Asia-Pacific Region Needs to Think about the Future of Disaster Mitigation

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – On June 19, 2019, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $150 million loan to finance the reconstruction and strengthening of housing and public facilities affected by the September 2018 tsunami and earthquake in Central Sulawesi.

The financing will support the Government of Indonesia’s efforts in rehabilitation and reconstruction of the region and help reduce human and economic losses from future natural disasters.

Financed by this new loan, the Central Sulawesi Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Project (CSRRP) will improve building performance and sustainability of critical public facilities and housing settlements. Project beneficiaries include 170,000 internally displaced persons and approximately 7,000 disaster-affected households from the area.

The project will also build the capacity of government and implementation partners to ensure quality construction practices and compliance with standards, while also meeting local communities’ needs.

Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire with 127 active volcanoes, Indonesia is one of the most disaster‑prone countries in the world. Natural disasters have adverse results on the people and economy, often having an impact on national development outcomes.

Between 2007 and 2018, disasters caused more than 7,300 fatalities and displaced 55 million people, with annual economic losses of approximately US$2.2 to $3.0 billion. The Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami caused approximately 4,000 fatalities and economic losses of $1.3 billion, or 13.7 percent of the region’s GDP.

“Indonesia’s consistent efforts in growing its economy and reducing poverty have shown positive results. Although urban areas play a key role in this progress, rapid growth and transformation of cities often make them more vulnerable to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change,” said Rodrigo A. Chaves, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. “Strengthening the housing stock and building practices is an important part of disaster management strategy.”

When towns and cities grow in the absence of carefully-managed infrastructure development and risk-informed planning, the concentration of people and assets can create disaster “hotspots”.  In Central Sulawesi, the urban share of the population is expected to grow from 24.3 percent in 2010 to 43.1 percent in 2035. To address this, the CSRRP will support targeted communities with reconstructed and strengthened housing and public facilities.

“The design of public facilities will follow the inclusive design principles outlined in the Government’s Master Plan, particularly those that address climate change and the needs of people with disabilities, women, and children. The program will also complement infrastructure construction and recovery activities financed by the government in the region, other World Bank-financed projects, and development partners,” said George Soraya, World Bank Lead Municipal Engineer and Team Leader of this project.

The World Bank’s support to Indonesia’s service delivery is a key component of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework for Indonesia, which focuses on government priorities for transformational development impact, including reducing disaster risk.

Previously the earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction disasters that hit four regions at Palu, Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong, in Central Sulawesi, were directly affected by the disaster. Its estimating the losses of disaster worth of RP13,82 trillion (US$953.10 million), said the National Mitigation Disaster Agency in a written statement.

Until Sunday (21/10), the agency reported 2,256 people died. Its distribution in Palu City 1,703 peoples, Donggala 171 peoples, Sigi 366 peoples, Parigi Moutong 15 peoples and Pasangkayu 1 persons. All victims have been buried. While, a total of 1,309 peoples were missing, 4,612 peoples were injured and 223,751 peoples were displaced in 122 points.

Stated by the spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, many buildings and infrastructure were destroyed by the disaster. Damage included 68,451 housings, 327 worship houses, 265 school units, 78 units of offices, 362 units of shops, 168 cracks, 7 units of bridges and so on. It said the data is temporary.

Of the Rp13.82 trillion, the loss reached Rp1.99 trillion and the damage reached Rp11.83 trillion. The impact of losses and damage due to this disaster includes five development sectors, namely losses and damage in the habitation sector reaching Rp7.95 trillion, infrastructure Rp701.8 billion, productive economic Rp1.66 trillion, social Rp3.13 trillion, and across sectors reaching Rp378 billion.

It reported, almost along the coast in Palu Bay, the building is flat and heavily damaged. Tsunami strikes with a height of between 2.2 and 11.3 meters with the furthest reaches reaching almost 0.5 kilometers have destroyed the habitation there.

Likewise, there was a collapse and appointment of settlements in Balaroa. The liquefaction which sank housing in Petobo, Jono Oge and Sibalaya has caused thousands of homes to disappear.

Based on the distribution of the area, the loss and damage in Palu City reached Rp7.63 trillion, Sigi Regency Rp4.29 trillion, Donggala Rp1.61 trillion and Parigi Moutong reaching Rp393 billion.

Calculation of the need for post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction has not been calculated. Its estimated that to rebuild disaster-affected areas later during the rehabilitation and reconstruction period will require a budget of more than Rp10 trillion.

Indonesia’s Presiden Joko Widodo has authorized to accept international help for urgent disaster-response and relief. Countries and multilateral agency has help Central Sulawesi and Lombok to support immediate budgetary needs and reconstruction efforts in the affected areas. Two multilateral agencies, World bank and Asian Development Bank aimed to pledged up to $1 billion, each.

Written by Willy Matrona, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com