Located on the edge of the Ring of Fire, Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world: floods, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanoes, cyclones, etc. In 2018 alone, the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) recorded nearly 2,000 natural disasters.
On 28 September 2018, the coasts of Palu were hit by a tsunami triggered by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast. The human toll was high, with thousands of people missing and hundreds of thousands displaced. The fishing community was particularly badly affected by the disaster: every second boat in the bay was destroyed. Given their low incomes, most fishermen are unable to replace their lost equipment and restart their activities.
AFD, in cooperation with the CCFD-Terre Solidaire NGO and Kiara (a group of 9 fishing organisations in Indonesia), has launched a new project to enable coastal populations affected by the disaster to resume their activities as soon as possible. In particular, it provides for the distribution of 650 boats over three years and better preparation of the local residents for such disasters.
For as long as Taslim can remember, the mangrove has always been there. No one ever told him the reason why it was there or who planted it. But on 28 September 2018, its presence saved the lives of many people in the region. And for good reason: in the areas where the mangrove forest grows, the height of the waves was reduced from five metres to just one.
"The mangrove saved us. Densely covering a distance of approximately 20 metres down to the shore, it retained the waves and protected our village. Today, it has completely disappeared. But after all these years, we now know what it's there for,” Taslim explains.
The province of Palu is currently in the process of being rebuilt. Aware of the importance of mangrove forests in protecting coastal communities, AFD has placed re-planting projects at the heart of the work to revive regional activity. The aim is to better protect local populations from future disasters.
"We are pleased to contribute to this project," says Emmanuel Baudran, Director of the AFD office in Jakarta (Indonesia). "We hope that this pilot program will help Palu's coastal communities to resume their work and lives and to have a better understanding of potential disasters. "