Oktovina Sari Andilolois a Village Disaster Preparedness Facilitator in LembangBau village in South Sulawesi; and she came to hold this important position when she first heard about a disaster resilience initiative called DREAM. “When I first heard about the DREAM project I was immediately interested. My neighbors and I talked about our experience with disasters in our village with staff from CWS and their local partner, Pusbinlat Motivator. In turn they shared more detailed information about climate change.” As Oktovina learned about the harm climate change is causing well beyond LembangBau she decided to join a 3-day program to learn more about the concept of a disaster prepared village, which the Indonesian government is promoting, plus the basics of disaster management – from disaster risk mapping and reduction activities, to risk mitigation and, failing that, disaster response, which requires basic First Aid to start”. After completing the program, including practical facilitation skills training, Oktovina helped facilitate formation of a Village Disaster Preparedness Team in LembangBau.
The Disaster Preparedness Team includes community members representing different groups and stakeholders in the village: women and youth, for example, plus some local government staff. Each team has a team leader, secretary, treasurer, plus sub-teams for logistics, health, shelter and field kitchen management and, if needed, evacuation. The key Team role is complex: keep community members – their family, neighbors and friends – informed about hazardous areas; map and share evacuation routes; monitor heavy rains, when there is increased risk of landslides; and, importantly, mobilizes resources and respond during an actual emergency.
“After joining the Disaster Preparedness Team, I am much more aware of the situation in my village. Now I take time to stop and talk with neighbors and others about disaster risks in our community.” Feeling confident that it is her role to share concerns around the village, Oktovina told a CWS colleague this, “Now, when I need to speak at community meetings and in front of a lot of people, I feel confident to do so. I know there is still a lot more to learn about disasters and disaster management, but I am determined to keep learning to help make LembangBau a Disaster Prepared Village”. If Oktovina has her way, her village and thousands of others across Indonesia will move forward from a past when they have only been victims in need of help to recover. With access to information, plus new knowledge, skills and team work, people will move with CWS and partner support to being more able to assess risks and anticipate harm, so they can be better prepared to reduce and mitigate harm, and to respond to disasters when they do happen.
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