Elisabeth is a farmer from Bo’ne Buntusisong village in Tana Toraja District of South Sulawesi province. The village, like countless others in Indonesia, is prone to disasters, particularly landslides.
Following a particularly damaging 2016 landslide that destroyed farm land and road access, effectively cutting the village off for a number of weeks, CWS worked to further mobilize Bo’ne Buntusisong’s residents through a Safe Schools, Safe Communities initiative that had begun the year before – with Elisabeth as a keen participant from the start.
Since then, she has been elected Treasurer of the Disaster Preparedness Team and was chosen to represent Bo’ne Buntusisong in a recent Disaster Emergency Response Training facilitated by CWS. “We learned important details about the different types of disasters that we already know from experience; we also learned about early warning systems and what an effective emergency response involves. We practiced evacuations in simulations, and we learned First Aid,” Elisabeth remembers. “In my opinion, the training was really important because community members and village officials alike don’t really know much about what to do in the event a disaster. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this learning and sharing event, and I will share my new knowledge and skills with others on the Disaster Preparedness Team in our village so we can share it forward with the whole community.”
NOTE: Community-based disaster risk reduction and basic response readiness are a key focus for CWS in all of Southeast Asia, which is one of the most natural disaster-prone countries in the world. Currently, there are initiatives underway in Myanmar as well as Indonesia, and planning is under way with a Japanese technical partner for similar work in Vietnam.