Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Response Teams in Tana Toraja

CWS Indonesia | June 20, 2018

Women gather to learn more about disaster preparedness during a workshop in Tana Toraja. Photo: CWS

Henra Rante Allo is a 40-year-old member of the Disaster Preparedness Team (TAGANA is the Indonesian acronym) in Tana Toraja District of South Sulawesi – a team that was created by the Ministry of Social Affairs several years ago as part of a nationwide program designed to support community volunteers for disaster preparedness and response. Henra’s TAGANA tasks include helping evacuate and shelter people from disaster affected areas, and then doing rapid needs assessments to address damage.

Even though their mandate is from their Government, Henra and other team members have not been very well prepared for their volunteer roles. So, they felt lucky to join CWS-led workshops and training exercises, including First Aid basic led Indonesian Red Cross staff, as part of the Act for Peace-funded Disaster Resilience through Enhanced Adaptive Measures (DREAM) project. “This was the first time I learned about First Aid since becoming a TAGANA member,” Henra said, then continued, “And, I used my new knowledge soon after when there was a landslide in a village near mine where one of my relatives broke a leg. With what I learned in the First Aid training I could immobilize the leg and fix it in place before we transported him to the nearest health center,” Henra explained. If it had not been for the basic training, Henra admits he would not have known what, correctly, to do.

Glad for the good First Aid training experience, in Henra recently joined a 3-day Disaster Preparedness Facilitator training workshop where he and others learned about how to support communities as they prepare for disaster response with the aim of becoming a Disaster Resilient Village in line with a community-based disaster risk management concept developed and promoted by the Indonesian government. Through DREAM CWS is helping local government, which are not fully able to support communities on their own, promote this status in four villages – as a start.

Now, with CWS support, Henra and other community members are well on the way to be an example for other villages in the district. “With other team members I helped Village Disaster Preparedness Teams form in North Belau, Pondingao, Bau and Burasia villages. Joining the facilitator training gave me the confidence to organize and lead community meetings and to share what I have learned about disaster preparedness. I am very proud to be a member of TAGANA and to be able to support community disaster preparedness efforts.” Among other activities, Henra helped facilitate the hazard and vulnerability mapping exercise in all four villages where, he said, “CWS is really helping empower communities and emergency responders like me and my TAGANA team.”

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