SurfAid field activity this year has focused on our Tsunami Emergency Recovery Program in the Mentawai Islands, our Health Program in Nias, and the planning process for our new Emergency Preparedness (E-Prep) program in the Mentawai, Banyak and Telo islands.
We have launched an ‘Epic Mentawai’ campaign to raise funds for our work and all donations are greatly appreciated.
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For the first time since the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, SurfAid is working back in the Banyak Islands, off Aceh, where we are rolling out our Emergency Preparedness (E-Prep) Program. We are also working in the Telo Islands, which are south of Nias, for the first time, and also on Siberut and Sipora islands in the Mentawai.
SurfAid has built an award-winning capacity in emergency preparedness and has delivered five emergency response programs following major disasters, including the 2004 tsunami that devastated widespread areas of Indonesia and surrounding countries, and the 2010 Mentawai tsunami.
The team gathers for group photo with the children. Since our new t-shirts have arrived everyone has caught onto the little hand gesture. Location: Gobik
The goal of the program is to increase community awareness and provide the communities living on islands off the western coast of Sumatra and Aceh with effective strategies to reduce and manage the risk associated with the occurrence of earthquakes and tsunamis in the region, and to increase the rate at which they will be able to recover from any major event.
This program was designed utilizing the lessons learned and best practices of the previous E-Prep Programs, including the three-year E-Prep program funded by AusAID and the E-Prep Roadshow funded by NZAID.
Many of our target communities do not understand what a tsunami or earthquake actually is, so they are at serious risk. We provide education and training and focus all of our activity on planning, so communities are genuinely prepared (in that they understand the risks and they have a plan to deal with them). We also focus this work on schools, as well as “communities”.
There is no point in providing information to a group of individual community members. The process is only successful if it is supported by all community members, and there is strong community buy-in. Without this buy-in, the messaging will be weak, and the efforts of individual community members will not be as effective as if the whole community buys in.
Communities are poor, isolated and lack reliable means of communication with the outside world. Therefore the long-term benefits of the E-Prep Program will start to wane if communities are left to their own devices. Local governments are seeking to prioritise disaster risk management, and implementation of disaster plans, but usually lack the knowledge and resources. Strengthening these groups, and helping them perform their role better, is the only way to ensure sustainability.
The E-Prep Program is majority funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme (MFAT - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) under their Sustainable Development Fund (SDF), as well as private donations. click to help
The tsunami of 25 October last year destroyed more than a dozen villages on the west coast of the Mentawai Islands. Most of the NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) that were in the Mentawai immediately following the tsunami have left. The only other international NGOs still operating are Mercy Corps and IOM (International Organization for Migration).
Following a successful Emergency Response, SurfAid is now engaged in the recovery phase. There is a wide range of individual projects covered by the Emergency Recovery Program:
• P4B (Post-disaster Disease Prevention and Treatment), re-establishing community-level health services in South Pagai, where communities have been relocated from the coast to new inland areas, under a sub-contractual arrangement with local partner NGO Yayasan Reimer Schefold Mentawai (YRSM);
• Psychosocial Support (PSS), targeting the reduction of post-traumatic stress disorder in children, focused initially on South Sipora then relocating to South Pagai;
• Temporary Shelter (T-Shelter), working with affected communities to support them in the construction of 327 houses in the villages of Beriulou, Masokut and Bosua in South Sipora;
• Hygiene and Promotion (HPP), assisting communities in South Sipora (SurfAid field staff) and South Pagai (Ibu Foundation sub-contract) to address their sanitation and hygiene status, focused on hand-washing and monitoring cases of diarrhoea in children;
• Clean Water (CWP), providing a water supply to communities in Sipora (implemented by SurfAid field staff) and South Pagai (under a sub-contract with iNGO arche noVa);
• E-Prep, in North and South Pagai;
• Nutrition, as a component of a Mother and Child Health (MCH) project that will commence in August.
Phase I of our Psychosocial Support Project (PSS) and the Temporary Shelter (T-Shelter) Project have been completed and in early April we commenced the HPP and E-Prep projects.
Activities from April to June focused mainly on training and socialization of HPP, P4B and CWP, and included evaluations of the T-Shelter and phase I of the PSS Project. The key outputs were:
Evaluation of Phase I of the PSS program showed a significant reduction in the levels of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) for children 6-11 after six months of project implementation.
By the end of April 2011, 327 houses had been completed as part of the T-Shelter project.
CLTS training and triggering completed in Km.37, hamlet Purourougat, in South Pagai. Rubbish areas and toilets were starting to be built immediately following the first week of triggering. One toilet was built after the training and one in progress.
10 rainwater catchment tanks constructed in South Sipora.
Significant challenges remain in the Mentawai Islands in addition to the usual problems associated with communications, isolation and weather. There continues to be a severe shortage of fuel which is causing delays in program delivery.
The distance between the emergency recovery work and our main Mentawai field office in Tuapejat remains a problem. And there is also the constant challenge to minimize overlap with other NGOs and mitigate the risk associated with burnout among the field staff.