Knowledge Is Power

CWS Indonesia | July 23, 2018

Doris facilitates a Village Disaster Preparedness Team meeting. Photo: CWS

Doris Datupasau is from Lembang Pondingao village in a far northern district on the island of Sulawesi province in eastern Indonesia. Doris and her husband are farmers who have five children. “We plant rice primarily, and some coffee and cocoa, in our fields, and our family income is solely from selling these crops. However, over the last four years, the yield from our coffee and cocoa trees has been steadily declining.” Doris was not entirely sure why this was happening until she learned about the slow and subtle impacts, including crop failure, of climate change on farming families like hers. While aware of the obvious impact of sudden, large scale natural disasters, Doris was glad for the chance to learn about the importance of vigilance and preparedness for the slow onset, less obvious, incremental disaster of drought, in particular. As she learned about the clear effect of climate change on her own family, Doris volunteered to become a member of the Village Disaster Preparedness Team so she could help others learn more, too, and plan to act to protect themselves and their assets, such as they are.

Together with other members of her team Doris has joined a variety of CWS-supported activities, including Basic Disaster Management training and a Hazard, Vulnerability and Capacity Mapping workshop for Lembang Pondingao, specifically. In addition, as her Team’s elected Secretary, Doris learned a lot about helping manage the roles and responsibilities of its members. Following her own learning and training, Doris proudly noted, “Now, we are sharing information about climate change and disaster preparedness with all community members, and I am doing this personally within my church community.” As she works with her husband to decide on ways to protect their own crops – perhaps my diversifying – Doris also celebrates her leadership role among her neighbors and friend, “I am happy to be part of the Village Disaster Preparedness Team and to work toward making Lembang Pondingao safer” and more resilient against climate change, especially.

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