Indonesia, Japan teaming up in post-quake reconstruction of Sulawesi
INDONESIA and Japan have since early this month been cooperating in the formulation of a master plan for boosting disaster readiness in the former’s Sulawesi island, which was hit by a major earthquake and tsunami last year, the two sides confirmed Thursday.
Gellwynn Jusuf, secretary to the Indonesian national development planning minister, said Thursday that the cooperation is expected to last 36 months, during which 54 Japanese experts will be deployed to project sites in Central Sulawesi Province to help local stakeholders carry out the plan.
Central Sulawesi, particularly the provincial capital of Palu, the nearby coastal town of Donggala, and Sigi Regency, was hit by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on September 28, claiming 2081 lives, with 1309 others missing and presumed dead.
Many deaths from liquefaction were reported in Palu’s districts of Petobo and Balaroa and the village of Jono Oge in Sigi Regency, with entire houses being swallowed up by the ground.
The cooperation will cover the preparation of disaster risk assessment and hazard maps and promotion of disaster-resilient infrastructure and public facilities, among other areas.
“Rehabilitation and recovery from earthquake will be enhanced and disaster-resilient cities will be established through the implementation of the proposed regional disaster-risk resilience plan,” Jusuf said after exchanging records of discussions with Shinichi Yamanaka, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tokyo’s development aid arm.
The project, he said, will benefit the local community in Central Sulawesi by helping “reduce trauma and enhance readiness” in coping with risk and potential natural disasters in the future.
The project is also expected to provide an adequate knowledge-sharing mechanism that can be replicated in any other region prone to natural disasters.
Regarding the knowledge-sharing mechanism, Yamanaka said JICA will invite advisory members of local governments from Higashi-Matsushima, a city in Miyagi Prefecture, and Kamaishi, a city in Iwate Prefecture, both in eastern Japan, to give workshops in Jakarta and Palu.
Both prefectures were affected by the powerful earthquake that struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on March 11, 2011, triggering a tsunami that killed almost 16,000 people.
“They are expected to share their reconstruction experience and knowledge ...(and) I hope fruitful discussions can be done among local governments of the two nations,” Yamanaka said. –
Residents walk through the earthquake devastated area in Balaroa, Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on October 4, 2018.