Resilient schools equal resilient communitiesOct 5, 2017
ACEH, Indonesia — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia, together with the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and supported by the Government of Japan, held a series of tsunami drills at SMP Negeri 1 and SMA Negeri 1 Peukan Bada, Kabupaten Aceh Besar (3 October 2017) and SMA Negeri 6 Banda Aceh (5 October 2017). The objective is to nurture preparedness for the vulnerable groups, including students in Aceh.
As the epicenter of the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Aceh is in the forefront in providing disaster risk reduction efforts to the broad public including students. The Head of Mitigation and Preparedness Section of Local Disaster Management Agency (BPBA), Bobby Syahputra said “Aceh’s resiliency is counting on its preparedness efforts. We want to assure that no one is left behind and to provide everyone the understanding and urgency of disaster hazard and preparedness so that we can be a more resilient community.”
Understanding the rich history that Aceh has in relation to build-back-better, UNDP has been working with the Government of Indonesia in promoting disaster risk reduction particularly in tsunami through various platforms, including through UNDP’s project ‘Reducing the Loss of Lives of Schoolchildren from Tsunamis in Asia-Pacific through Better Awareness and Preparedness’. The UNDP Country Director in Indonesia, Christophe Bahuet emphasized “While we all remember the tsunami that hit Aceh in 2004, we also must remember what to do when such as disaster strikes. This is why UNDP and Japan have partnered to conduct tsunami drills in schools of Indonesia. We want the children to know the behaviour and reaction that can save their life.” Mr. Bahuet added that improving disaster preparedness was part of UNDP’s work to help meet the Sustainable Development Goals, in particularly for Sustainable Cities and Communities (goal 11) and Climate Action (goal 13)”.
As a country who shares similarities in responding to disasters, the Government of Japan has been actively supporting this initiative. Representative from the Government of Japan said, “We are keen to support the UNDP’s initiative in the context of disaster risk reduction and we have been involved as well on the first batch of the tsunami drill held in Bali last August.” This UNDP regional project is taking place in 18 Asia-Pacific countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.