about this issue. In fact,the vulnerability of a community because these two factors has beena latent danger that threatens us all the time at a very troublingDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 35
  • 40. levels, as we have seen in the section above. This possibility will also be exacerbated by the lack of adequate studies that follow the associated policy formulation, as is often the case. Ministry of Environment, for example, prior to December 2007 has issued a document of national action plans for coping with disasters. Though this effort has not been supported with comprehensive data that contains predictions about the impact of climate change, it has become a lively debate. This makes the maze of information about disaster risks and hazards are still sporadically spread. Of course it will inhibit us to prepare to compehensively handle disaster. This also explains why the regulation issued by the government looks very simple, only about a bureaucratic division of labor, and ignoring the many elements that contribute to the vulnerability of the communities. For example, the capacity and environmental buffers that have been damaged and getting more damaged, which makes us more vulnerable to disasters and the impact of disasters, could be missing from the observations of policymakers when they are preoccupied with the purely “natural” disaster hazards like an earthquake and tsunami. Fourth, linking this policy with the poverty reduction in Indonesia, first we have to deal with the way of thinking that shape poverty alleviation policy. In government’s poverty eradication programs, the disturbing fallacy worried many people. There are two paradigms which exactly the opposite in terms of how to achieve them. First, the assumption that economic growth is the best prescription to eradicate poverty because it will absorb a lot of labor. Although empirically shows completely different reality. One of the main causes is the rise of capital intensive and labor-saving industrial production modes. Nevertheless, the acceleration of globalization provides new arguments to the proponents of growth. Global competition, reportedly, only giving36 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 41. rights to the mode of production using the latest technology,saving labor and capital intensive. Contrary to this paradigm is the belief that the poor shouldbe helped to earn income. Small businesses, believed to be the mainsupporter of people’s economy, though usually underestimatedby the government. In fact, when equal opportunity is availablecompared with a capital intensive business, small businessesbelieved to be able to increase investment, innovation, businessdevelopment and income. Unfortunately, not yet found convincingempirical evidence that these assumptions may be true. Besides,the success or failure of an effort defined by the availability ofmarket for them.10 Well, if the two mainstream thoughts about poverty reductionalone is negligent of the reality on the ground, it was difficultto imagine these two problematic thinking could contribute toreduce the vulnerability of the poor. In other words, if povertyis the vulnerability, then the alleviation is an effort to reduce theimpact of this vulnerability. And if the rationale for the alleviationstill problematic how can it be used to reduce the impact ofdisasters? Here we have not talked about how to alleviate poverty(which, when properly conceived and executed) can be effectivetools to reduce disaster impacts. Fifth, the product of government regulation also makesthe public wonder about the accessibility of various elements ofsociety (mainly the people and non-governmental organizations)to control the application of this law. In other words, people stillhave to work hard to ensure all the rights of participation andaccess stipulated in this law come to reality. In the articles mentioning about the membership of ‘steering’and ‘implementation’ elements in both national and regional level,there is no element outside the group who had been indeed already 10 Ivan A. Hadar, Media Indonesia, 4/1/2006DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 37
  • 42. have close ties with the government. In Article 14, concerning the membership of steering element, for example, only assigning officers and ‘professional community’ as the candidates. About the last element, the criteria are not described further, making it difficult to identify who ‘professional community’ is, referred to in this legislation. Something similar occurs in Article 15 of the membership of ‘executive element’. When mentioning about the design of national and regional policy, hardly any public participation required for this strategic work. Meanwhile, community participation is mentioned only when the planning was conducted at the community level itself (Article 26). Here we see the dualism of design which is, of course, hierarchical. The design done from below will be difficult to apply when the community-level design is conflicted with the draft produced at higher levels. In addition, it is not difficult to imagine this design would be difficult to be adapted, making it very easy to guess which design will come into reality. Sixth, despite the community’s rights guaranteed in this Law (referred to in Article 6 section C), but after reading the entire manuscript, these rights still need to be adjusted to what has been defined by the steering element’ and ‘executive element’ at national and regional levels, with very little opportunity for the community to influence them. By only mentioning ‘participation’ does not mean people have the power to determine the direction of planning and implementation of disaster management. The notion about the meagre opportunities for public participation are also seen when the law makes no mention about the use of traditional knowledge in every step. Analysis of disaster risks, for example, does not mention the use of traditional knowledge as one important element. This is also the case to Article 45 on preparedness that even mentioning, “the decision making by the government,” on one side, and “taking action by the community,”38 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 43. on the other side. It is an unequal division of labor. Article 47 ofthe mitigation process also presents a similar problem. Paragraph2 of this article which explains about how the mitigation workperformed, not a single word mentioned the use of people’straditional knowledge. In other words, in this section an exchangeof knowledge will not likely to take place. Point C of this section,for example, mentions “providing education, counseling andtraining, both in conventional and modern methods.” (See box)  Article 47 Point 2 Mitigation activities referred to in paragraph (1) is done through: a. implementation of spatial planning; b. regulation of development, infrastructure development, building layout, and c. providing education, counseling, and training in both conventional and modern. The portion that includes ‘education’ is strongly stressed,which could mean that the government is still not convinced oftraditional knowledge, so that citizens still have to be ‘educated’.Concerning this problem, the legislation was even necessaryto place it in a special article, namely Article 43, in addition toappearing in a few paragraphs in other chapters. And to ensurethe centrality of the role of government in the work of ‘education’,this article mentions that, “Education, training, technical standardsand requirements for disaster management .... implemented andadopted by the Government .... “Here, shows the government is notsimply holding regulatory function of ‘stipulating’, but also willingto perform the implementation function, that they supposed toshare. Impeding the meaning of this folk knowledge is potentiallygiving a much larger space for a ‘professional society’ to handledisaster management. Thus it is difficult to imagine an exchangeDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 39
  • 44. of knowledge between the people and the technocrats from the ‘professional’ in an equal manner. Although there are more evidences to demonstrate how local knowledge can lead people to avoid the impact of a major disaster. Seventh, the lack of explanation about the ‘community institutions and organizations’ that is written in Article 59 (1) part e, leaving a problem of conceptualization. This section merely states: ‘[1] institutions and civil society organizations, [2] the business world, and the [3] community’ as an element that can participate in the reconstruction process. From the use of vague concepts in this article we do not know who exactly is meant by the first party and third. ‘Institutions and civil society organizations’ and ‘society’ can mean anyone, whether it is employers who claim as a society, political parties, and onwards. Here the involvement of the community, outside of political society and economic society, is still half-heartedly, so that people outside those two types mentioned above were not detailed. In addition, also in PP No.21/2008, showed that the contribution of the community did not get proper recognition in terms of providing basic needs assistance immediately after disasters occur. The stunting of this community contribution for example is reflected in Article 52 paragraph (2) which states that: “The fulfillment of basic needs as referred to in paragraph (1) conducted by the Government, local government, community, business organizations, international institutions and/or foreign nongovernmental organizations, in accordance with minimum standards as stipulated in laws and regulations” Here the “community” is perceived only as a single entity without specified further, so it does not reflect the many sides of the “community” that had been directly involved in the fulfillment of basic needs. Especially when we see the treatment of this Law40 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 45. to foreign parties that receive more specific category, namely:“international institutions” and/or “foreign non-governmentalinstitutions.” And the government is divided into “Government”(center) and “the regional government.” Various cracks in the legislation is demonstrating the lack ofsocialization of different perspectives that in fact already widelyknown in many disaster management. Factors of poverty, aid politic,local knowledge, participation to empowerment, independence,is still part of the marginalized issues, although its capability toreduce the impact of disasters has been demonstrated, things thatactually have to be explained at the beginning of this law. Consequently, it is difficult to avoid the impression that thebasic concepts and principles of this Law prepared by the expertswith full comprehension on disaster issues, but the part on theimplementation of the concepts and basic principles done byexperts with poor perspectives, so that when writing it they wereisolated by the picture of disaster as something that has happened,that the result is physically visible, or worse, is limited to eventswith high media coverage. The hazards still to come due to globalwarming, hailed with poverty and weakness of state institutionsto face the political invasion and reconstruction assistance, has notbeen an important element in shaping the Disaster ManagementLaw. Furthermore, if we observe the weak points, this legislationproduct still reflects the flaws of disaster management in the past.Important things like community involvement, concern for thevulnerability that caused climate change, poverty, political aid,meet with the government’s plan to be the sole executor (with alow level of public participation), reminiscent of what happenedin the past in disaster management. In Aceh, for example, what after the tsunami happened wasthe government’s paralysis. Nobody saw the government as aDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 41
  • 46. reference. Large scale institutions such as UNDP and Ausaid can even be a de facto in many ways took the function of the government in the first three months. At the same time governments and donors establish new government institconstructution, namely the Badan Rekonstruksi dan Rehabilitasi (BRR, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Body), which had no branches in districts, subdistricts and villages, but only in the provincial capital. This phenomenon kept potential conflict. The problem that now arises is how to divert BRR into the governance of local authorities at various levels. In fact, in any disaster situation, the main reference should be to the government, and non-governmental actors have to refer to them. In other words, in this kind of cristical situations, the regulation and coordination functions of government are absolutely necessary. The fact is, most disasters occur in the district and the main reference of affected residents is usually the local government. When local governments do not yet have an institutional framework that is ready for all this, the emergency response will be hard to achieve. Not to mention when we talk about a whole series of disaster response, ranging from emergency response, reconstruction to rehabilitation. For this reason, other than having ready-to-wear institutional framework, the government should not act as executor, because they will not be able to do it alone, and should position themselves as arbiters of direction for many stakeholders who are working in a state of crisis. They receive inputs from the public and process them to be good policies either for ad hoc or long term. So what do they do remain contextual and not overlooking the fairly diverse people’s knowledge and work.  42 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 47. 3 Community-Based Towards Disaster Management In light of the weaknesses of legislation and planning andimplementation of disaster management in the past, and givenexamples of the successful handling of a cultivated varietyof parties, this section will review some basic principles thatcould be the basis of the principles and approach to disastermanagement. After that, it will discuss the principle andapproach of people centered disaster management, who usuallybecomes the most vulnerable disaster-affected. Then based onthe principles and approaches, presented several proposals forthe improvement of existing policy, either as proposed changinglegislation, and to improve the implementation of those policies.Basic Aspects The fundamental aspects that are not sufficiently touchedin the existing legal product are: believe in self-reliance, theinvolvement of the people as the basis for implementation, andtransformation of the role of government. Believe in self-reliance In Yogyakarta, assistance from neigh­boring districts flowing into the disaster areas a few weeksafter the earthquake. The amount of this aid, in quan­ ity alone tis staggering (see box). Not to mention when calculating thepsychological effects of neighbor support. And the awakeningof people solidarity is very important factor in building disasterpreparedness that likely to occur in the future. It also proves thatDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 43
  • 48. the solidarity of the people not died yet, that people can take the initiative and run the initiative immediately, and uses all existing social communication tool, which they strongly identify, to implement the right target. This proves that the residents have a variety of resources and can cooperate with the government to jointly carry out disaster management. When all the stakeholders are willing to see further the strength of this people, by doing more in-depth assessment to prepare action plan, the result might be able to change the orientation of foreign aid, which in many cases actually make things more chaotic. The conflict of vested interest that potentially harmful for the people. And the government can continue with the mindset of begging for foreign aid. For example, one study states that in the early months after the tsunami in Aceh in 2004 and early 2005, the World Bank issued a proposal based on the results of their assessment in the agricultural sector in Aceh. The proposal mentioned that agriculture in Aceh had to be diverted to the cash crop. The reason was: food crops were not productive enough to restore the income of the farmers of Aceh. This proposal obviously wanted to encourage the farmers of Aceh to enter the global market economy. Not to mention this proposal clearly lead to conversion of rice field to palm oil to the export market.11 At the other end, if this proposal be realized, food insecurity and vulnerability to global market prices have been waiting for the Acehnese. 11 Donatus K. Marut, paper for “Natural Disaster and Climate Chang”, a seminar organized byINSIST, Yogyakarta, 16 February 2008.44 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 49. HOW MUCH THE ORDINARY PEOPLE CONTRIBUTE? This is a not simple question to be answered. The nature of this kind of peoples spontaneous actions, totally based on trust and almost without written documents, was made it difficult to figure out its exact numbers. However, based on our direct experiences and observation in the field in the last two weeks, we can approximately made a general calculation as follows: (1) Simply say that there are 30 initiatives (organized group of actions) that happened every week both in Bantul and Klaten areas. Actually, more than that but let us use this figure as a base of calculation. Set the number lower than the real one is, of course, make sense then the vice versa. (2) Say that each initiative have sent 3 trucks of materials and 1 truck of volunteers. To make it easier, we can simply divided the trucks of materials into three different loadings: 1 truck fully loaded with woods (average capacity is 4 meter cubics); 1 truck fully loaded with raw bamboos (average capacity is 600 trunks); and 1 truck fully loaded with ready-made gedhek (average capacity is 200 pieces). The current price of those materials in Jogyakarta and surrounding today are IDR 800,000 (about USD 87) per cubic of woods (light and soft kind, grade- 2, commonly found and used in this area); IDR 7,000 (about USD 0.9) per trunk of raw bamboos; and IDR 50,000 (about USD 5.2) per piece of ready-made gedhek (the best quality one, made from the outer hard-skin, not from the soften inner-skin, of bamboos). So, the value of the peoples contribution in term of this kind of materials is: 30 initiatives x 4 cubics of woods x IDR 800,000 = IDR 96,000,000 (USD 10.4 thousand); 30 initiatives x 600 trunks of bamboos x IDR 7,000 = IDR 226,000,000 (USD 24.5 thousand); and 30 initiatives x 200 pieces of gedhek x IDR 50,000 = IDR 300,000,000 (USD 32.6 thousand). (2) Another 1 truck fully loaded with 40 volunteers. Of course, they are not paid but we should calculate the value of their voluntary labours. So, we can use the current average price of daily payment of a construction worker and carpenter in Jogyakarta today, that is IDR 25,000 (about USD 3.0) per day. For their meals, we can simply put IDR 15,000 (about USD 2.0) per person per day (Jogyakarta is the cheapest place all over Indonesia). So, the value of the peoples contribution in term of their labours and meal expenses is: 30 initiatives x 40 persons x IDR 25,000 = IDR 30,000,000 (USD 3.2 thousand); and 30 initiatives x 40 persons x IDR 15,000 = IDR 18,000,000 (USD 1.9 thousand). (3) All of those 4 trucks were rented for the whole day operation. The current rental price in Jogyakarta today is IDR 300,000 (USD 33) per day. So the value of peples contribution in term of this transportation costs is: 30 initiatives x 4 trucks x IDR 300,000 = Rp 36,000,000 (USD 3.2 thousand). (4) Hence, the total value of peoples contribution is: IDR 522,000,000 (amount of all materials) + IDR 84,000,000 (amount of labours, meals, and transportation expenses) = IDR 606.000.000 (USD 65.8 thousand) per week. Once again, this is not including yet other contributions in form of non construction material and labours. Let say that those kind of contributions are in the same of amount too. So, the total value of local people to peoples spontaneous aid in Bantul and Klaten areas is about USD 1.2 billion (about USD 140.6 thousand) per week. Since already happened in the last two weeks, its total value to date is IDR 3.6 billion (USD 390.2 thousand or almost half a million). There is another way to calculate it easier based on the unit cost of simple temporary houses that are helped to construct by those local volunteers. There are some different model but let us here to use a prototype which is now socialized by our volunteers both in Bantul and Klaten areas. The prototype --a quake-proof construction made from woods and bamboos-- was designed by Mr. Eko Prawoto, an architect of Yayasan Pondok Rakyat (The Peoples Hut Foundation). With the size of 4 x 6 meter, the unit cost is IDR 9 million (about USD 978). From our field observation in the last two weeks, we can estimate about 600 unit of this kind of simple temporary houses were already constructed by the local people themselves all over disaster areas in Bantul and Klaten. It means that the local people themselves, through their spontaneuos actions of solidarity, have contributed about IDR 5.4 billion (about USD 0.5 million) to the reconstruction processes of earthquake affected areas in Jogyakarta and Central Java! That is for rebuilding simple temporary houses, not including yet another kind of spontaneous aid and donations. So, why some government officers still thinking to beg new loans from international financial institutions and foreign donors? Source: Insist News, June 27, 2006, accessed May 4, 2008, http://www.insist.or.id/index.php?lang=en&page=article&artid=27DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 45
  • 50. Involving People Since the provision of early informati­ n, o emergency response, until the reconstruction process, the people are able to function properly. With the traditional knowledge, for example with the ability to read signs of nature, this problem can be solved directly on the spot. They do not necessarily depend on sophisticated they can not control. The highly expensive experts who can operate the sophisticate technology do not have to be stationed all the time in that place; the government certainly had no sufficient fund to operate it continuously. In addition, information transmission system that tells the coming of hazard, which sometimes delayed could be covered with traditional knowledge. For a more comprehensive prevention, such as reducing emissions that cause global warming, the popular traditions are also able to function appropriately. In Bali, for example, a thousand of people were amazed at the Opening of the Conference on Climate Change. At that time they watched the coverage of the tradition of Nyepi in Bali, where one day in a year most of the inhabitants of this island performed the ritual of Nyepi, a self- contemplation ritual. On that day, there is no passing vehicles and electricity turned off. Once calculated, thanks to this ritual, it turns out that CO2 emissions released by all kinds of machines, reduced to 20,000 tonnes. While many people think about how much it cost and technology needed to overcome the problem of climate change, in Bali, just by not doing anything all the people already contributed emissions reductions in large numbers. This is certainly in contrast to the hustle and bustle of development, those who strongly believed income generation as the main aim, which turned out to be a contributing factor in the largest emissions of our earth.46 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 51. In the event of disaster management conflict, Kei Islands isvery suitable to be presented here,12 because most of the solutionsdone by civil society organizations, namely the traditionalorganization of indigenous peoples who assisted by local NGOs.And the root of this conflict, according to the belief of many Keipeople, precisely because of community dissatisfaction against thegovernment. In April to June 1999, the Kei Islands witnessed conflict inthe scale they had never imagined before. Violence’s spilling fromthe western part of Maluku was claimed 5000 lives and forcedhalf a million people evacuated from their homes. In Tual aloneabout 200 people died and 30,000 refugees displaced from theirhomes. More people died in the camps for the emergency andinsufficient, due to the brunt of diarrhea and vomiting, fever andmalaria. A combination of factors between resources control andbenefit sharing, and common property issue, which are all rooted inthe centralization government during the New Order period, havedeteriorated the customary laws of Kei people. These conditions,and weakening of traditional arbitration institutions, are a timebomb than can easily provokeda conflict that is difficult to belocalized and ceased. Specifically this situation sparked peoplediscontent against state institutions deemed to have created andmaintain this disparity, and intentionally or not has ruined thecostumary law on communal resource management. One of themost obvious evidence is that when conflict occurs, the villagesthat highly involved in this ‘disaster’, both as an attacker or targetof the attack, were the villages where many employees or officialsof local government. In short, political leaders in Kei, both local 12 This section is excerpted from Craig Thorburn, Accidents: Control of resources, violence,and the rediscovery of a tradition in the Kei Islands, in the PM Laksono and Roem Topatimasang(ed.) (2004) Ken Sa Faak: The seeds of peace from the Kei Islands, Nen Mas Il-Insist Press, Tual-Yogyakarta.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 47
  • 52. government officials and traditional leaders, have “forgotten their own customs,” it is time for the costumary law to ‘payback’. This conflict can only be extinguished; according to the belief of Kei people, when they revived the tradition of ‘golden era after the dark age’. How to ‘revive the tradition’ that is when some influential indigenous leaders and elders in Kei called to evoke the historical roots and traditions of the Kei people. One of the appeal that is often echoed: “Wuut ainmehe, obedient ainmehe tilor,” (We all come from the same eggs of a fish and a bird). With peaceful statements from indigenous elders like this, all parties finally admitted that “we are all guilty” (ken sa faak), and begin the resolution process with a variety of traditional rituals to ‘revive the custom’. It is the people’s social capital, and not the security apparatus, which halted the conflict in a relatively short time compared to other places in Maluku. Role of Government Transformation Both social, political and economic disaster (conflict, economic crisis, conflict of ideologies, and so on) as well as natural disaster, should be a vital moment to unite governments, peoples and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to build resilience and strengthen community resilience with the most vulnerable groups (children, women and the elderly, and poor groups) in the community. Considering the trend that even the state apparatus was used by the business power to take over the role of the state in disaster situations and prevention, it is required to create decisive institutional arrangements to protect the government, the civil society orgaizatins and of course protect the most vulnerable people based on susceptibility scale (as in disaster situations anyone can categorize themselves as vulnerable group). Included in this institutional arrangement is the law, organizations,48 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 53. frameworks, codes and guidelines to establish a policy priority indisaster situations. In this institutional arrangement, the government still serveas the main actors in the midst of disaster settlement, supportedby various public institutions and the people themselves.Government supposed to be the regulator and also the guardianof the implementation of any policies and programs implementedto reduce or to overcome the impact of disasters. Governmentshould be the only referral and supporter for the people in anydisaster situation. If the government sided with a particular groupin society (either business people or certain groups involved to theconflict), then that is the beginning of the destruction of disastermanagement.Principles and approaches The main focus of all disaster management efforts should behuman being. And the humans here are a group of people whomeant the most or least vulnerable to marginalization and theongoing process of marginalization. Thus, the primary approachin dealing with disasters and disaster mitigation is populism,which is issuing every policy that was not a priority in order tosave the people first, above the interests of corporate profits andinterests of the multilateral financial institutions (World Bank,IMF and ADB). In order to avoid the bureaucratic policies, asseen in National Law on Disaster Management that need to beapplied , is as follows:Pure Public Participation Local people, especially the victims of disaster, should reallybe consciously engaged in a genuine and are represented in theDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 49
  • 54. overall process of the program and use the results achieved. Local Autonomy Strengthen local institutional capacity and autono­ y tom determine the options and make their own decisions (principle of subsidiarity). • Genuine Public Participation Local people, especially the victims of disaster, should really be consciously engaged in a genuine and are represented in the overall process of the program and use the results achieved. • Local autonomy Strengthen local institutional capacity and autonomy to determine the options and make their own decisions (principle of subsidiarity). • People solidarity Put forward the tradition of mutual-help, which also means putting external assistance more as a supplemen • Special Treatment Giving special treatment to most vurnerable groups or community members, children, landless farmers, women. • Accoutability Ensuring ongoing open accountability, both among the local people themselves, as well as to all outside parties providing support. • Sustainability Creating a platform for local initiative and independence could take place in the long-term, not merely a ‘project approach’.50 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 55. Policy Transformation The principles above suggest that local knowledge andresources can make the disaster management to be simpler andready-to-use, effective, and sustainable. Policy or implementationof existing policies will become more operational and effective forthe interests of vulnerable people when transforming themselvesto follow these principles. The examples mentioned above couldbe the basis of forming plans and networks in implementing thepolicy of the disaster. Some policy proposals are as follows: First: to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the possiblecatastrophe that will occur by considering the ecological changescaused by global warming, the vulnerability of poor people whosenumbers continue to swell, and aid politic that could furthermarginalized the common people to the corner of development.This effort should be made with as much as possible involving thepeople vulnerable to disasters themselves. Second: Doing the mainstreaming efforts of local knowledgeon disaster. This can be done by exploring and mobilizing localknowledge that has been already proved its efficacy. Of coursethis requires the assessment of accomplished work from thebottom and made of modern technology as a complement. Thusa more equal dialogue between two different paradigms and thisknowledge can take place. Third: `Based on the results of the assessment, preparingdisaster management scenario that is integrated in developmentplans. Information from the people become the basis, for example,to create a decent place of refuge, both for natural disasters such asfloods, or conflict such as in Poso and Maluku. Fourth: To build strong institutions in the community tooversee the implementation of disaster management, both fromDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 51
  • 56. early warning systems, emergency response, and rehabilitation to reconstruction. As in the above processes, these efforts should also put the government as a coordinator who arranged the traffic of work and resources.52 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 57. IIStoriesfrom the Field
  • 58. Conservation Ala Saridin The house was located on the edge of a un-asphalt village road. At first glance, nothing distinguished the white-painted brick house with other houses in the Wonojoyo hamlet, Ketro Village, Kebon Agung sub-district, Pacitan district, East Java. But if we saw more clearly, we can see hundreds of few months old durian trees. Each plant grew in a black polybag. All arranged in order and looked neat and well groomed. Another eye catching point was various children’s toys, a kind of dolls made of straw, stick on the front wall. Inside the house, there were two new computers. On the walls of the house were displayed maps, tables, graphs and photographs of activities. But the most attracted was a short poem written on a paper, from Lao Tsu: Going to the People Living among them Loving them Learning from them Starting from where they are Working with them Developing what they have Through the best leaders When the task has been completed When the mission is completed All of the people declare “We’ve done it by ourselves.”54 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 59. In that house lived three men: Untung Supriyanto (32), SaptoSuharno (33) and Sulistiyo (35). But for Sulistiyo, he only stayedat that post at certain times only. This was because his work areawas in Kali Kuning village, a village that although located closeto Ketro, but it was part of a different sub-district named Tulakansub-district. Ketro village’s area had similar characteristics to other regionsin Pacitan district which located in Mount South Kapur. Mostof its population depended on rainy season agriculture. Some ofits populations worked abroad as TKI (Indonesian workers) orworked as an mbalak’s labor to Sumatra. Mbalak was a local termto refer jobs as tree loggers in plantations as well as in forests. Ketro’s topography was hilly. The only asphalt road wasin a village road that happened to connect Pacitan district andMagetan district. The rest of the roads were still un-asphalt roads,always muddy during rainy season and dusty during dry season.The lower areas were used as agricultural land, especially for riceagriculture. For that reason, the community preferred to live inthe slope of the hill, which they call perengan area. With the conditions above, it was a right decision if Insistdecided to work in that area. An area that is silently accumulatinga number of potential disasters. *** The three of them were involved in a program calledDRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) project. The project was jointcooperation between Insist and Cordaid. Pacitan area wasunder LPTP responsibility. LPTP was one of Insist networkorganizations with headquarter in Solo, Central Java. According to Rahadi, the DRR program coordinator, Insistspecial model of disaster management program was a phase calledDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 55
  • 60. disaster history analysis. As a program coordinator, this 41 years old guy was in charge of six work areas: Bengkulu, Pacitan, Kediri, Sinjai, Ende and Southeast Maluku. This project started from Insist experiences in working on natural disasters such as earthquakes in Yogyakarta and Central Java in May, 2006. Insist at that time formed a volunteer team named TRK (Volunteer Team for Humanity), in which Rahadi fully engaged. From that experience, Insist learned an important lesson that when a disaster occurred, the poor were getting poorer and the rich were getting richer. This was because the rich usually always can access the aid assistance, while the poor were not. Even though the aid relief organizations had used democratic and participatory approaches, but still the rich and the local top figures benefit most from the aid relief assistance. Learning from that lesson, Insist always did a deep and holistic research every time they chose to work on disaster management projects. Another important lesson in disaster issues was the issue of community capacity strengthening approach to cope with natural disasters. According to Rahadi, Insist believed that if the community capacity increases, in case of natural disasters, disaster risks can be reduced. This approach also includes government officer strengthening capacity. This approach also aimed to increased awareness disaster threat in the region. Both community and government officers should be alerted on every possibility of disaster hazards in their region and prepare prevention strategies to deal with the hazards. Another lesson, Insist model of DRR project obliged its field facilitators to participate to reduce the process of impoverishment that occurs in society. Then they also have to advocate to the issuance of public policy from the village level to district level as part of disaster risk reduction prevention strategy. In addition, every field facilitator must form and strengthened the village56 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 61. working team. They should bear in mind that when a project isended one day, the village team will continue the work. “Insist field facilitators should not work in a memorizedmethod,” said the man who used to be a legislative member of Solo.What he meant by ‘a memorized method’ was a way of learningthat copy everything from the textbook without considering theworking area’s dynamic or needs. “Each program must start frombelow, from the community level in accordance with every region’sconditions”. Therefore, every field officer who worked in the programshould work in cooperation with the community, know thecharacter of society and understands the community’s needs.What was presented by Rahadi was like what Lao Tsu’s shortpoem said. *** Untung worked Ketro during the dry season in 2008. And Saptostarted his work in the village on the next year, in early 2009. The selection of this area was based on a brief researchundertaken by Teguh, who first came to Ketro before Untung andSapto, but today was no longer working in this area. At least therewere two crucial issues that were found by Teguh as backgroundwhy he chose Ketro as the disaster risk reduction working area.First was the issue of landslides. Second was the issue of watershortages. In Ketro had occurred several landslide disasters, butwhat mostly recalled by the community was the 2007 landslidedisaster where three people died. When Untung started his work in this village, he immediatelyconducted a small research about the history of the village,including its disaster history. The first thing he did was to visitand to collect elderly people’s memories about disaster historiesoccurred in their village.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 57
  • 62. At least there were three elderly who became his main resources: Mbah Jono, Mbah Jiman and Mbah Misradi. The three men were more than 80 years old. Mbah Misradi now had died a few months ago. From the three resource persons, Untung was able to track history of Ketro village since the 1930s. According to Untung, from 1930s to 1980s, this village was hilly grassland. Besides the grass, there were three types of plants that easily found in this area i.e. areca palm trees, bamboo and asiatic pipewort (fimbristylis globulosa). Because of this characteristic, this area became a pangon area or a herding area to cows and sheep. Then in the mid of 1980s, the government’s reforestation project entered the village. Acacia was the first tree species introduced by the government through the project. At first people did not want to plant the subsidized acacia trees. And even if some people planted the trees, they always failed to grow, because the young acacia trees were eaten or destroyed by the cattle which freely eat and walked on the grass land. But the government had its own strategy. They issued a policy to cowshed the cattle. Only after that, the deforestation project was successful. Still according Untung, the process of land division had started at the time. The community began to have their needs to grow the grass to feed their livestock. “It was strange,” said Untung, “although trees were scarce in the past, springs were easy to find. Older people said, if we dig the ground, not up to one meter, a spring can be found. Now with so many trees, but even a spring is hard to find. “ This was justified by Pak Dasaan (50). He was not born in Ketro. He came from Pekalongan, Central Java. Pak Dasaan came to Ketro in 1985. He lived in Ketro because he married a woman from Ketro. When he first arrived, the area was huge58 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 63. grassland with plenty of areca palm trees. He admitted that sincepeople grew acacia, he observed how water resources were rapidlyshrinking. Ketro people learned from titen (a traditional wisdom sciencethat teach people to observe natural phenomena) that there weresome criteria to judge whether a plant is greed of water or not.First was if during the dry season, leaves of certain types of treesremain green and not falling down. Second was if the wood is dry,and if it is cut off, it does not produce latex. And as they suspected,acacia has these both characteristics. Despite its greed of water, acacia was still a favorite among thepeople because they needed its wood, either as building materialsor as cash money. For these reasons, people then planted acaciaeverywhere. There were some changes in Ketro. First was clearly about thequestion of water. Second was about its building characteristics.Untung small research showed that from 1930s to 2009, therewere three house characteristic that can be used to show thechanges occurred in Ketro. The first were bamboo houses withareca palm sugar fiber rope (ijuk) as their ornaments. Second werewooden houses. And third were brick and cement houses. Themoving phase from the second to the three was happened in shortperiod of time. Untung analyzed that this might have somethingto do with the ‘level of prosperity’. Untung and Sapto then discovered another issue that had todo with water. The villagers took their drinking water by diggingwells in lower lands, in the rice fields and in the river area. Thewater then sucked by machines up to every house in the settlementthrough pipes. To give an illustration, river in Ketro was differentwith river in other areas in term of water quantity. River in Ketrowas mostly dry during dry season and did not always have waterflowing, and also small in size.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 59
  • 64. 60 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 65. When Untung and Sapto discovered this water issue, theyquickly analyzed it. It was simple, they thought. If people useddangerous and harmful materials to take care their rice fields, suchas using pesticides and chemical fertilizers, the water taken fromthe river or from wells by the rice fields were probably was notqualified as drinking water. Actually there was an alternative spring used for drinkingwater. Yet from its physical characteristic, Untung and Saptosuspected that the water was also not fit the standard. Another problem they discovered was landslides threat.Sapto stated that the villagers build their houses in the steep hillyareas. There were some hills that also located right on the top ofvillager houses, and the hills were not well maintained. The factwas also confirmed by Imam Buntoro, the village secretary. This39 year old guy said that it was really challenging to ask peoplenot to live the perengan areas. That was mostly caused by people’sbelieve that a house was a prabon issue, meant that people werestrongly bond to where they live. Untung and Sapto had discovered a number of problems.But their work was far from easy. As an illustration, one day Saptoexplained about the possibility of landslide threat to a villagerwho lived in the perengan area. But the man answered was, “Mas,die because of landslide disaster was a matter of destiny. It is likeaccidentally slipping off from a ladder. It is a matter of whetheryou are in lucky or not. “ *** To ease their work, Untung and Sapto often used villageofficial’s forums. In addition, they also used informal meetingssuch as tahlilan. “We were lucky, because we were welcomed byvillage apparatus like head of village, village secretary, and RTleaders.” said Untung.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 61
  • 66. But this support did not ease their work either. When they came to the village and approached the villagers, people automatically thought that they came bring project, meant aid or cash money. But they both could not blame the society. Pacitan area was known as a ‘minus’ area, where various government projects were implemented on them. For example deforestation project, the government provided everything to the villagers; seeds, fertilizers, even planting and maintenance fees. “To contradict the people’s thinking, we actually asked them to treat us like the KKN (field work internship program) of university students, who came to a village bringing only ideas and commitments to work and to learn together with the people,” Sapto explained. They did a lot of things to be involved in people’s activities. They helped on variety community activities such as communal work and mutual assistance (gotong royong). They taught school children as well. But their favorite activities were mostly related to agricultural issues such as making organic liquid fertilizer. They took so many ways so their work programs can smoothly attracted the villager’s interest. Sometimes they both faced an ironic experience. For example, one time Untung and Sapto told people they suspected that the most used spring was seemed unqualified as drinking water. That was because the water was reddish and showed signs that contain high acid levels. They took a water sample from the spring for a laboratory test in Solo, and the result was the water was indeed unqualified for consumption. After showing the laboratory test result to the people, they offered help to build water purification tanks to fit the drinking water standard. But the irony was that people were not willing to consume the water that had through the purification process. People had always62 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 67. consumed the water, even though it was not met the drinkingwater standard. They stopped access the water after knowing itsunqualified standard. But when the water was purified to fit thestandard, the people abandoned it and preferred to use anotherfar away spring. In landslide case, Untung and Sapto were in big confusionas well. They have to think how to make people aware aboutthe landslide hazard. People were not willing to move to a saferplace even when it was strongly suggested. Become a victim ofa landslide disaster for them was like “accidentally slip from aladder”. If they were requested to plant trees, they will chose treeswhich woods had high economic benefit such as white albizia thatcan be cut down in 5-15 years. Untung and Sapto tried to find whattypes of trees most suitable as conservation plants, something thatwill not be felled in the short term but also fit to grow in the areaas well as having high economic value. One time, in the phase of confusion, Untung visited Sulistiyoin Kali Kuning. By coincidence, that time was during durianseason. Kali Kuning villagers told Untung that durian trees cankeep the soil from land erosion and good to keep flow rate as well.An idea then came to Untung’s mind. Why not planting criticallands in Ketro with durian? Back to Ketro, Untung and Sapto visited the villager’s fieldsand rice fields. They wanted to ensure that durian can be growneasily in Ketro. And indeed, in some fields, they found duriantrees. The two field facilitators were then immediately campaignedthe benefit of planting durian trees on critical lands. They beganto explain the economic benefits of durian. First, durian treeshad high economic value because durian price is quite expensive.Second, durian was good for land conservation, was not greedy ofDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 63
  • 68. water and gave space for other plants to live by its surroundings. Crops such as cassava, cocoa and also roots crops can grew easily around durian tress. This distinguished durian with acacia. Acacia greed to water and other plants could not grow easily around it because they will compete to each other. But still, the process was not easy. Some said that durian could not grow easily in Ketro. Untung and Sapto then showed some durian trees that grew productively in some villagers’ fields. Then came another rejection; some said that durian had gender. They did not want to plant durian because they afraid what they would plant could be the ‘male’ durians, not the ‘female’ ones, so durian would not produce fruits. Untung and Sapto had to go to Solo to find out about this ‘gender’ issue. They were glad to discover that there was no male or female durian. Every durian would grow productively with tons of fruits if taken care well. Finally after going through long campaign and intense approach, some RTs agreed to make durian nurseries. But then they realized that they did not have enough seeds to sown. Untung and Sapto then went to Ponorogo which was on durian season. They both bought several sacks of durian beans as seeds. The seeds were then selected and sowed in polybags. Initially, there were only 1000 young durian trees. But then the number increased to 4000 trees because lots of people started to see the benefit and grew the seeds by themselves. In November 2009, about 700 durian seeds had been planted on various critical areas. The rest had not been planted yet due to the rice planting during rainy season. “Later on after planting season is completed, the rest of the seeds will all be planted,” said Sapto with optimism. But he still faced one more problem. There was an important spring for Ketro villagers but the spring was located on a land owned by a villager of another region. The land was not well maintained, so it can caused trouble for the precious spring. It64 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 69. could be worse if the land owner someday decided to grow acaciatrees. Some villagers who concerned with water shortage issueand relied to the spring shared this concern with Untung. Then Untung remembered the story of Saridin. In someareas in Central Java and East Java, there is a legendary figurenamed Saridin known as a smart and powerful figure. The storyof Saridin usually told by kethoprak show and mostly broadcast onradio frequently. One Saridin well known stories was a story ofthe buffalo horns. The story began when Saridin discovered thatsome buffalos had eaten the grass to its roots and this caused thedead of many grasses. Saridin was frustrated facing this issue butin the same time was trying to find a win-win solution to dealwith it. One day he found an idea. Saridin immediately heat andbend the buffalo horns down, so the buffalo can only eat the grassand left the roots. The buffalos could not eat the grass to its rootsbecause it was blocked by their own horns. Untung then retold the Saridin story to the villagers. Thisstory inspired people to share some durian young trees to theland owner. The land owner finally planted the seeds. With youngdurian tress planted on his land, so the threat to the spring canbe reduced. Like the buffalo horns that had been bent down; thebuffalos can still eat the upper grass, but not the roots anymore,the same analogy applied to the spring. If we asked these two field facilitators about their hope anddream, they would say “Our hope is simple. In the next ten years,we would like to see this Ketro as one of durian producer’s areas,and there is no more landslides here.” Untung said calmly, andSapto nodded agreeably. Sekdes (Village Secretary) Imam Buntoro also felt the benefitof Untung and Sapto presence for both the villagers and villageofficials. “Mas Untung and Mas Sapto had opened the villagersmind and had asked them to rethink about their lives. That’s theDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 65
  • 70. most important point. And the other hand, the computers help the village officials like me to build the village data system. “ Untung and Sapto also admitted that they were both had been asked by the village officials to facilitated the strategic plan of Ketro village. If that happens, then one more important step will be taken by these humble field facilitators. One day, when they leave the village, when the task has been completed,when the job is finished,the people of Ketro will then be able to continue the work. And in the end of the work, they will say,“we’ve done it by ourselves”, like the last part of the short poem of Lao Tsu. ooo66 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 71. Two Hazards in Pondok Kelapa It was Sunday morning. In one of the beaches in PondokKelapa area, Central Bengkulu district, a group of children, boysand girls, were working there. There were more than 20 children.Some children carried sacks of coal. The rest were seen sitting ingroups in the huts prepared to store coals. In one of the huts, five boys were sitting, sometime theywere running, playing seek and hide. Then after being tired,they returned to the huts. The children were indeed waiting thearrival of the fishing boats that usually come back from fishing atmidday. When questioned whether that day was a holiday, they repliedin accord, “We want bangau, brother!” Bangau is an activity where children help pushing fishingboats away from the beach, and in return the fishermen will sharesome of the fishes to the kids. Yudi and Andre were the most talkative. It was understandablebecause they were both older than the other three friends. Yudiand Andre were registered in first grade of MTS (MadrasahTsanawiyah, equivalent with Junior High School), Maldi andYogi in fifth grade of elementary school, and Febri in sixth gradeof elementary school. During ‘coal season’, the five of them and the rest of theirpeers, come to pick coal from the beach. But this time was not itsseason. There were only few coals. The price of a sack of filteredcoal is Rp. 10 000, -. According to the children, the coal is washedaway from the river, but they do not know from which rivers.Some adults who were there also gave contradictory answersDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 67
  • 72. about the source of the coal. Some say the coal is washed away from a coal mining in Padang. Not far from the beach, there is a large river with a very strong stream. The children are often bathing in the river. “But when the plantation threw its waste, our body became itches, brother ...” said one of them. Another child added, “And a lot of fish are also dead, brother ...” But the kids may not aware that the beach where they were waiting for the fishermen is actually one of the beaches affected by severe abrasion. It was understandable because they were still very young. In term of age, they do not yet have the experience that once, decades ago; the beach protruded into the sea coast as far as three kilometers.68 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 73. That information was collected from Evi Susanti Dewi,a 32 year old woman. Since her childhood, Evi has lived in thesurrounding area. So she knew exactly, from her childhood up totoday, she estimated that beach abrasion has eroded the sea up tothousand meters. Evi was one of many villagers in Pondok Kelapa troubledby this hazard. In many critical spots, abrasion has threaten thevillagers live. A lot of houses even only spaced just a few metersaway from the coastline. “They should have moved. But they haveno money. Even if they want to sell their lands and their homes,no one would buy. Who wants to buy properties that would soonswept by sea abrasion?” But sea abrasion is not the only problem. “For the last fiveyears, fishermen are getting harder to catch fish,” said Evi whosehusband is a fisherman named Candra, “A lot of outsider boatscome and catch fish here by using trawls.” “Long time ago”, said Evi, “fishermen in this area at leasthave two fishing seasons every year. In every fishing season, theiraverage income could up to a million rupiah. But now, the fishingseason has gone away. The fishermen income is also decreased.“Now it’s only enough to cover the meal ...” Evi stated sadly. For the river’s problem, Evi agreed with what the childrenhad claimed. According to her, when she was a child, the river metall the community’s needs; from drinking water, washing clothes,to bathing. But the river now is only used for bathing and washingclothes only. That is because there is a palm mill located in theupstream which throw its waste in the river. The river’s water flow heavily and jeopardize people who dotheir activities there. This is caused by the waste water from theMusi River. According to Evi, the Musi River dam managementonce promised to provide compensation for Pondok Kelapapeople for Musi River’s waste water into Pondok Kelapa River’sDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 69
  • 74. stream. But until now, the promise has not kept yet. Fortunately, some villagers mine the river sand. If not, the river could lead to river flooding, which will heavily hit Pondok Kelapa area. *** Pondok Kelapa is one of two villages selected by Insist and its partners for DRR program. The story is quite long. But this story started when an earthquake hit North Bengkulu’s region in September 2007, one day before Ramadhan, the fasting month. At that time, there were only five NGOs in Bengkulu, which work to provide assistance during the emergency response phase. This five organizations work from a command post called Post Five, because they were consisted of five organizations. One of them was the WCC (Woman’s Crisis Center) of Cahaya Perempuan (Light of Women).70 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 75. WCC Cahaya Perempuan by chance was familiar with theareas affected by the earthquake. Most of the areas hit by theearthquake were WCC’s working area where they work on theissue of domestic violence against women and children. Not surprisingly if Post Five had its unique way on helpingthe earthquake survivors. They were involving local people in theirhumanitarian work and paid attentin to women’s needs. Theirwork also conducted on participatory principle. Susi Handayani (35) clearly explained their humanitarianwork strategies. She was director of WCC Cahaya Perempuanand also held responsibility for DRR program in Bengkulu area.According to her, there was no preference if a natural disasteroccurs. It will hit anyone. Men, women, children and parentscould become its victims. When the earthquake is over, mostmen are still shocked, but women must start their daily chores,especially food cooking for their children and husbands. Whenthe aid comes, the men are the one who actively access the aid.And typically, humanitarian aid is lack of women special needssuch as sanitary napkins and panties. But Post Five cared for women needs. This happened becauseone of Post Five members was working with the women in the areaand employed a lot of women as volunteers, so the humanitarianaid can be distributed effectively and fairly. The local volunteers were in fact cannot be separated by whatwas referred to as Pekabis (Local Institution Based Crisis Center),established by the WCC in 2003. Evi has been engaged in the WCC Cahaya Perempuan since2001. According to her, Pekabis model was started by cooperationbetween the WCC Cahaya Perempuan with the Ministry ofWomen to address the issue of Domestic Violence. Then theyconducted a field research. Their finding shows that the villagelevel actually has initiatives to offer a hand to victims of domesticDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 71
  • 76. violence. Only they face obstacle because it is regarded as interfere or violate somebody’s domestic affairs. Therefore the community needs strong support from all levels and need an organization as the umbrella. Finally, community’s organizations were formed in various villages in at least 12 districts. With the existence of such organizations, the local volunteers were ready when an earthquake occurred in late 2007. When the earthquake hit the area, the people had ready and could deal with it systematically and fairly. After done with the earthquake’s relief, around beginning of 2008, a join team from Mitra Aksi Institute ( Jambi) and Insist (Yogya) came to Post Five. They addressed many questions to Post Five such as their strategies on emergency response, how Post Five managed the survivors, etc. They also discussed a lot, especially about the fact that actually people can reduce disaster risk. Finally there was an agreement among these institutions that they decided to engage in cooperation for a program called DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction). Then they conducted a small research to select areas that would be the model for this program. From the research finding, they chose Pondok Kelapa and Pasar Palik as two of DRR working areas. Hambali, co-founders of Mitra Aksi Institute, located in Jambi but its work zone spread almost in the entire Sumatra Island, described that those two villages were chosen because they fairly represent prone areas to natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and tsunamis. Those villages are also part of the Ring of Fire area. This 49 years old guy also added that those villages also have accelerating factors to disasters such as sea abrasion. For Pasar Palik, it was worsen by sand mining activity. Yet many social capitals existed in both villages. Two of them are community initiative and committed local people with proven capacity and integrity.72 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 77. “Another thing,” said the man whose hobby is fishing, “thesetwo areas represent two different social conditions. Pasar Palikcommunity is mostly natives of Bengkulu, while Pondok Kelapacommunity is far more heterogeneous, because the area was oncea transmigration area. “ *** Nurkholis Sastro (35) has joined the Pokja (Working Group)Five since the phase of natural disaster emergency response inNorth Bengkulu. Sastro has long time engaged in Warsi, anorganization focus on environmental issues. And indeed Warsiwas one of five NGOs in the Pokja Five. In this DRR program, hewas responsible for coordinating the two field officers; Roni (26)in Pondok Kelapa and Wawan (26) in Pasar Palik. Before the program began, Bengkulu DRR team conductedseveral researches in both areas; from the social structure, thedisaster hazard, to the local architecture. The researches wereconducted with the local people. But before they start theresearches, as usual they formally reported their activities to thevillages and district officials, even though the DRR team has builtcontact with the villagers. From various meetings and trainings conducted in these twovillages, each village was then established Team 10. The name waschosen because, coincidently, only 10 people committed with theDRR project in each village. One of Team 10 members from Pondok Kelapa is Evi.Indeed, Evi said that she loved to organize. This interest mightcome because when she was a child she used to attend variousmeeting arranged by his father that once served as head of thevillage. Evi is actively engage in various village activities, fromPKK to Posyandu.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 73
  • 78. During the Team 10 working progress, the members were out and in. According to Sastro, it was because people were busy with their daily chores. But new people soon substitute the old one. There were at least two focus activities conducted in Pondok Kelapa. First, mangrove planting on the coastline. Second, negotiation process with a palm oil processing company throwing their waste in the river upstream. Sastro also admitted that it was not easy to plant mangrove. First, the most important mangrove planting area lies in vast aquaculture ponds owned by a company. The company only used its productive aquaculture ponds that located far from the beach. While the rest of the ponds near the coastline and threatened by sea abrasion was neglected. Team 10 was trying a negotiation process with the company owner and the local government to be given permission to plant mangroves on the edge of neglected ponds. But the process was stagnant. It was admitted by Evi. The process ran a little bit slow. In addition, the field facilitator is now not very active. “It would be better if the field officers continue to establish communication with us ...” said Evi. But Evi admitted that all these works were for the sake of Pondok Kelapa people. This was reason why she and her friends’ remained committed in Team 10. The negotiation process with the palm oil processing company was also quite tough. Both Sastro and Evi admitted the same thing; the factory owner demanded laboratory result to prove evidence on their involvement on the river pollution. The Team 10 is now doing the laboratory research. When asked about barriers in working with communities, Sastro said that there were a lot of obstacles these days because74 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 79. many government programs were overlapping in the village. Theprograms are always in form of physical buildings. Besides, thecommunity meeting arranged by the government are always comewith ‘meeting fee’. “While in DRR meetings there is no meetingfee, because the meeting is for the sake of the people of PondokKelapa itself ...” It was also supported by Susi. But according to her, this isprecisely the challenge for DRR team. First, the governmentactually has started paying attention to the issue of disaster, butit is just still a question either a matter of emergency responseor physical building. But because the government uses topdown approach, their programs often ignore the very key of thecommunity development work: the process. Another challenge presented by Sastro was about how toconnect between the DRR programs and people’s daily activities.One example is mangrove planting project. This project is takena long time, and its benefit to people is still far in the future. Thebenefit will not be enjoyed immediately by the people. Hambali, Susi and Sastro realized that what they are doingright now is not an easy matter. It was a matter of transformingpeople’s perspectives. DRR program is not like building a bridgeor other physical buildings. It is about transforming humanconsciousness. And it certainly takes a long time. Indeed, the DRR program is really changed the way PondokKelapa people view the natural disaster. “We know that it mustbe difficult and take a long time to change people’s perspective onsomething,” said Hambali, “It is true also that a disaster hit withGod’s willing. But we human being could lessen its impact. “ Communities often forget the potential dangers of naturaldisasters. They only realized the danger when a disaster has strokedthem, though the signs of natural disasters are as clear as blackDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 75
  • 80. ink on white paper. In Pondok Kelapa itself, there are two future hazards. From the upper part is river contamination and flood caused by water overflow of the Musi River dams. From the lower part is sea abrasion. These future hazards are real and obvious, in front of their eyes. To the people Hambali often said, “Every day you scratch for little money and save it as your saving. But if you do not care with natural disaster hazards, and do not care with efforts to deal with the threats and prepare yourselves to minimize the impacts, all of your properties and savings you have collected over the decades will soon vanish by the natural disasters. “ Hambali words above are powerful enough to make people rethink about themselves. But to turn this new thinking into a course of action need a lot of other supporting things such as time, government and DRR team supports. And DRR field personnel hopefully can guard the process more intense, more patient and more creative. ooo76 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 81. Rations for livestock At 9:30 in the morning, dozens of motorcycles, all of whichare tandem, left Petung Ombo Hamlet. Almost all of bike driversbrought abundance of neatly wrapped food. They went to a springabout three kilometers from the village. Dozens of women, whoprepared the food, released the group, that all of them were men,from one of the houses. A ritual was going to be performed. Sumber Glatik, that’s the name of the spring, could be reachedby passing through the area of PTPN XII Ngrangkah-Sepawon.The road to get there was quite steep. In some parts of the road,the bike driver should take off from their bikes and walked. Afterabout 30 minutes riding, they stopped their motorbikes. Thentogether they walked down the steep ravine to reach the spring. Once all members of the group arrived at the spring, somevillagers started to prepare the ritual. Some others were cleaningup the spring, while the rest of them were took the mats out andunwrapped the food. Mbah Karyo Seni (82), which is consideredas the village elders directly, went to the upstream of the spring.After walking for several steps, he stopped, opened the bundlethat contained several pieces of flowers and incenses. He burnedthe incenses, put down and arranged the flower on the ground,and then his mouth whispering prayers. Moments later, he stoodup, while his mouth was still mumbling. Shortly afterward, hekicked his right leg three times to the ground. After performing the ritual, Mbah Karyo Seni soon joinedthe group that already sat in circle around the served food. He ledthe recitation of prayer once again. After that, the prayer led by thehead of Sepawon village. After the prayers, food was distributed.All members of the group ate the food together.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 77
  • 82. According to one of the villagers who joined the ritual, this ceremony performed by the villagers every Friday Legi, according to the Javanese calendar. Indeed, that day was Friday, January 8, 2009. At 10:30 a.m., the entire sequences of the ceremony were done. They were ready to leave. Back to Petung Ombo Hamlet. Among the group there was a young man named Syaiful Zuhri, also known as Ipung. He was 29 years old, and he has been in the hamlet for about two years to run the DRR program. *** Ombo Petung Hamlet which is in Sepawon village, Ploso Klaten sub-district, Kediri district, was indeed in the slope of Kelud Mountain. This area is part of Ring One, which means quite vulnerable to the dangers that might explode from Kelud Mountain. If Kelud erupts, indeed it is almost likely Sepawon village will not be affected by hot lava. However, the area is potentially receiving for a ‘delivery’ such as dust, rocks and toxic gas. That was why this village was selected as one of the field site of Insist DRR program. During the need assessment in in Sepawon, it was unexpectedly coincided with the threat of Mount Kelud eruption. From 1 to 22 October 2007, Mount Kelud status was: Beware! Various preparations were undertaken by the government. The prediction that Kelud could erupt at any time was responded coldly by most of the villagers. For they have their own beliefs about Kelud, when it will erupt, and trust the ‘signs’ of nature that appears if the volcano will really erupt. The signs or signals are firstly, if the crickets, birds and chickens still ringing or singing, then there will be no eruption. If78 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 83. there is no sound or chirp these animals for several days, it is mostprobably that Kelud will erupt. Secondly, the signal of the volcano eruption is indicated bythe decrease of forest animals such as monkeys, deer, big snakesand even tigers. Thirdly, for several days, both day and night, thetemperature is very high. Fourthly, the smell of sulfur is very strong.Fifthly, there are series of flashes back and forth between Keludand Tego Wangi that located in Pare. According to the myth, thishappens because Kelud Mountain was the place where LemburSora resided and in Tego Wangi area there was a Princess fromKediri. Sixthly, ‘unidentified people’ will appear and come to thevillage elders to warn that Kelud will erupt. Then ‘the unidentifiedpeople’ will suddenly disappear. And there are more other signsthat strongly held by Sepawon people to determine whetherKelud will erupt or not. With that believe, the government decided to ’force’ thevillagers to evacuate. However, aside from their belief in thesignals from the nature, in fact there were several considerationsthat make most of the populations were reluctant to obey thegovernment’s order to evacuate themselves. For them, life and death is God’s business. Even if they didnot evacuate if indeed God did not want, they surely will not die.In addition, they also assumed that the threat from Mount Keludwas not too dangerous to their live, because at most it would onlybe in the form of dust and stones. And they already anticipatedfor things like these in variety of ways. For example, they willdismantle their roof so it will not collapse due to rain of dust andstones. Meanwhile they prepare wood-roofed tents for protection.The only threat they fear is toxic gas. In addition to the reason above, there is one strong reasonwhy they were reluctant to leave their village even though thedanger of eruption was already announced by the government.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 79
  • 84. Most of their livelihood is farming. If they evacuate they could not earn money. In addition, they have many cattle that might be lost if they live in refuge. And if they sell them after the threat of volcanic eruptions occur, the price would have been cheaper. For the last point, they have enough experiences about this. Several times there were rumors about the eruption, yet it was just a trick from some people to create a very low livestock prices. Because of these reasons, Sepawon villagers have a ‘strong’ stance about volcanic eruptions. An issue that Ipung will have to face one day. *** Sepawon area in particular, and also several other areas in Kediri, was not foreign territory for Ipung. Since 1999, he was actively involved in various advocacy works for the farmers. He is also involved in an organization called the Serikat Rakyat Kediri Berdaulat (SRKB – People’s Unity for Sovereign Kediri). At the same institution, he was acquainted with Heri DK (44), a leading activist of Kediri. Heri, who is also active in Surya Sejahtera, which is the partner of Insist for DRR program, offered Ipung to join the project. Without thinking twice, Ipung accepted the offer. Immediately after accepting the offer, Ipung was assigned as field officer or facilitator of Sepawon area. He then followed- up the findings of a need assessment process that Surya Sejahtera have done earlier. There were other things that benefit the work of Ipung other than the fact that he been well acquainted with the local community. For instance, so far there was no institution that has entered the area on the issue of disaster risk reduction. The other thing was the sense of solidarity among the local communities,80 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 85. particularly in Petung Ombo Hamlet, was also still strong. One ofthe evidence can be seen during the ritual in the spring. Among his friends, especially in Surya Sejahtera, Ipung isindeed known as militant. He was very patient and intensivelyvisiting Sepawon village to meet people even from personto person, from door to door. No doubt, almost all villagers ofSepawon, especially in Petung Ombo area, knew Ipung well. Itwas also acknowledged by Heri, “Rarely do village facilitators asmilitant as Ipung.” The first thing to be done by Ipung with the villagers wasestablishing an umbrella or organization that will work on the issuesof disaster risk reduction. Then the community and youth leadersfrom the five hamlets in Sepawon, Petung Ombo, Ngrangkah,Sepawon, Badek, and Gatok, gathered. That forum then formeda village committee institution called: Panca Manunggal Rasa(PMR). It consists of legislative personnel, namely the people whoprepare and plan the program, and executive personnel, namelyexecutive team. Then the institution started to perform various activitiessuch as self-funded research, which aimed to determine the exactnumber of villagers, property and existing hazards in the commu­nity, especially those related with the threat of natural disasterwhen it happen. From there, they began to have meetings that arerelated to the awareness rising of disaster risk reduction, and anevacuation system during an eruption of Mount Kelud. But there was one interesting thing, which then became themain program of DRR in Sepawon, namely the production ofanimal feed in Sepawon or often called rations for livestock. As described above, most villagers of Sepawon have cattle.For the villagers, cattle raising was a side job as well as a ‘saving’.Precisely at the moment when volcanic eruptions or dry seasonoccur, it is their cattle that threatened. Therefore livestock is suchDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 81
  • 86. an important matter for the villagers, because it is their ‘saving’ for the future. If there is dust from Mount Kelud, all animal feed derived from plants covered with dust between two to three months. That means that their cattle are not getting food for that long. That is why every time there is a threat of disaster; the cattle were sold cheap by the owner. In the rainy season, cattle feed is not a big problem. There is so much food in the woods or in the territory of PTPN XII which can be taken, although the villagers and the staff of PTPN XII admitted that the activity was often secretly used by some people to cut down trees. But when the dry season comes, fodder or commonly called rambanan, became scarce commodity. In fact, not only Sepawon villagers who are looking for fodder in the area, but also from other places. So in the dry season, fodder becomes very rare. Finally, after passing a series of long discussions, it was agreed by the Village Committee to make alternative feed or ration. The goal is clear, if there is any threat of ash from Mount Kelud, the cattle would not be on sale at cheap prices. That means, the community vulnerability when disaster occurs, can be reduced. The ration can be stored for two months. In addition, of course their nutritional intake is good for livestock. In Sepawon, there are abundant of agricultural wastes that can be used like cacao husk, coffee husk, pineapple tuber, etc. All are in the area, no need to bring in from outside. The method is also not too difficult. Here is a brief process of how to produce it. The agricultural wastes are mixed with green leaves and rice bran. The results then dried under the sun, and added with ‘drops’, namely the liquid from the sugar manufacturing process. Starbio powder is then added and water poured with a ratio of 60:40. After that process finished, wrap with plastic tightly for four days. That82 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 87. process is considered successful if wrap is opened and producethe smell of fermented cassava. If not, it is fine, it still could bean alternative feed, although the quality is not as good as if it isproducing fermented cassava aroma. Then a problem arises, if there is no threat of eruption ofMount Kelud, is the rations necessary for the people? To answerthat question, it might be helpful to see the ratio of cattle comparedwith the total population. Let’s take Petung Ombo as an example.The data was taken in mid 2008. In Petung Ombo there are 1365cattle consisting of 21 beef cattle from different races, while thedairy cows were 263 cows; and the rest are goat. While the totalnumber of households in Petung Ombo was 451. Because regarded as ‘savings’, working to find fodder is nevercalculated in cash. As a description, to feed five goats, a PetungOmbo villager requires approximately 30 kilograms fodder, andit took 2.5 hours to gather it. From that fodder, only 30 percentsthat can be eaten by the goats, while others become stems thatcannot be consumed by the goats. While to find fodder, villagersmust look into the forest with a motorcycle ride. With the steeproad, we can imagine how much they spend on fuel in a day. Whereas by producing ration, a goat only requires onekilogram of ration, which if substituted into money ‘only’ worthRp 650-. Imagine the time and money savings if all villagersprovided rations. However, the calculation above cannot automatically beaccepted by the villagers. Thus, the Village Committee has initiateda demonstration cage. Indeed any knowledge should be practiced,should be experimented. *** Only bordered by village road from the Panca ManunggalRasa (PMR), a long sized and comfortable goat cage stood. ThatDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 83
  • 88. was the cage used by the villagers to conduct experiments feeding their goats with rations. It was built under mutual cooperation scheme. Members of the PMR, who were interested, could participate by paying the admission fee of Rp. 250,000, -, and money to buy goats Rp. 300,000, -. From that money, other than buying goats, it was also utilized to purchase two feed grinding machines. The demonstration goat cage has a capacity of 48 goats. The length of the cage was 15 meter, width 150 cm, height of land range to the cage 60 cm, while the whole height was 150 cm. The cage was established on December 2, and completed on December 16. It was then filled with goats on December 23. As of this writing is done, there were 18 goats already in that cage. Every villager who joined the demonstration group took turn to clean the cage and prepared the ration. However, they also got a quota to use the grinding machine. Inside the clean and sturdy84 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 89. cage, there were several fat goats. In addition to ration, because itwas still rainy season, the goats wee also fed with foliage intake. Some villagers, who observed the effective method of cagemanagement, started to make their own cage independently. Infact, some villagers started asking if they could buy the rationproduced by the group. Indeed, they are now discussing thosepossibilities. It is possible, the goat rations that they made, willalso be sold to villagers in need with low prices. But the problems did not stop there. That cage is actuallyserving a kind of ‘laboratory’ for the breeders. There are so manychallenges still, such as the one emerged recently, there werequestions from the villagers whether the ration produced is alsogood for dairy cows? For dairy cows required a different dietarycompared with of cattle and goats for meat. All these turned into work and questions that must beanswered by the members of PMR. But the solidarity of thisorganization has been proven, and they were so keen on resolvingthe issues that they are facing, problems that they solve throughseries of practice and experiment. Thus, this organization is moving dynamically. One issueis completed, other issues are waiting to be confronted andcompleted. But by that way, there are constantly learning. Andgood learning always comes from the real issues that they face dayto day. So it is not surprising, if all members of PMR are aware ofwhat they have accomplished, and knows the challenges that theywill face later. Such a dynamic institution that did everything by themselves,is very valuable reward for a field facilitator like Ipung. Asatisfaction that cannot be exchanged for money. A feeling thatmade him worth to be happy. oooDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 85
  • 90. A Trance Trick to Conquer the Water In the end of 2009, Sulistiyo might feel relieved. Because two projects he led for more than a year began to show results. First was the water project. Second was the making of a hundred biopori wells. Sulistiyo can vividly remember his early arrival in this place. Besar hamlet, Kali Kuning Village, where he served as a field officer of DRR project, was not so distant from the post in Ketro. The distance is only about 4 kilometers. But during the rainy season, it takes more than 30 minutes. Yet it was only for those who are already accustomed with that area. The road to Kali Kuning was un-asphalt, with a fairly steep climbs here and there. If the rainy season comes, most roads are swampy, flooding with water, and muddy. Not surprisingly, Sulistiyo not only needs a good motorcycle, but also a pair of high boots. This is because sometimes he has to abandon his motorcycle and work, due to the challenging area. Teguh came two months earlier than Sulistiyo. Teguh was working at Ketro at the time. Sulistiyo himself work there in mid of 2008. During his first arrival in Besar hamlet, he was asked to contact a woman named Sri Kunti. But in the hamlet, a lot of people have ‘Sri’ in their names. One problem had risen. But he managed to find the right Sri, the one who he was looking for. Sri Kunti was LPTP long contact in the hamlet. Even though he had successfully finding Sri, it did not mean that Sulistiyo’s work in the hamlet ran smoothly. “Honestly, up to a month working in this hamlet, I still did not know what I have to do”, he said.86 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 91. He then decided to start his program by gathered thechildren in the hamlet and played with them. They played variousactivities: from puppet-making made by coconut leaves, claysculpture making, to playing music using a mortar (traditional ricepounder). In this case, Sulistiyo was somewhat lucky because hehad had experience of working in an institution which administerschildren’s education through games. A month passed. When evaluated by Rahadi, he jokinglycritic Sulistiyo’s working strategies, “You worked like a person intrance, and you develop activities with unclear goals. Of courseyou can use the children as your entry point, but you have to havea clear goal. At least, you must have a teaching curriculum.” The word ‘trance’ indeed has its own history for Sulistiyo.In early 2000s, he had worked in LPTP, one of Insist networks,located in Solo. In 2003, he was assigned as a field officer in aLPTP project in Pacitan. During his work there, one day hehaunted by an evil spirit, or people usually called as trance. ForDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 87
  • 92. many years later, people can still vividly recall that memory. So if we asked LPTP members about the first thing they remember about Sulistiyo, they will uniformly say the same answer, “He once had trance!” However, Sulistiyo aware that his activities with the children could be used as an entry point in his work in Besar hamlet and get to know the villagers. There was an event in the hamlet that famed his name. One day, Sulistiyo arranged a film screening in the village square. He had previously taught the children to use digital cameras and took them around the village taking any kind of pictures attracted the children’s attention. He then arranged the children pictures into a slide show and showed it before the film screening. The villagers saw the slide show with enthusiasm. Since then, his name was famous around the 600 villagers as ‘Mr. Photographer’. And his interaction with the villagers is closer than ever. His popularity helped him to introduce his work. He was often in dialogue with the villagers and started asking them issues of disasters in the region. But to prevent wrong assumption that his coming to the village was to bring a project (means bring a lot of money), he introduced himself to the villagers as a researcher. This also prevented him being acknowledged as one of legislative candidates which during the time started flooding the village with campaigns. Sulistiyo always said this, “I am a researcher. I come here without bringing money. But if there is a problem faced by the villagers, I am ready to help with my energy and thoughts. “ Sulistiyo also started approaching the elderly in the hamlet. One of them was Pak Ponen (60) who then became one of Sulistiyo’s important friends in the hamlet In Besar Hamlet, the water issue has become crucial and complex problems. During rainy season, water was almost not an88 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 93. issue. But during the dry season, water issue was quite a seriousproblem. In the hamlet, there are at least five springs where the villagersrelied for daily consumption. They were located in a fairly steepnarrow valley. “But I was lucky because I talk about water issueduring dry season. Because if we talk about it during rainy season,the villagers will not pay big attention,” Sulistiyo explained. As a follow up, he then arranged a meeting with the villagerswho share the same concern on the issue. The first meeting wasattended by 20 people. They addressed the water issue and beganto search for solution. They had thought to raise the water fromone of springs that always has abundant of water. However, manyof them were pessimistic. They then arranged the second meeting. This time, only 15people were coming. At the meeting, it was agreed that everyoneshould pay Rp. 200 000, - to make a water tank. But they still didnot have an idea of how to raise the water to the settlement. Thevillagers of Besar hamlet called their meeting phases as baka-baka,meant little by little. At the third meeting, the number of people decreased to only10 people. But these ten men have a very strong commitment.Pak Ponen said, “If it’s for the good for all of us, especially if wewant our children and our grandchildren not experiencing whatwe experience today, we must have a strong commitment.” But the water issue itself was quite complex. The spring waslocated in a land owned by a villager known by others as a ‘difficult’person. But the villagers eventually agree to send some people tostart a negotiation process with the landowner. Fortunately, thelandowner permitted the villagers to access the spring. He evendecided to give the land to the community with a legal agreement,for the benefit of the community itself.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 89
  • 94. The ten of them, eleven with Sulistiyo, then worked hand in hand to build water tank near the spring. This process clearly requires effort and strong commitment. Just imagine the water tank materials must be transported from the upper area to the lower area back and forth by passing sharp and steep ravine roads. Before the construction work on the project began, they arranged a ritual, a small ceremony to plead to God to put obstacles away from this water project. The water tank actually fulfilled the mandate of the late village elders. The late village elders wanted the villagers not to take the water directly from the spring. It was believed that the action will directly make the spring run out of its water. Thus, the tanks were constructed near the spring. However, the journey to conquer the water and raise it up to the settlement was just the beginning of story. The next stages were far more challenging. *** Pak Ponen was not a native of Besar hamlet. He was from Borang hamlet, approximately three kilometers from Besar hamlet. But since long time ago, he had a land in Besar hamlet. And since the 1980s, he had built a close relationship with Besar villagers as he often worked in his land there. In 1997, Pak Ponen decided to sell most of its land in the Borang, and lived in Besar hamlet. When he was asked his reason for moving, Pak Ponen explained that his land in Borang was located in steep areas. Besides, even though access from Besar to the market was inadequate, but it was better than access from Borang to the marketplace. Since living in Besar, Pak Ponen was known and regarded as one of village elder. One of the reasons was because he had given his land to the community to use for an elementary school building.90 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 95. Pak Ponen recognized that the biggest obstacle faced by thevillagers of Besar hamlet is water issue. “During the dry season,many people have to buy a bucket of water at price of Rp. 2000, -.Or ask people to take water from the spring and pay Rp. 20.000,-. “ Indeed, almost every villager in Besar hamlet has a well intheir houses. But during dry season, the water in the well does notenough to meet the villagers’ daily needs, as they need water fordrinking, cooking, washing clothes, bathing and for their cattle’s’water consumption. So, when Sulistiyo socialized an idea to raise water from aspring to the settlement, Pak Ponen was one of those who rejoicethe idea and enthusiastically encourage the other nine members.“We ourselves actually do not convince if somehow it wouldhappen. The most important thing at that time was put it intoaction and fully committed.” When he was asked why the majority of the people in thehamlet did not have interest participating in the project, PakPonen only answered quietly, “wong-wong kuwi pengine melik hasilning wegah kelangan ...” (Those people only want the fruits, butdo not want to plant). It means that those people did not want tospend their thinking, their energy and their money to support theproject, but wanted the water) *** After the first water tank was built, other villagers challengedthese 10 men. Many villagers thought that the water tank builtby the ten men could not be accessed by others outside the team.The reason was because the tank was covered. The ten men thenexplained to their neighbors that the water tank can be accessedby everyone, and they covered the water tank to prevent it fromfall leaves and dry twigs.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 91
  • 96. Then the 10 men started to think to build the second water tank that located in a higher ground, to then distribute to their houses. They collected some money. “If it is needed, we can sell our saving timbers or sell our goats. It is okay”, said Pak Ponen. The second water tank then built. During this time, Sulistiyo started to feel inconvenience responding to this initiative. The villagers had spent big money and all of their energies, but they still did not get the result yet which was how to raise the water from the first water tank to the second one. As an illustration, the distance between these two water tanks was about 300 meters with height about 65 meters. This, of course, was not an easy matter. Finally Sulistiyo met Rahadi to talk about this issue honestly and said, “Mas, the villagers have doing their best struggle to solve this water issue. I wonder if you could advise us on this problem.” Eventually Rahadi, through Insist DRR project, helped them by giving them two water machines, in agreement that this water machines was only lent to the villagers and someday will taken back. So the villagers should taking care the machines well. Sulistiyo was relieved hearing this solution. He then delivered Rahadi’s solution to the water team and all they agreed. They then operated the machines to suck water from the first water tank to the second one. But doing this, they discovered three challenges. First challenge was difficulty on accessing water by some team members whose houses located far from the water tanks. Second was the water distribution system. Third was additional pipes were still needed to deliver water from the second water tank to the future third water tank to every house of the member. To solve the first problem, the team members collected some money again to build the third water tank. And to answer the second question, Sulistiyo asked some of the members to visit92 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 97. another hamlet to see an example water distribution system.Meanwhile, to answer the third issue, each member was responsibleto buy pipes used to deliver water from the tanks to his house withreason that this has become an individual’s needs. Finally, the water ran to each member’s houses. As a thanks­giving to God to help them finish this hard effort, they arrangedanother ritual. On each water tank posted yellow signpost full of encou­ragements. The function of those writings was not only to supportthem but also to remind them of moral reason when they startedthis effort. For example, in the second water tanks they put twosignposts. The first sign post reads:Saiki mbahu dhisikSuk mben kepenakKudu guyub ing gawe(Today we plant the treesTomorrow we harvest the fruitsPeople have to work hand in hand)While the second signpost reads:This water tank ...Built by, to, and for peopleKeep the struggle!Meanwhile, signpost in the first water tank reads:The water is not belong to usBut we lend from the next generationsDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 93
  • 98. Another problem emerged. Seeing the success of the ten men, the other villagers then wanted to build the water tank too. The 10 men then helped their neighbors to build the new one water tank from another spring. Only, the water in the water tank was not raised to the top. It was only used only to store water, so they need to take water directly from the spring. “They still chose to take water from the bottom up. The reason was clear; they do not want to spend money ... “said Pak Ponen. *** During the process from the beginning to the end to raise water from springs on the lower area to settlements houses in the upper area took a long time, about a year. But Pak Ponen was satisfied. On last dry season, he had no need to worry any more about water shortages. “Now water shortage is no longer an issue anymore ...” he said. From the process, the ten members of the team then formed a water team named Tirta Kencana. Pak Ponen and other members were very pleased to join the community. They spend time once a month to gather, discussing the various problems faced by the villagers, and also established arisan (social gathering) to make them closer. From the arisan, they collected Rp. 5000, - for machines maintenance. Pak Ponen could not hide his joy when he said, “before, there was never people arranged a community meeting like this. The only meeting where people gather is when a new Neighborhood Association leader is elected...” From those meetings, Sulistiyo has chances to address the people about their daily problems and the solutions. One of problems they discussed that then put into practice was biopori making.94 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 99. Sulistiyo said: “The initial idea was to make an experiment tosolve dead of plants during dry season. But this is still experimental.We still do not know the result. The most important is the villagersdo not afraid again to experiment. “ Then each water team member agreed to make biopori wellsaround their house. One person required to make a minimum of10 biopori wells. The water team members were involved into thisaction. Eventually this biopori wells making followed by othervillagers. So it was not surprising when we visited Besar hamlet, wefound a lot of biopori wells around the villagers’ yards or gardens.Then near the wells, in one of trees around the wells, we can finda yellow signpost informed us the benefit of these biopori wells,complete with a description of who makes them. For example: Biopori infiltration wells1. To maintain soil moisture and to keep water availability.2. As a tool to make natural fertilizer.3. To reduce the danger of floods and landslides. - Bu Tatik From the process that has been taken by people of Besarhamlet and him, Supriyadi might feel satisfied. Over a year, withthe various challenges he faced: from ‘trance’ phase to leadingthose two important projects, were not an easy stages. But indeed,the patience’s fruits are sweet. oooDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 95
  • 100. The Tale of the Whispering Sand Supriyadi could not hide his worries every time somebody asked him about coastal abrasion in Pasar Palik area. He is Pasar Palik’s head of village, age 40 years old, and he had lots of experiences regarding the coastal erosion. Elected twice as head of village, coastal abrasion is one of the issues that he kept thinking most. He was born and grew up in the area. So he knew exactly the changes that occurred in his village, both socially and geographically. He was one of living witnesses who continues to observe how the sea eroded until far into the land. In fact, there were three critical spots where the sea water is uncontrollable. Even some roads which connect inter district had to be moved because of abrasion. But there were another cause, the non-natural factor, which hastened the sea abrasion. It was the sea sand mining, done by the villagers. As far he remembered the sand mining begun since 1978. And indeed, in the early 1990s, many villagers started to realize the dangers of sea sand mining. Many people then began to protest. The sand mining was not only become a factor to hasten the sea abrasion, but also harm the fish ecosystem. Most of the natives of Pasar Palik earn their livelihood from the sea. The fish was getting scarce, the sand began to diminish that make it difficult for the ships to be docked. Not to mention the threat from big ship owners who come from outside the area and catch the fish using trawls. When Supriyadi was elected as head of village in 2003, he immediately issued a policy to ban sand mining. That policy was96 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 101. supported by the majority of villagers, especially by the fishermen.Those who are not fishermen supported the policy too. Becausetheir coconut trees that were located along the sea shore werewiped out by the sea waves. Even during the tidal, the sea wateroverflowed to the river and caused flooding. However that policy created protests from the sand miningowners. They sued Supriyadi and Zen (60), a fisherman leaderadvocating the ban of sand mining, to the police. Along the sidesof the roads, there are many banners full of protests like: Head ofvillage is cruel!; Head of Village is insolent! But Supriyadi and Zen were afraid. They believed what theywere doing was right and benefit not only the people, but also thesurrounding environment. But every time the sand mining wasclosed down, it was operated again and again. It happened formany times, back and forth. And there were always attempts bythe mining owners to sue the head of village to the police. Supriyadi was motivated by his responsibility to his village. Healso had coordinated the issue with the neighboring villages, thesub-district authorities, and the district authorities. Fortunately,the Government’s authorities supported the policy. As far as Supriyadi remembered, he had dealt with the policeon the issue of sand mining for four times; in 2003, 2004, 2008 and2009. But because he had a strong reason and he was supportedby the communities and certain faction among the governmentofficials, the cases were never continued and completed untiltoday. Nova (29), who was always on her husband side during thecase, said clearly, “my husband is doing his best for the community.I am sad, but I know he is right. “ ***DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 97
  • 102. Sastro was familiar enough with every bump of the road passing through Pondok Kelapa and Pasar Palik. The distance bet­ ween the two villages, which were located in different sub districts, is 20 kilometers. The road links regions between Lampung and West Sumatra. He explained, “The distance from Lampung bor­ der to Bengkulu to West Sumatra is 567 kilometers. And along the way, there are many areas had potential to be affected by sea abrasion.” Wawan, a field facilitator stationed in Pasar Palik area was also quite familiar with the area. He was previously back and forth frequently in the village because he worked in two organizations: a legal aid organization and the Farmer Union of Bengkulu. So, he also knew the problems faced by the villagers of Pasar Palik. When they both came into the area at the end of 2008, Supriyadi’s case with the police on the issue of sand mining was in progress. They both then volunteered themselves to assist the case. But Supriyadi was not yet need help from others, he was still confident that he can take care the case by himself. Yet he said that he would eventually ask help from Sastro and Wawan if the case was out of control. However, the support from North Bengkulu’s government to stop sand mining was strong enough. The provincial government blocked the roads from-to the sand mining area. Even one day, Head of North Bengkulu Regency arranged a dialogue meeting with villagers of Pasar Palik. He asked, “Do you all know when the End of the World is?” The villagers replied: “We do not know.” Head of Regency, “I know. Just keep mining the sea sand and then surely the End of the World will soon hit this area!” Sea sand mining is actually a regional issue. For instance, if only Pasar Palik that stop sand mining while other areas are98 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 103. operating, the effect then will spread to other areas as well. There­fore, the village apparatus of Pasar Palik coordinated with theauthorities of the two other neighboring villages, Pasar Gebat andLubuk Tanjung village. But that was not enough. They will try tocoordinate with other villages too. Besides sea abrasion and sand mining,another hazards emergedfrom the river area. In the upstream, many people mined the riverstones that hastened the potential for flooding because the stoneswhich prevent the water flow were almost gone. Another issue wassome boats were cleaned in the river so often and caused oil spills. Because this area is parts of Ring of Fire, Pasar Palik alsocould not escape from the hazard of earthquake and tsunami. Thisarea usually hit by earthquake averagely three times a month. Theyactually have prepared an evacuation spot. But the road to getthere is un-asphalt yet, it is a clay soil road. If it rains, let aloneDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 99
  • 104. crossed by vehicles, even on foot is too difficult to pass by. And some parts of the road belong to a palm plantation company. The company has not given permission yet to repair the road Of course people complained. Nova, for example, as one of the people who suffer the anxiety, said, “The road is very muddy if rains, and it will not dry even for three days. If for example there is an earthquake during rainy season and then comes tsunami, how can we survive and save ourselves to the evacuation spot? “ *** Wawan as a field facilitator works in Pasar Palik area of course faces not a simple issue. There are series of problems that he must deal together with the villagers. When he first came into Pasar Palik, he was introduced to Supriyadi by Sastro. Then Supriyadi recommended him list of contacts that he could meet and cooperate with, especially with the village leaders and villagers who shared concern with the issue. Though not easy, eventually, as happened in Pondok Kelapa, Team 10 was established. “Now only 8 people actively engaged in the team, but that’s okay. For me, it’s better to have small number of people, but committed, than to have big number of people, but do nothing, “said the field facilitator who just recently married. Not long after he worked in Pasar Palik, there was a villager who run as a legislative candidate, and interested on deforestation issue. That person wanted to plant some critical areas in the beach with almond trees. Wawan immediately helped that person. “I do not care whether this is for the benefit of his candidacy or not, I support him because this is a good program.” So the villagers soon collected 1000 almond trees. And they worked together to plant the critical spots. They planted 700 seeds and gave the rest 300 trees to villagers who live on the beach to plant the seeds by themselves.100 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 105. Another program which currently in progress with thevillagers and Team 10 is making keramba (fish cage). As a pilotproject, two experimental fish cages were made. The size of eachcage was 4 meters length, 2 meters wide and 1.5 meters high.Each cage will be filled with 3000 of parrot fishes. And the twocages were owned by groups, private property. This fish cage making actually has hidden agenda. Besideimproving the villagers’ living standard, the fish cages also couldbe an indicator of river pollution. Sastro provided his reasoning,“If the river water is contaminated, either by the palm oil industryor others, the people will eventually launch a protest. Because thewater contamination harms villagers economic interest. “ In addition, Supriyadi added, with the cages in the river, thefishermen now could not discard the oil waste and wash theirboats in the river. Wawan also added another explanation that fishcage making would start discussions among the villagers; fromits manufacture, its maintenance, and its profit sharing processduring harvest times. In late December 2009, both cages were ready to be installed.Some villagers were also interested to make their own cages. Eventhe Fisheries Department was also ready to assist if the fish cagemaking is proven to benefit the community. The tree planting program was continuously promoted.Wawan is happy because some villagers have taken initiative todo fish breeding. One of the villagers name Jajak (26) breed somany fish, that he would distribute for free to anyone in need. Theinitiative like this makes Wawan being optimistic that variousprograms he run with people of Pasar Palik is going in gooddirection. *** Frankly speaking, Hambali felt anxious. He knew exactly theabrasion level in Pasar Palik area, and he said honestly, “WhetherDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 101
  • 106. you like it or not, someday, at some point, many people in Pasar Palik had to move from there ...” His frustration was not without reason. With such a quick and high level of abrasion, slowly but sure, a lot of areas in Pasar Palik would be eroded. Indeed, whether they like it or not, the people have to move. The same frustration also shared by Supriyadi and Nova. “If there is high tide, people’s houses are surely flooded by sea water, and I cannot imagine what would happen to us if the abrasion worsens.” Nova herself had been planning to move her house to a safer location, but her neighbors are not lucky enough to do the same thing, even though they share the same wish. As head of the village, Supriyadi has done his best to report the abrasion issue to the Government, especially in some areas where sea abrasion is worst. According to Supriyadi, the provincial government has started to think to construct bronjong, iron wire made to ‘wrap’ the steep walls of the mainland. There is also an idea to install a breakwater in the future. But the sea abrasion is so worst that in one point the sea water had punched a hole in a cliff section. In that area, it is beyond the capacity of the local government. “It is the responsibility of the Central Government...” said Supriyadi. But according to Hambali, any efforts made by various parties, both by the villagers with DRR program as well as by the Government, could only solve the issue temporarily. “There should be a long term preparation,” said Hambali, “and people should prepare themselves for the time where they have to move from the dangerous areas and move to safer places. There is still time left to learn, to organize and to prepare everything.”102 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 107. This statement should really get serious immediate attention.Because without good and well-planned preparation, settlementrelocation is indeed cannot be resolved easily. While continuing to think and assist variety of disaster riskreduction processes above, Sastro still had a dream to pursue. Heis thinking to establish a Disaster Barn. The barn will be locatedin a safe place, full of food reserves as well as other emergencydevices such as tents, flashlights, simple bed, and others. If nodisaster occurs, the food reserves stored in the barn can be usedto help those in needs, such as in case of bad seasons because ofa storm or other emergency cases. In that way, the communityhas an economic system that could support them, a food savingsystem. And whenever possible, they can restore their food thathas been used. Sastro’s dream seems very important to be implementedimmediately, because natural disasters such as earthquake andtsunami can hit by any time. Above all, North Bengkulu has longhistory of such natural disasters. oooDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 103
  • 108. Strategies amid the Conflict Since August 2009, Azhar was restless. This 29 year old guy was trapped in an uncomfortable situation which took all of his energy. His work on DRR program in Sempu village, Ngancar sub-district, Kediri, was in quite bad phase. But whether he likes it or not, he must find strategies to deal with it. His endurance and creativity as a field officer or a village facilitator were on trial. Sempu is part of Ring One area when Mount Kelud erupted. When he started his work in Sempu, he discovered his first challenge. That happened when he held the first community meeting with villagers of Sempu. The villagers challenged him with questions like: what kind of aid will be given by his organization to the villagers? Is there any fee for every villager attending the meeting? These questions made Azhar aware how tough the program will be. Development aid is identical with the questions addressed by the villagers. However DRR program is indeed about how to strengthen the capacity of community to cope with disasters, and how they can reduce disaster risks. Fortunately, Azhar was a meticulous person. He visited from one house to another to meet every person he can talk to and share the same concerns about disaster issue. Finally he has build allies among the mass leaders or particular individuals who were seriously concern about disaster reduction and aware that this was part of community’s responsibility to themselves and to their area. Soon, along with his new allies, he formed a village organization named Tekad Hangudi Mulyo (THM). Through the104 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 109. organization, they started arranging various meetings, initiatedthe activities as well as discussed the role sharing Initially, all went well and have a positive dynamics. But sinceAugust 2009, suddenly all turned to such a mess. *** When THM first established, they were so productive andconducted many activities. At least there were three THM priorityworking areas: education, economics and health. In educationsector, there are six important priority activities: school dropout’sreduction, children education counseling, illiterate reduction andA, B and C Packages, school private lessons, computer courses forchildren and teenagers, and community library. Economics sector also has six important priority activities:micro credit cooperative, agricultural extension, livestockextension, cattle rotation program, job training center, and landcertification. And health sector has five priority activities: free medicalcare, Posyandu (Health Post) optimization, sports activity revival,medicinal plant gardening, and clean water facilities. Some programs had gone well. And more optimistically,THM activists were mostly women. Yayuk (29), one of theactivists, stated, “the women here want useful activities, becauseafter cooking and taking care of the children, they still have a lotof free time.” This was supported by Suryati (32) who said, “We want tolearn many things.” THM put its focus on economics sector is not withoutreason. If a disaster occurs, like happened when Mount Keluderupted in the early 1990s, many villagers did not have enoughsavings and had difficulty to survive due to the lack of economyDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 105
  • 110. support. Hopefully with all these economic activities going on in Sempu village, if a disaster occurs again, the villagers have prepared enough savings to survive and do not have to rely on outside aid. Unfortunately, the medicinal plant garden program was not going smoothly. They faced at least four obstacles. First, the growths of their crops roots were going slowly. Second, pests like crickets, snails, grasshoppers, caterpillars, etc damaged their crops. Third, the villagers lacked of plant management thus many crops destroyed by diseases and then died. Forth, the seeds they purchased from an agriculture store did not grow when sowed. But such obstacles did not prevent THM’s activists to keep going. They then arranged arisan (social gathering, especially for women). This arisan was a monthly gathering for them where they collected money Rp 6,000, -. The Rp. 5,000,- goes to the arisan and the rest Rp. 1,000,- for their group saving. Arisan has become their actual social gathering where they addressed and discussed many problems and tried to solve them. One of the ideas came from arisan was Sempu’s unique snack product. In Sempu, the pineapples grow in all seasons. The THM women’s activists wanted to process the pineapples into juice and dodol (Indonesian unique food contains palm sugar and coconut milk). Before, they had succeeded in cassava chips making. This food making activity is going very well. But then a new problem arouse in August. A problem that was really challenging Azhar’s work in Sempu. *** Mbah Suko (60) could be one of the persons who can explain the complicated issue in Sempu, the problem that almost closed down THM. Mbah Suko came to Sempu in 1968 to work as a106 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 111. plantation’s employee. Two years earlier, he was graduated fromTechnical School (ST), equivalent with junior high school. In theplantation company, he was accepted as a security officer. The elderly man, who is well respected in Sempu, couldclearly remember the situation on his first coming in the village.At that time, the September 1965 holocaust was still on fire.The villagers were asked by the Army to hand over their landdocument for certification. Those who did not want to hand overtheir land certificate would will be considered as PKI (IndonesianCommunist Party) keri, more or less meant as the remnants of thePKI members that have not been caught yet. Of course, most ofvillagers handed over their land certificates because of the traumaof the political holocaust on the Indonesian people. But what happens then was beyond the villagers’ imagination.Almost all of the land was then evicted by tractors and turned intoa rubber plantation. Then every family was given a very small pieceof land, about 40 m2, for a place to live. At that time, no one daredto fight for fear of being labeled as a PKI member. However, noteverybody was strong enough to face the reality, that their landswere forcibly seized like that. Some were committed suicide. Mbah Suko, who was a teenager at that time, could not acceptsuch unjust acts, even though he worked then in the plantation.But he admitted that he had no power to prevent this horribleact. Because he could not stand to work on a plantation, andbegan to look a bleak future of the plantation, Mbah Suko thenregistered himself in a nearby school as a student and regularlywent to the school after his daily work. Knowing about this, theplantation company then asked him to teach at the plantationelementary school. In 1972, the plant decreased its production. As the result,the teachers’ salaries were unpaid and the plantation elementaryDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 107
  • 112. school turned into a state school. Then in 1974, Mbah Suko then legally registered as a civil servant. He then retired in 2006. *** During the Reformation era, people started to reclaim their rights. All the evidences then collected: from the village map, the rubber plantation map, to the proof of the left land ownership. They then summoned the evidences before the court. They started their long struggle to reclaim their rights. Finally, the villagers won. At that time, the situation had subsided. But the plantation company did not consent the court verdict and brought the case to the Supreme Court. For long there were no further news, and the villagers thought that they had really won the case. They started to work on the lands, their own lands. When the DRR program was executed,108 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 113. the villagers were still experienced the peace situation. So manyprograms had successfully executed by the THM. But out of their imagination, in the mid of 2009, the SupremeCourt released its verdict and decided to win the plantationcompany. The villagers fought back. The villagers then filed aJudicial Review process. But this case has broken the harmony among the villagers.Some of the villagers work in the plantation and some are not.Most of the villagers, who call themselves as ‘struggle people’ werefighting in the court with the plantation company. But in everydaylife, the case in fact turn into a conflict between ‘those who struggle’and ‘those who work in the plantation’. The situation was on fire.‘Those who struggle’ commonly called as ‘struggle people’ weredealing with ‘those who work in the plantation’, or referred to as‘plantation people’. The conflict was quite big, because it brokethe harmonious relation among the villagers. Each side did notwant to greet the ‘enemy’ side. They even used boycott. If there isa ceremony held by the ‘plantation people’, the ‘struggle people’would not help and attend the ceremony. It was vice versa. Oneof victims of the conflict was of course the innocent children. Thechildren of ‘ plantation people’ usually referred to as ‘the childrenof plantation’, to distinguish them from ‘the children of struggle’. The conflict was affected the THM programs as well. THMactivists are mostly from the villagers. The comparison betweenthe villagers and the plantation workers is 10:1. Eventually, THM trapped in the conflict. Many villagersboycotted the THM meetings because the plantation workers werealso coming to the meetings. THM post was eventually left withoutany by activities. And Azhar trapped in the middle of the conflict. Mbah Suko sadly said, “This is actually the war of victimagainst victim. If the people in authority did not create all of theseinjustices, this would never happen. Some villagers work in theDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 109
  • 114. plantation only to support their family’s lives and the ‘struggle people’ is only fighting for their rights.” Lacking activities in THM frustrated Azhar. If he accommo­ dates the plantation workers to remain active in THM, it meant to kill THM softly, because most of THM activists are coming from those who fight for their lands. Mbah Suko one day said something very important to Heri DK, one of Surya Sejahtera’s activists. “Mas, like a boat, THM is sailing on giant waves. Whether we like it or not, the boat would be tossed by the giant waves...” Finally, an important decision was made to resolve the conflict. ‘Plantation people’ that has actively worked on food production will work directly with Surya Sejahtera. Meanwhile THM as a villager organization is only filled by the ‘struggle people’. This strategy seemed to work. Now, THM post is began to be full of variety of activities again. Azhar and Surya Sejahtera have succeeded in implementing a win-win solution. *** For Yayuk and Suryati, this approach fit them well. THM is now filled by various activities lead by 25 women. Almost every day, there is always activity in THM post: from meetings to food making. To produce good and delicious snacks, some of the women have been ‘schooled’ in Malang to learn how to produce good snacks. Now, almost every day, they carried out food production experiments. The women were working together, from producing the raw materials, cooking, to packing the snacks. Of course they still faced some challenges in snack making. First their dodol quality was still less durable. Second was a challenge in snacks packaging, how to make it attractive to consumers. And third was the issue of distribution.110 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 115. To solve these challenges, Surya Sejahtera offered a helpbecause its activists have a broad access to connect learning places.Surya Sejahtera guaranteed, if THM activists were committed tothis food business, they can solve these issues together. The women then had an idea to learn handicrafts making. Thisidea was also responded positively by Surya Sejahtera. In the nearfuture, the handicraft making would be put as a priority for THM. Arisan gathering that once stop during the conflict betweenthe villagers and the plantation workers, was now restarted again.With all of these intense meetings among THM members, THMplanned to spread its programs to other issues and try again theunsuccessful programs. Interestingly, THM members really have high spirit. Theyalways learn from mistakes and love t to learn new things. At that point, Azhar can be proud. He was not only succeededin maneuvering strategies during the conflict. He also pleasesto works with strong, dynamic, powerful, and highly motivatedwomen. And if he can facilitate this process with patience, it is notimpossible if someday THM can facilitate reconciliation amongthe villagers. Mbah Suko expressed this hope optimistically, “Surewe can. It takes time though. We can start the reconciliationprocess when people have cooled down. But do not force them inthe time of fire. Give them time to think.” A boat named THM is now beginning to stabilize its sail,though it is still hit by the giant waves. Hopefully if the stormhas subsided, if the waves have calmed, the people can startthe reconciliation process. And it’s not impossible to happen.Especially if it leads by women, who usually have secret power tostart a reconciliation in the midst of a conflict. oooDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 111
  • 116. Many Ways to Survive in Kompang Imran Gadabu will never forget the incident, when he first came to Kompang village in mid 2007. At that time, he wanted to see Pak Baharudin, the head of the village, to discuss about natural disasters such as landslides which occurred in the village on June 20, 2006. Puang Baha’, that is how Pak Baharudin addressed by his fellow villagers, was in the garden at that time. When Imran managed to meet him and conveyed his intention, Puang Baha’s face look cold while saying, “The disaster was God’s business! No need to do anything!” The 27-year-old long-haired young man, a former student of French Literature, University of Hasanuddin was immediately in silent. A major problem is in front of him. If Puang Baha does not approve his arrival in the village, it seemed the mission assigned to him would be aborted before accomplished. Imran was indeed assigned by Payopayo, the non-government organization where he worked, to identify disaster prone areas. Based on his survey, he found Kompang area as areas vulnerable to natural disaster. Therefore, he should pass through the formal entrance to work there through the permission of the village head. He did not give up. In the midst of the garden, with such cold response, Imran continued trying to talk to Puang Baha’. Finally, perhaps because he saw Imran did not give up and not losing his enthusiasm, the village head recommended him to meet Imran Ansari (45), who was at that time serving as head of Governance Affairs of Kompang Village. “Go to Pak Anshar, maybe he could help.”112 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 117. Without delay, Imran immediately headed to Pak Anshar,later the man later won Pilkades (Head of Village election) andbecame head of the village in Kompang. His meeting with Ansharwas going well. What Imran expressed was somewhat similar towhat was in the head of Anshar. Since then, an entry ticket has been in the hand of Imran.He and other co-worker, Karno B. Batiran (30), started to workon DRR project in Kompang. The first thing they did was gettingimmersed with the life of Kompang villagers. They attendedvarious events in the village, from joining the communal work toclean-up the village to wedding ceremonies. During the events,besides getting acquainted with people, they begun to get a lot ofinformation around the issues faced by the village. The next program is to disseminate about DRR in the village.To make it easier to do the program, these two young men weredoing a lot of movie screening. The films that they showed thereare movies that were favored by residents of Kompang, filmsstarred by Rhoma Irama. *** Among his colleagues in Ininnawa, Imran is known as‘The Races’. Payopayo, where Imran is working, is a member ofIninnawa Community, a confederation of four organizations runby young activists located in Makassar. In that community, thereare lots of activities, ranging from libraries, publishing house,research to youth education. Every time Ininnawa conducts a variety of educationalprograms for youth which is usually take place in the rural villages,it was Imran who was assigned to search the field site for theprogram. No wonder, he is very familiar with the terrain of SouthSulawesi. Armed with a motorcycle, he explored from one placeto another. In addition, the mastery of the rural areas in SouthDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 113
  • 118. Sulawesi also because when he was in college, he was active in Mapala, an student environmentalist group. Selecting Kompang as one of the field site for DRR program was done through a long process. As widely known, on June 20, 2006, several regions in South Sulawesi were shaken by natural disasters ranging from floods to landslides. But the most severe and claimed many casualties occurred in Sinjai. However the natural disaster there at the time was not receiving widespread attention from the mass media since in the previous month, natural disasters, i.e, earthquake happened in Yogyakarta and Central Java. Together with his friends in Ininnawa who collaborated with Rumah Kaum Muda (Home for the Youth), initiated a program called “Books for Sinjai”. They collected books, stationeries and uniforms to help victims of natural disasters in Sinjai, especially children, to get school supplies which were swept away by the flood. A year after that, he conducted need assessment for DRR program, to be implemented by Insist Yogya in collaboration with Cordaid. After going through a series of need assessment in some regions that have been stroked by natural disasters, two areas were selected: Kompang Village, Central Sinjai District, and Kampung Lembang of Buakang Hamlet, Panaikang Village, East Sinjai Sub-district. Kompang Village was chosen not without reason. The distance of the village, located at the foot of Mount Bawakaraeng, from the capital of Sinjai is approximately 35 kilometers, with steep road contours. In the area, when natural disasters occurred, there were so many points of landslides. But there are two points that took a number of casualties. The first point took the lives of nine people and second point caused the deaths of three people. In addition, the contours are steep, and most settlements were there, the hazards increasingly need serious attention. Added with114 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 119. high rainfall, especially in June, July and August. Also hurricanefrequently hit the area. At least, Imran and Karno find important facts as follows: First, geologically, Sinjai region, including Kompang Village,located on the Walanae Plate, a secondary plate which can movealong with the earth’s plate movement in the wedge of Ring ofFire. Second, topographically, Kompang Village is located in themountainous area with the level of the slope between 30 ˚ - 70˚, where there are hundreds of points that have the potential oflandslide any time. Third, the type of soil in Kompang and its surroundingvillages are young volcanic deposits that are still unstable. Someexperts said that the soil was a “newly growing up soil.”DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 115
  • 120. Fourth, with such soil characteristics as above, the soil pores will be opened during the dry season due to evaporation of ground water in the dry season, which resulted in cracks and fractures in the soil surface. When it rains, water will easily penetrate into the cracks and fracture the soil so quickly. When water penetrates into the ground quickly, the water contained in the soil will be plenty and then became saturated, so it has potential to cause landslide. Fifth, between December to April, frequent hurricanes occur in Kompang. Sixth, in the upper area of Kompang there is protected forest area planted with pines. Many villagers argued that the plants resulted in water shortages. *** In Sinjai, the name of Pak Asikin (60), was quite prominent. In Kompang Village, where he lived, he was regarded as a respected village elder. He spent his youth to wander, from Kalimantan to Papua, as a bricklayer. Since the mid-1970s he was back to Kompang. Pas Asikin is known as one of nature lovers and environmental activists. He recounts his stories about this. As a young boy, when he was not drinking coffee, he saw many people in his village who drink coffee. But unfortunately, they were still buying the coffee they consumed from outside the village. Young Asikin started to think, why the coffee that can be grown in Kompang should be bought from outside? Since then, he began planting coffee, at a very early age. When he first went back to the village, he often chatted with the people in his village, that actually Kompang has the potential to become the rich area by planting cloves. Finally, he and his friends agreed to plant cloves. When the plants began to show116 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 121. the harvest, many people followed the efforts of Asikin and hisfriends. Finally, there were many sugar palm trees in the gardenthat were felled and then replaced with clove and cacao trees. Observing the fact, Asikin start thinking. For long time, mostof the income of the villagers relied on palm and pecan, whereasfor food, they relied on corn. Witnessing many sugar palm treeswere felled, Asikin tried to plant palm trees to avoid it fromextinction. Only, it was not in the palm plant crops on productivelands. For palm plantations require land space for the radius of 20meters. No other plants can grow around the trees. Later, these palm plants have its own story when the landslideoccurred. In places where sugar palm trees grow there was nolandslide. Sugar palm plants, according to Mr. Asikin, are able tostrongly bind the soil, even stronger than bamboo. ***DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 117
  • 122. Kompang village has a long social history. The villagers believe that in the past, in Kompang, there was a kingdom that has a political relationship with the Kingdom of Gowa. Long time ago, the villagers lived in areas that are higher than their current settlements. But although they settled in high altitude, they however lived in the sloping land. In the 1960s, during the rebellion of Kahar Muzakkar, the government ordered the villagers to move their settlements to a lower place as a way to separate common people with the ‘gang’, a term for Muzakkar Kahar and his comrades. Some villagers then moved down and occupied steeper settlement, between 45 ˚ - 70 ˚. During the massive displacement in the 1970s a protected forest area was stipulated, that forced more people to come down from higher areas. Again, many people who were ‘imposed’ to build their homes in the lower area, with a fairly steep slope level. Another problem aroused was many villagers’ lands included as protected forest area. As a result, many citizens lost their lands. Another concern emerged was since long time ago, the villagers relied corn farming for their food needs. While to get money, they relied on palm sugar production and hazelnut. But because the corn fields were included into the protected forest area, they were no longer able to grow corn. Eventually, a small number of villagers grew paddy in lower areas. However, the productions were quite insignificant. Since then, corn as a staple food began to disappear from the culinary repertoire of Kompang Village. They substituted to consume rice, which mostly bought from outside the village. In 1983 to 1985 there was a pine planting program by the government under the name of reforestation with One Million Pines program. The program has widened the grabbing of more productive lands of the community. Previously, in the early 1980s, the government was aggressively campaigning the cultivation of clove and cacao. As a result, the land once planted with corn was118 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 123. gone, replaced by planting the two crops. It was strongly affectingthe economic circulation of Kompang villagers, who used toharvest corn every three months, now replaced by the annualcrops. *** In the beginning, it was not easy for Imran and Karno toimplement the DRR program in the Kompang. Because whatwas said by Puang Baha’ was adhered and believed by most ofthe villagers. In addition, historically, natural disasters such as thelandslide only occurred once in this village, in 2006. Previously,there was hardly any such disaster. If any, it was only a minorlandslide that could be overcome with shovels and hoes only. Notseriously disturbing their lives, let alone causing material andhuman losses. To break down the door toward the issue, the two youngmen began to actively approach the students and their schools.They knew that in Sinjai there was a policy to include in the localcurriculum class the so called ‘Personal Development’ lesson. Thissubject so far was only delivered through sport activities. Once they found an opportunity to move on, Imran and Karno,with the help of their friends who were active as nature lovers,trying to create a disaster curriculum. After the curriculum wasready, they met with the school authorities to ask for permissionto use the ‘Personal Development’ hour, held once a week with 2x 45-minute duration. In Kompang there are two elementary schools and one JuniorHigh School (One Roof System). The Junior High School and oneof the elementary school warmly received the program offered byImran and Karno. Only one primary school rejected. After severalmonths trying find out why some schools refused, Imran andKarno suspected that it was because the name of the program: theDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 119
  • 124. Campaign for Disaster Management. The term ‘campaign’ may be a bit sensitive because at that time the campaign of legislative election was aggressively going on. Maybe the elementary school who refused assumed that these two young men would bring a political party campaign into their school. Finally they concentrated on running their program at the two schools that received them. Various activities carried out there, from writing, drawing and making movies. All of these with a clear objective: to raise an awareness of natural disaster among the children. To assist in these activities, they often involved their friends from Ininnawa Community, who were already familiar with alternative education programs for children and teenagers, as well as mastering community filmmaking. The program was running well. Now they even have produced a compilation of documentaries made by the children about Kompang. All done by the children, from making the movie script, shooting and even editing the movie, of course the whole processes were facilitated by Imran and his colleagues. But there were also teachers who criticized these activities; they said these activities took time and attention of many students more than their formal school lessons. Another activity carried out by Imran and friends was running the People’s School on Disaster. The participants were selected after a series of activities, where those who were actively and fully engaged in these activities, were approached to continue the discussions disaster issues. There are at least 20 active participants; many of them were young people and women. Other activities undertaken were sugar palm planting. For this program, they worked with farmer group, led by Pak Asikin. The farmer group, called Sipakatau which means ‘mutual respect’, now has planted 1000 palm trees in a number of critical lands. Their target is by March 2010, 5000 palm trees are planted.120 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 125. Palm planting is certainly not without reason. In addition tothe argument above that palm trees can bind the soil well so thatmost likely capable of blocking erosion scour, palm sugar also hashigh economic value. One of the villagers of Kompang that is still tapping palmtrees and producing brown sugar is Pak Hasan (45). According toHasan, a single palm tree every day can make money about Rp.50,000, -. That’s just one tree. If every villager has two, three, ormore than that, it will help their earnings. It’s just that they haveto be patient waiting for the palm trees to be ready for tapping,since the palm trees are ready for tapping after 7-8 years. Unlikecacao, for example, which only takes 2-3 years to bear fruit. Palm plants should also be protected from boars. The protec­tion was carried out at least until the age of 3 years. The rest do notthe protection is no longer necessary. *** Payopayo activities are not only useful to the villagers wherethey worked. But also as a vehicle for forging the young activistsin Ininnawa Community who want to work with the community.Karno is now completed his master degree in China. However,these activities attracted the attention of other Ininnawa Commu­nity members who want to learn. At least, in Kompang, therewere Happy (24), Dedy (26) and Noge (25) who assisted Imranand wanted to learn at the same time. The four of are living in the house of the new village head,Pak Ansar. There, they are often held discussions on their work,conduct evaluation and reflection, and the division of tasks. Dedy, for example, began conducting a series of research,both in Lembang and Kompang. While Noge involved more onfacilitating the children, and Happy was involved in the People’sDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 121
  • 126. School of Disaster. Imran himself was focusing on facilitating the process of sugar palm planting. But the divisions of tasks were not rigid. They helped each other and learned from each other. When asked about the biggest problems they face in implementing DRR programs in the area, Imran said that the understanding about disaster risk reduction is still the biggest problem they faced. The cause as has been mentioned above, villagers had only experienced landslide once that took casualties and material loses. Therefore, in every activity they do, they always try to remind about that. The methods are numerous, such as in the forums of People’s School of Disaster, various natural disaster events that occurred in other regions, especially in South Sulawesi, became the subject of discussion. They did the same thing for children. Now many children begin to learn to use computer. Each time they learn to type, Imran and friends chose the theme of natural disasters for the materials of typing lesson. “It’s like a knife that should always be sharpened,” said Imran, explaining the importance of continuously reminding the villagers that they should not lose their alertness on natural disaster, and prepare themselves as best as they could. Imran and his team had to be very smart in choosing how to continuously make the disaster risk reduction issue as mainstream among the Kompang community. Creativity is the answer. And that’s what drives the dynamic of DRR team. No wonder if in the room where Imran, Dedy, Noge and Happy staying in the village, Happy who is female stayed in different room, there were many materials about disaster. Starting from disaster manuals to inspirational books about how great people working in the community. Those books are one of the important nutrition for them to work in Kompang, to avoid of being exhausted working in Kompang. Team cohesiveness should also be constantly refreshed,122 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 127. especially with fresh humor. In the house of village head, mobilephone signals cannot be received well. There is only one pointwhere the signal can sometimes be received. That point happenedto be in a sofa in the living room. Thus it is not a strange occurrenceon the back of the sofa lined up so many cell phones, owned byImran and his friends as well as the belonged to Pak Ansari. Ifthey received phone call, they will turn on the speaker phone,because if they the lift it, the signal drop out soon. Inevitably,every conversation can be heard by others. If there is a secret converation, such as when Noge got a callfrom his girlfriend, he will immediately return phone calls with ashort sentence, “Just send me short message, ok!” Certainly, only through the short message the conversationcould go on, otherwise the conversation will be heard by hisfriends. Little things like that turned into jokes which makethem more familiar with each other in a faraway place, with themounting workload. Nor is it surprising if they get a chance to go ‘down’ toMakassar, they will immediately explore and stay long in the worldof Facebook. Especially Dedy, who by his friends nicknamed asFacebook Warrior. oooDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 123
  • 128. Steep Road To Lembang From the top view, Lembang is an oval-bowl-shaped. The hills surrounding as the edge and the village is the middle part of the bowl, with a length about two kilometers and width approximately 1 kilometer. A river flow in from a narrow gap between two hill’s walls at one side of the village, flow half circularly around the village then flow out through another crack at another side of the village. Baringeng River is a blessing as well as disastrous for the villagers. With such geographical contour, the river often flooded the village inhabited by 35 households. However, the valley is very fertile due to that annual flood as well. The thickness of humus in the valley reportedly can reach 1 meter. As a result it is not surprising, the surrounding rice fields look fertile, also for other plants like corn. And tens maybe even hundreds of cows wander there, eating the evergreen grass. Lembang administratively is part of Hamlet of Buakang, Panaikang Village, East Sinjai District, Sinjai. Distance from the village to the district town about 10 kilometers. For those who do not usually go there, it must be quite difficult to find the village, because it is hidden by the surrounding hills. The way to the village is soil surface road that is dusty on dry season, and wet muddy on rainy season; and consequently hard to pass the vehicle. Being accustomed to floods that usually occur once a year, villagers never thought that a flood could sweep away all things inside the kampong. And even make the village vanished. One night, June 19, 2006, 21:00 pm, a villager named Tajuddin (50) shouted to the villagers. Torrential rains that continuously flushed Sinjai for three days, made Lembang slowly sunk in water.124 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 129. Tajuddin’s house was the only house with cement foundation,while other houses were wooded stilted houses. Because of thelevel of his house was relatively short compared to other houses,Tajuddin directly knew if the flood this time was unusual. Once the floor of his house flooded, he and all his familymembers immediately evacuate. He met with the village nightpatrols that night in the village and told them that the floodcame. But almost everyone he met just said that it was onlyordinary floods, as it often happened. It will not lead to anythingdangerous. But at around 01:00 when the date turned into June 20, 2006,the water which initially rose little by little, suddenly flowing fast.In seconds, water flowed from a hill’s crack drown the village.Water was rotating in the valley because the exit gap full of severaldrifted materials like tress blocked the water to flow out.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 125
  • 130. Lembang people were panicked. No time to escape. Their houses were sunk. And finally, one by one the houses were swept away. That night, a catastrophe that they were not worried about, took victims. All the houses were washed away, 29 people died, and dozens of cows dead. The most dramatic story was experienced by families of Puang Amin (55). He and his wife and their two daughters, were casted away to the sea. Four of them were still lucky because their house wooden floor was sturdy enough so they could use it as a raft, which could hold the four bodies. Next day on afternoon, they were evacuated by a fishing boat, near the Sembilan Island. The survivors of the flood later on have been relocated to one of the hill near the village. Lembang itself remains a history. *** Imran came to the relocation site of Lembang, about a year after that disaster. In contrast to the early arrival in the Kompang Village that was a cold welcome, the arrival of Imran at Lembang was warmly welcome. It then makes Imran and Karno felt optimistic to run the DRR project in the village. They both found some facts that people there are still vulnerable to disaster. First, their agricultural land is prone to the annual flood. Second, the new relocation site is lack of access to water and electricity. However, the early warm welcome they met initially, slowly change. Various ways have been done by the two Payopayo activists. They took out all the tactics and strategies to enter and work together with communities, but there were so many difficulties. Every time they met with people to try to dig up the issue, the things came out were only complaints. But once started to take action and get to the stage of working concretely to solve the problems, there were no villagers wanted to get involved.126 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 131. Imran and Karno played their strategy. They found there areso many young people in the village. Some of young people, onfishing season are going for fishing. The rest, stay at the village.Observing that, Imran and Karno then bought a set of volleyballand takraw, rattan ball. Their intentions were clear, they both wantto play with the youngsters there, and then they started to inviteyoung people to think about their village. But only played once,the volleyball and takraw ball were broken, the nets were alsodamaged. And no one cares. Mission failed. Imran and Karno tried out another strategy. They gathered thechildren for to play together. To attract the children they screenedthe movie ‘Denias’. After screening, the children were encouragedto play and have conversation. The kids were enthusiastic aboutplaying. But not long, the children were called one by one by theirparents. Some were called to take grass, some to take care of thecows, some to fetch water. The two activists were still having enough courage to face thechallenges. They tried to meet the people one by one. They heardcomplaints about the lack of electricity supply. One channel isused to power eight homes. Each house, at most only gets 100watts. Then they both agreed to find a way to resolve the issue.They then prepared a meeting. At the time and hours that havebeen agreed upon, only a few people appeared. When they wereasked to converse how to solve the electricity problem no onespoke out, everyone remained silent. Nobody make a sound. Imran and Karno’s hopes were not yet exhausted. Theydiscovered another issue about water. At the new place, water hasto be collected from the same river from their previous settlementthat means far enough. There are some wells but not sufficient forthe use of all the people there. But things happened just exactlyas when they tried to solve the water problem. No one wanted tobe involvedDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 127
  • 132. At that point, fatigue and despair began to permeate the two friends. The only thing that brought spirit to them was the responsibility to the program, and also the feeling that there are still unresolved challenges, they try to survive and find another strategy. In the valley, where the former village located, where many paddy fields, there is irrigation channels but not working properly. The irrigation channel can also be the channel for the water so when the flood comes, it will not immediately spill into the mainland. People seemed enthusiastic about the program. But after all the discussion, the architectural design already done, the cost is quite big and no significant participation to do it. In addition, there is one principle issue that became barriers to Imran and Karno. Later, they found that the majority of the lands not belong to the people of Lembang. So the benefits would only actually go to the land owners, not the farmers. The program again failed. But there was another chance. In the midst of the land, there is stagnant water, a good place for golden snails to grow which are the pests for the paddy. They then agreed to create a channel so the water can be channeled, then the golden snail pest issue can be solved. Once again, the process stalled. There were no people who wanted to come to work on the project. Imran was thinking hard, he remembered one of the reading materials about agriculture at a place in Java in which were attacked by the golden snail. Imran proposed the idea, what if the location becomes a duck farm, thus the golden snail pests could become a natural feed for ducks and the duck can be another source of economic income for the people. One villager responded that idea coldly, “Duck in Java is smart indeed, but the ducks here are stupid, they do not eat golden snails.” Hearing that answer, both Imran and Karno could only took a long sigh. Their efforts were really stuck!128 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 133. After more than a year they both worked in Lembang, theprocess did not produce any result. By the Insist team, they bothrecommended to invite some people to go to Java, especially inYogya and Solo, to see how farmers assisted by Insist performed avariety of strategies to overcome their problems. They invited thevillagers to go for pleasure, in case they are interested. And afterthey saw directly, their mind will be opened. The invitations werespread. But none of them interested to participate in the program. Now, almost two years Karno and Imran have been in Lembang,along with the activities that continue to have good dynamics inKompang. But no single activity was implemented in Lembang. Insist DRR team then tried to recommend the biogasprogram. Who knows, with a program that converts cow dunginto household energy to light the stove could make the peoplethere to be enthusiastic. A villager of Tompobulu who had previously been trained byInsist on making biogas was invited to Lembang. At that time,many people were enthusiastic to see biogas making practice. For amoment, Imran and Karno started to relief. When the installationcould eventually produced fire, all the citizens looked surprised.One even said, “Wow these school kids are really great, cow dungcan be converted into fire!” The frustration turned into optimism. Unfortunately, theoptimism in very short time extinguished again, the biogas pro­gram was not followed by other residents. Even the person wherehis house was used to install the pilot biogas project damaged theinstallation. When he was asked the reason, he said, he had diffi­culty getting water to water down the cow. Knowing that, Imran was immediately limp. He did not knowanymore, what should be done in that place. All the strategieshave been deployed, and did not produce any results.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 129
  • 134. Now, whenever talking about Lembang, a sense of confusion hung straight on Imran’s face. The mix of feeling like failure and confusion, but there is still a strong desire to break the ice and find another opportunity and solution. Recently, what he can do is trying to do social research about people in Lembang, to understand why they have such characteristics. Dedy was assigned to do the research; indeed Dedy has enough expertise on social research. The word ‘failure’ should not entirely drape on the shoulders of Imran and his team. This process will make them mature as a field worker or field facilitator in the future. Facing the tough, complicated and complex realities, will further sharpen their knives of work. ooo130 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 135. Working on Two Feet Since the beginning, Apolonius Gadho had aware that theissue of disaster risk reduction could not rely on the process ofcommunity strengthening only. He and his friends in FIRD(Forest Institute for Resources and Development), located inEnde, East Nusa Tenggara, were trying to advocate for disasterrisk reduction policy in district government. The thirty years old man is a mature figure in politicalmovement. When he was still an active student in a university inJakarta, he was involved in the student movement to bring downSoeharto regime. After the fall of Soeharto, Apolonius started hiswork in community organizing. At that time, Rony So (45), one of the FIRD leading activist,asked him when he would go home and work on local issues facedby his own fellow countrymen. It took him a long time to thinkabout that question. But eventually he decided to return home,accepted Rony’s invitation. Apolonius officially joined FIRD in2008. Apolonius immediately engaged in various activities in FIRD.Beside assigned to manage Gong Flores bulletin, published everythree months, he was also involved in the DRR (Disaster RiskReduction) program. With a friend named Vinsen Sangu (29),they both worked as facilitators in three field site villages of theprogram. The three villages are located in one district: East Ende. Theyare Kedebodu, Ndungga and Tiwutewa. These three villages areneighboring. The distance between Kedebodu to sub-districtcapital is about 5 kilometers, and to district capital is 9 kilometers.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 131
  • 136. Map of Ende While Ndungga village is more or less 5 kilometers to the sub- district capital, and is 10 kilometers to district capital. In addition, Tiwutewa village is 13 kilometers to sub-district capital, and similar distant to district capital. These three villages where Apolonius worked have similar characteristics of topography such as hilly, with average slope 45 degrees. The disaster hazards were slightly similar too: for Kedebodu and Ndungga was flood, while for Tiwutewa were flood and landslide. This is reasonable because Tiwutewa is located in steep area and there is a big river exactly below this village. To enter and work with the community, Apolonius and Vinsen were faced with almost no problems. Besides, their organization, FIRD, was well known by the people in the three villages. They132 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 137. also did not face obstacles in language and culture. But things likethat do not make their jobs easier either. Similar to most of disaster prone communities, the peoplein the three villages were still assuming that when any naturaldisaster occurred, automatically there must be emergency responsemeasures undertaken by both government and non-governmentalinstitutions. This was the kind assumption that must be alteredby these two personnel of FIRD. They both had to change thisparadigm. First, each community should get prepared to copewith disasters and minimize the impact early on. Second, thelocal community itself should be the main actor for disaster riskreduction. So, to shift the paradigm that has been deeply embeddedamong the people, Apolonius and Vinsen started to encourage thethree village communities to reflect on natural disasters that hadoccurred in their respective villages. Then, people were asked tocalculate the losses. From there, local people recalled, how manypeople died when a disaster occurred, including the devastation,such as uprooted or broken electric poles, broken bridges, and etc. After people recalled long list of destruction, then the peoplewere persuaded to analyze further. For example, if electricitypoles uprooted or broken, then there is no access to electricity.It meant people’s businesses that dependent to electricity wouldbe harmed. Similarly, when a bridge was broken, then variousagricultural products could not be sold. Whereas, people in thethree villages was depending mostly on farming sectors for theirlivelihood. Afterwards, they wrote down and converted the lostinto money. Apparently, in every flood, the losses could be up to21 billion rupiah! Not to mention other difficulties, such as, if aflood occurs, then people are difficult to get clean water. Working on such a process mentioned above is not simple.Because, to be able to invite the community to a forum they firstDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 133
  • 138. should be able to communicate the reason well to the elders and village administrators. They also used variety of existing forums, such as the PKK (women group) gathering. In addition, in order to attract the attention of the villagers, they utilized various creative ways such as movie show. Of course, the films were related to natural disasters, so it smooths Apolonius and Vinsen’s effort to start and to encourage people to think. From the process, they started to set up a small team who became the pioneers of disaster risk management in each village. Apolonius and Vinsen were fully aware that at the end of the day, it is not them who should lead this issue, but the people themselves. After that, various activities were implemented. For example, the planting of 5000 mahogany trees. Thus, this attracted more people to participate, and think and act for their respective villages. Their works have started to take place on one foot. But they also have to afoot the other foot in the different level: the134 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 139. governmental level. This was to strengthen the issue of disasterrisk reduction. *** Gabriel will retire soon. He was already 55 years old. Thiscalm guy was one of the Ende government officials who continueto struggle so Ende will has a regulatory system for disaster riskmanagement. “Pak Gab, he is an easygoing person. He is different from mostof bureaucrats. We can visit his office without the obligation to wearshoes. When there were activities in the village, he was also used tosleep in the people’s houses, “said Apolonius about Gabriel. Gabriel himself had a personal experience that made himpay big attention to natural disasters. At that time, in 1992, abig earthquake shook the NTT province with 6.5 Richter scale.Indeed, previously, earthquake were frequently shaking NTT, butnot as big as this one. Just days before the earthquake, peoplethought that Mount Iya, one of big mountains in the province,was about to erupt. That was because the temperature was veryhot. However actually the disaster was not from Mount Iya’seruption, but an earthquake. “When the earthquake struck, I saw the houses in front ofme collapsed. My house started to fall and about to collapse too.I immediately asked all the family members to find safe place ...“said Gabriel,” At that time, I was aware, how powerless humanbeings are. Nature is more powerful. “ At that time, Gabriel was still the head of the SocialDepartment in Ende district. After he realized on what happened,he immediately started moving. Unfortunately, at that timeHead of Ende district was in the disaster site and trapped by theearthquake. Finally, Gabriel took the manual typewriter, at thattime there was no computer yet, and typed a notification letterDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 135
  • 140. to the governor about the earthquake. That letter supposed to be sent via fax machine, but because the phone network was heavily damaged, it could not be sent. The same thing happened when he wanted to sent the letter through a telegram, it was failed too. Gabriel finally took an initiative to deliver the message via ORARI (Indonesia Radio Amateur Organization). Afterward, he spent his days in the earthquake area, together with the survivors. This experience made Gabriel’s awareness to disaster issue grew. Especially when he later served as head of the KESBANG­ POLINMAS (Kesatuan Bangsa, Politik dan Perlindungan Ma­ syarkat – National Unity, Politics and Public Protection). The institution, which initially worked on political affairs and Hansip (civil defense), was mandated for new role to manage other social issues, including natural disaster. As a leader, Gabriel tried to coordinate all potentials of the offices that related to natural disaster management. He realized that natural disaster is inevitable. Therefore all parties, including government, non government organizations and community groups, must work together to create the best system in natural disaster management. The main obstacle soon faced by Gabriel was long distrust among the government and non government organizations, and vice versa. This cold communication was a homework that needs to be done by Gabriel. Luckily, he knew Rony So, who was considered by non-governmental activists as one of strong and influence figure. Finally, they began to meet often to break the distrust on each side and performed assessment for mutual cooperation After building the communication,and removing the suspicion and mistrust, they began to explore for mutual cooperation. The first agenda was to establish a Pokja Bencana (Working Group of Disasters) in 2006. Pokja Bencana then gave birth to what is called as the TSBD (Village Team of Disaster Emergency). This136 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 141. activity was quite successful. Then both parties engaged in anotheractivity again. In governmental level, they had previously named“Gladi Posko (Command Post Unit Training) and Gladi Lapangan(Field Training)”. This activity was actually similar to activity thathas been undertaken by non governmental agencies which oftencalled as “Natural Disaster Emergency Response Simulation.” “Different name, but the core activity was the same ...” saidGabriel. This cooperation was also successful. Gabriel himselfwas satisfied. At least, he had accomplished two things. First,mending the distrust between governmental institutions and nongovernmental agencies. And second, after accomplishing ‘trials’of cooperation twice, it turned out that both sides can cooperatewith each other. Everything was running dynamically afterward. The localgovernment then issued a “Regional Action Plan for DisasterRisk Reduction.” It consisted of several recommendations such as:both executive and legislative in the district should take initiativeto tackle natural disasters; encourage local government to makelocal regulations on disaster management, including encouragesthe establishment of TSBD in all villages; non-governmentorganizations focusing on disaster issue should perform theirworks in cooperation with TSBD. At the internal level of government, the issue of disasterrisk reduction was not easily understood by other governmentalagencies, even though all SKPD (Local Government WorkingUnit) suppose to understand that, because the issue of disaster isthe issue of all institutions. So Gabriel never left any forums totalk and constantly socializing disaster risk reduction issue. Headmitted that it was not easy. But Gabriel believed, if people havefull understanding of the issue and have been exposed to strongreasons, everybody finally would accept the idea.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 137
  • 142. It was still a long journey that Gabriel and his colleagues, the non governmental agencies, should go. But at least, the local government now had allocated budget about 500 billion rupiah for disaster relief. And there were 11 TSBD of 213 villages in Ende district that really existed and fully operated. It is all a good start to keep moving. *** What has been done either by local government or non government agencies to manage disaster issues was quite encouraging. However, Apolonius and his FIRD friends were not satisfied yet. They will continue to guard the process and strengthen the community. One of the focuses of their activities in the villages was minimizing community vulnerability on food. Food shortages or famine is also part of a grand scheme of disasters. Apolonius explained, “People’s dependency on rice is very high. In fact, rice is kind of food which they should buy. In the villages where we work, there are no rice fields. “ The community then was encouraged to plant crops such as bananas, tubers and corn. Historically, these crops are actually one of their traditional main staple. But now they had abandoned the food and have started to consume rice. By the replanting of these crops, beside their expenses to buy rice could be minimized, if something happens, such as unexpectedly big natural disaster attack that make them lack of access to rice, at least they have enough food supply. At least, now many people have aware of the importance to meet their daily food needs. According to Apolonius, he often asked people with the question, “We have abundance of land, everywhere is fertile land. If we buy salt in the market, it is138 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 143. understandable because there is no sea near this area. But if webuy chili or vegetables, don’t you guys think it is outrageous, isn’tit? “ In addition, Apolonius and his FIRD friends were alsoimplementing other series of activities together with villagers,from developing energy-saving stove to making organic fertilizer.All of these activities were initiated not based on the interest of thefield facilitators. These came from the existing needs or potentialsin every village. The energy-saving stove for instance. This ideagenerated after the fact that the local people used wood for theirdaily cooking. By developing the stoves, designed in certain ways,the stoves can reduce fuel usage up to 90%. Moreover, the use ofthe stove for cooking can also prevent house fire, because most oftheir houses made of bamboo and wood. It’s the same case with the making of organic fertilizer.Besides reducing the dependency on chemical fertilizer that couldendanger food that comes from the crop and threaten the fertilityof the soil, but it also helped the villagers to save money. Indeed,around them actually grows plant that can be used to makeorganic fertilizer. Saving habit, on one hand, creates a creativeand a productive society; as well as developing people’s abilityto think better about their future. On the other hand, in fact italso contributes to minimize the threat of food insecurity, becausepeople have their own saving, whether in the form of crops ormoney. The works of both feet now begin to show the results.Apolonius and friends deserved to be proud. And Gabriel, whenhe retired, he must be contented. He has done his parts... oooDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 139
  • 144. Local Wisdom in Disaster Management Nen Mas Il, a non-governmental organization located in Tual, Southeast Maluku, has at least 20 years of experience working with the communities there. Their activists are well known by their high integrity. Now, they also involve in disaster risk reduction program in the area. Anyone who has come to Tual would likely consider this area as a spot of heaven on earth. A beautiful landscape with blue sea and sky, and gorgeous pure white sand. When the sea is calm and the wind blows slowly, the ocean looks like a transparent blue marble. A spectacular vista! But there is no area in the archipelago which immune from disaster hazards, both natural disasters and human made disaster. It is a case of Tual as well. Ambon’s riot in 1999 spread to this island, a paradise island for the fishers. Natural disasters also threaten this region. Earthquakes hit frequently and small scale tsunamis have hit this area few times. Another hazard also strikes this area so often is the tidal waves that erode the land with its wild waves. Nen Mas Il DRR’s working areas are located in two villages, Warbal Village and Tanimbar Kei Village. Each village occupies an island. Both islands, Warbal island and Tanimbar Kei island, are located at the intersection of the Banda Ocean and the Arafura Ocean. Each island’s area is not more than 500,000 square meters, with an average height of 5 meters above sea level. From Tual, the trip to both islands by sea transportation takes about 2-3 hours; depend on whether the waves were high that day or not. Warbal Island is inhabited of 147 families and Tanimbar Kei Island is inhabited of 137 families.140 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 145. With such geographical conditions, most settlements in bothislands, especially in Warbal, are flooded during high tide. Even inthe last three years, high tide strikes them almost every month. The condition of population in these two villages is notmuch different. Their livelihood is almost similar, namely fishing.Besides working as fishermen and depend their lives mostly onfish, sea cucumbers, clams, etc, villagers from both islands are alsodepend their lives on copra. The villagers mostly graduated fromelementary and junior high school, for the last two years work asseaweed farmers to support their economy. Some people are alsogrowing crops such as root crops and beans. In both villages, kinship systems and mutual assistance culture(yelim maren in local language) are still very strong. They also holdstrongly the local knowledge system, especially in Tanimbar Keivillage, in form of granary village system (in local language calledhotong). Another local wisdom that is quite strong and famouslyknown in other areas is sasi, a natural resource management thatprohibit fish harvest within certain time interval. Whoever violatesthis custom will receive severe customary punishments. The only difference in these two villages is in term of religion.Majority of Warbal villagers are Protestant and the rest is Muslim.While most villager in Tanimbar Kei embraces Hinduism, andthe rest are Muslim, Catholic and Protestant. Recently, perhaps related to climate change, these villagesreceive more disaster hazards. For example, high tide strikesthem once a month and floods their villages. This affects themseverely: their drinking water is ‘contaminated’ by sea waterand turn into brackish water. In addition, various diseases suchas diarrhea, malaria, Infectious Bronchitis and dermatitis areattacking many villagers. Therefore, they cannot depend on theircrop productions and began to rely solely on fishing. Abrasion isalso getting worse, which damaged mangrove forest, coconut treesDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 141
  • 146. and other abrasion prevention plants that prevent the coast from waves strike. Coastal and marine sedimentation has occurred and damaged coastal ecosystems. Unpredictable weather make villagers no longer can predict the weather accurately; the time to work in the field and the time to go fishing cannot be predicted. Every beginning of the year, January and February, there is strong wind that often damages the settlements. New pests such as mice emerge and often damage their crops, and large mosquitos disturb the fishermen during fishing activities in the sea. Things like above are number of issues that need to be dealt by Nen Mas Il activists and local communities. They try to cope with various disasters that are so real. *** Warbal village and Tanimbar Kei village are certainly not strange areas to Frits Elmas (50). Since Nen Mas Il was established, he has been working in these two villages, including on other islands, to run various activities. Now, he works as a program facilitator of disaster reduction program in these two villages. Almost similar with other facilitators or field officers in charge of disaster management programs in other regions, Frits main job is to transform the local community’s paradigm about disaster management. Thus, this consciousness transformation of natural disasters is his main agenda for him to perform. To deal with this issue, Frits certainly needed a ‘tool’ as an entry point. Because of the community in both regions is beginning to see other income potential beside fish and copra, which is seaweed farming, Frits then started his work from seaweed farming. He began various activities on seaweed cultivation, from seaweed capacity building to open the market access. While working on this issue, Frits started to address the villagers many142 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 147. issues regarding disaster hazards and asked the people to rethinktheir perception in term of disaster management. “My first main job is to involve them in discussion, orsomething we usually call as organizing thoughts...” said Frits.He then continued, “From the discussions I could see theirperception on natural disaster. The thoughts are then shared anddiscussed. This process helps me to recognize those who have thesame thoughts as me and have progressive thinking about disastermanagement. These people are our allies in the future to deal withnatural disaster in these regions. “ Frits job is somewhat lessened because many villagers haveknown him quite long. Besides, what Frits were saying is clearlydaily issues faced by the community. From these discussions, an understanding about the benefitof mangroves emerged. They then decided to plant mangroves.This initiative came from the community reflection itself. Before,mangrove forest grew widely on both villages. But because it wasconsidered ‘not beautiful’ in development eyes, the mangroveforests were cut down almost entirely. The rest then destroyed bytidal waves. According to Frits, long time ago people could not seethe both villages settlements from afar, because it was hindered bymangrove forests. But now these two islands can be clearly seenbecause there are almost no more plants left to cover the islands.In Warbal village itself, 10,000 mangrove plants will be plantedalong the 2,000 meters, with 15 meters width and 3x3 metersplanting space. But the plan was delayed due to some reasons.First was seeds availability. Mangrove seeds are scarce and hardto find. Second was due to weather prediction. The mangroveplanting should consider the time when the ebb is coming. Another program they are trying to resolve was drinkingwater issue; how to provide water for daily consumption. InWarbal village for example, their drinking water turns intoDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 143
  • 148. brackish because it is contaminated by sea water during high tide. To resolve this issue, the villagers agreed to dig new wells. Only this time they did the job with a full understanding that the new wells should be part of mangrove planting. If not, they will not get benefit from all this efforts. In addition, they also came with understanding that the new wells required trees planting, to guarantee water availability. The future trees also should not be felled for fire wood. As additional information, the villagers still use firewood for cooking. If the understanding is not embedded on people’s thinking, the guarding trees could be cut down for fire wood. But problems in Tanimbar Kei village are more complex. Water wells in the settlements are brackish since long time ago. If they need drinking water, they must take a boat ride to another side of the island for about three kilometers. They should do this during high tide season so the boat can move. If they try to do this on foot, it takes a lot of energy and time consuming. Imagine one person should take water for three kilometers and only capable of carrying a bucket of water. Whereas, it is easier and faster if they do it by boat because one boat can carry a lot of buckets. But to deal with this issue is not easy for Frits. Besides, there are more complex issues that require quick attention, such as settlement issue in Tanimbar Kei. Tanimbar Kei village has two groups of settlement. One is located on the upper island and the second is located on the lower island. During high tide season, the lower settlement is flooded by sea water. So this issue became his priority. The solution is the same; mangroves planting. And this time of course with full commitment of the villagers to take care of the mangroves. During his work in these two villages, Frits understands that economic threat to people of Walbar and Tanimbar Kei is quite serious. Almost all of their food consumptions, except fish and144 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 149. cooking oil, must be purchased in the market that is located faraway from the village and only can be accessed by boat. Thus,the seaweed farming project that initially only used as an entrypoint for DRR program, now becomes the main program activity.Because, famine or poverty, is part of disaster issue. Therefore, Frits also reminded the villagers to rethink theirdaily expenses and cut their unnecessary expenses wheneverpossible. He strongly suggested the villagers to plant their vacantfields with crops such as root crops. “Let me give you an example, it takes four hours from-to themarket back and forth to buy a bunch of vegetable. Besides, rootcrops are good for food saving during bad harvest and bad season,when the boat cannot drive them to anywhere”, Frits explained. Similar with Ende district, energy-efficient wood stoves havebeen developed in Tual. This is because by saving fire wood, theDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 145
  • 150. villagers can minimize and prevent the potential to cut down trees for fire wood. *** Juliana Jamlean, usually called Uli, is one of Nen Mas Il activists. The 37 years old woman has big concern on community local wisdom, especially in the context of disaster risk reduction. According to Uli, various programs in these two villages could go on quite well because they still strongly hold the tradition of gotong royong (mutual assistance). In addition, in Walbar village, whenever a new house is being built, the house will not be erected on a productive land, where they can grow root crops. In Tanimbar Kei village, its local wisdom is even stronger. People from this village never suffered of starvation threat because they still keep their village barn system until today. The village barn is managed through a customary system where there is a guarding family where their hereditary duty is to manage the village barn system and set up food distribution to the needy people, including fishermen from other places who stop there by chance. The agricultural system in this village follows the customary ritual while observing the appropriate planting season. This is done simultaneously by all the villagers in mutual cooperation, so the harvests can be conducted simultaneously. All of these activities are controlled by village agricultural officer who is elected through the village customary mechanism. Uli explained, “This village customary wisdom is indeed can be model of disaster risk reduction management, especially in term of food issue.” Still according to Uli, this village barn at least has some important functions. First is to collect the required seeds plants during planting season. Second is as food reserves during dry146 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 151. season. Third is to prepare for unexpected situations, such as socialconflict that hit Ambon and Maluku areas in 1999. When she was asked why Nen Mas Il activists in those twovillages are so excited to work on disaster management program,even though both of their working areas are quite far to reach,especially during high wave season where it is too risky to come toWalbar and Tanimbar Kei, Uli answered seriously, “Actually, theproblem in Walbar and Tanimbar Kei was the same as in manyother areas, including in our own island. We face similar hazards.So what we do in both villages is just like doing for our ownvillages. “ oooDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 147
  • 152. IIIEpilogue Disaster of Injustice
  • 153. Epilogue: Disaster of Injustice Maybe God got bored to see our behavior which is always wrong and proud with sins (News to my friend, Ebiet G. Ade) In any case of a disaster, whether generated by natural causes, like earthquakes and landslides, or human made disaster such as social conflict, Lapindo mud, until the most brand new one, gas stove explosion, examine how the media, especially television, framing the scene. In their programs, the lyric of “News to a Friend”, a song by G. Ebiet Ade, seems like the must to play theme song. This phenomenon seemed to reinforce the puritan view that saw the disaster as “punishment” from God the Almighty. This outdated way of looking trapped at the attitude of blaming the victim. The advocates of this stance implicitly blamed the victims suffered “a moral defect.”They are big sinners, so that they deserved to be admonished. What a dangerous fallacy! They are ignorant of the facts disaster strikes the most vulnerable groups of the average fellow countrymen, farmers, fishermen and laborers who were forced to inhabit vulnerable areas, for the lack of a better choice. They are the marginalized people who are oppressed by the injustice social,150 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 154. economic and political system. Adherents of such moralisticarguments actually concealed the real “sinner”. Those who hadmajor roles in triggering the disaster, through a variety of naturaldestructions that they created everywhere, but having the biggestprivileges to avoid the risk of disaster. In fact, after the hurly burlyof the disaster subsides, they are the most capable of making profitout the gloomy days. Strictly speaking, disaster and injustice aretwo inseparables sides of the coin! This is the primary admonition to be noted at the end ofthis book. This is actually one of the most fundamental issuesin disaster risk reduction efforts in this country. Furthermore itis undeniable that this phenomenon indeed rested on variousgovernment agencies, from the highest to the lowest level, as wellas other institutions such as non-governmental organizationsand universities, which are mandated to take care of the issue ofdisaster, in various aspects. Look at how busy they are knocking on the doors ofgenerous donors through a variety of fundraising programs. Evenif necessary begging for debt to rich countries or multinationallending institutions to fund the post-disaster reconstruction. Orstudents who organized fundraising with high spirit when theirhometown attacked by flood, for instance. Sure it was a noble endeavor. But if it obscures the state’sobligation to protect its people, it is really naive if this contradictoryattitude of generosity maintained. This modus operandi, whichhad been exaggerated by excessive developmentalism policy fordecades, has killed people’s sense of self reliance. Even at moreextreme levels, the aid actually makes people lose their basiccapital, social solidarity, as seen in Aceh after the Tsunami. Indeed disaster can be a real process of nation and characterbuilding, the mandate of our founding fathers that today has growninto indistinct state. However it is only under the condition thatDISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 151
  • 155. disaster management principles must foster a spirit of solidarity among the fellow countrymen. It should not be merely a means of proliferating charity (solidarity not charity), especially if it simply an “appeal” for short term political economic gain. Even worse, if the decision of how we manage the disaster and the fate of its victims is determined by foreign supremacy, who enthusiastically poured aid funds, in order to smooth their hidden imperialistic agenda. The disaster also is a test of the alignments of those who are mandated to manage this country, unless this nation is only intended for a piece of the people who benefit from the prevailing socio-political constellation. And other children of the nation, who suffered bad luck of disaster, only as a complementary. We certainly have to appreciate a number of progressive steps that have been done by the government in the matter of disaster so far. Besides, the stories narrated in this book shows in a pile of ignorance of the state in fulfilling their responsibilities, there are still government officials who refused to stand idly by managing the threat of disasters that continue to lurk. They worked like the farmers who continued to cultivate their land, after a vicious beating pest. Or the fisherman who sewed their torn screen buffeted by the storm. But much remains to be done to make the germinated seeds to become more equal disaster management system. If not it will die for facing the wall of the banal power. As the opportunity is widespread today, we all need to take care for the seeds of hope. Justice belongs only to those who want to fight for it...152 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 156. ReferenceFransisca,Lucia.2007.The Dialectics of Action in Building Community Participation: The Case of Post Yogyakarta Earthquake Housing Reconstruction, Indonesia. Research Paper, Insitute of Social Studies, The Hague.Hadar, Ivan A. Undated. Kemiskinan dan Bencana Alam (Poverty and Natural Disaster).Jhamtani, Hira, Lisa, Kadek, & Agung Wardana. 2009. Berubah Atau Diubah: Lembar Fakta & Panduan Tentang Pemanasan Global dan Perubahan Iklim (To Change or To Be Changed: Factsheet and Manual on Global Warming and Climate Change . INSISTpress. Yogyakarta.Klein, Naomi. 2007. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Penguin Books. London.Laksono, PM, & Roem Topatimasang (ed.). 2004. Ken Sa Faak: Benih-benih perdamaian dari Kepulauan Kei (Ken Sa Faak: Seeds of Peace from Kei Islands) , Nen Mas Il-Insist Press, Tual-Yogyakarta.Marut, Donatus K. 2003. Globalization and Conflicts among the Poor in Indonesia, Keynote Speech Paper in Groen Links Party Conference, Groningen.Marut, Donatus K. Kapitalisme Bencana Dan Bencana Kapitalisme (Disaster Capitalism and Capitalism Disaster), paper presented in the Seminar of “Natural Disaster and Climate Change”, INSIST, Yogyakarta, 16 February 2008.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 153
  • 157. Insist News, 27 June 2006, accessed on 4 May 2008, http://www. insist.or.id/index.php?lang=id&page=article&artid=27154 DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia
  • 158. ABOUT THE AUTHORSPuthut EA was born in Rembang, March 28th 1977.He finished his formal education in Faculty of Philosophy atUniversity of Gajah Mada, Yogyakarta. As a books editor, he hasbeen editing plenty of books, both fiction and nonfiction. As aresearcher, he has been often involved by some institutions in theirresearch programs, with various theme of research, like culture,history, education, health, and also local politic. He has beenalso asked by some institutions to help compile their educationcurriculums, study materials, and training modules. He has beenoften asked to guide a lot of creative writing trainings as well. Hisemail address is: puthutea@yahoo.com.Nurhady Sirimorok, Translator, freelance writer, faci­litator. Since the last 9 years, he has been going in and out villagesin South Sulawesi doing a lot of trainings, homestay whileresearching. In the year of 1996, he interned in Native FriendshipCenter, a nonprofit institution which work for native society ina small city Quesnell, British Columbia, Canada. In the end ofyear 1999 he finished his study in English Literature at Universityof Hasanuddin, Makassar. In the meantime, beside going in andout villages, his activities are mostly working together with hisfriends in Inninawa Community, Makassar. In the year of 2007,he finished his study in Rural Livelihood and Global Change atInstitute of Social Studies, Den Haag, Netherlands.DISASTER OF INJUSTICE: Reflections on Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 155