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[Indonesia] 2 years since the Sulawesi Earthquake – Farmers are working again!

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2 years have passed since the Sulawesi Island earthquake in Indonesia on September 28, 2018. In addition to the tsunami and landslide, this earthquake caused a large-scale liquefaction which caused severe damage to local residents.

Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) had entered Central Sulawesi immediately after the disaster and carried out emergency relief activities to recovery activities such as distribution of emergency supplies to construction of temporary housing, then continued on to livelihood support for the farmers and built water supply facilities / toilets to accommodate resettling of the community displaced by the earthquake. Since the first response, PWJ has provided support to 6,594 people in 1,895 households. Thanks to our local partner Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) for working together and provide local expertise to provide most needed support to the disaster affected communities.

In the farmland recovery project implemented from July 2019 to the end of August 2020, PWJ/ACT constructed irrigation wells, leveled the farmland, and distributed crop seeds to the farmers who had not been able to restart the farming as livelihood. Now the harvesting has started and many farmers finally began to see income from the agriculture for the first time since the earthquake.

Mr. Merion from Maranata Village, Sigi Regency, talked about the current situation as follows. ”After the earthquake, even if I wanted to resume farming, I couldn’t afford to prepare the land and buy seeds, so I supported my family with day labor for construction work in the city. This time, in addition to well construction and land preparation and seeds distribution by PWJ, I was able to resume agriculture. “

The key to reconstruction after the earthquake is how the local residents can regain their original lives and recover on their own. In farmland that was devastated by the earthquake and liquefaction, we saw difficulties to resume agriculture by local residents on their own, some had to leave farming and engaged in day-labor to support their families. Our livelihood support project helped farmers return to the farmland and restart the agriculture. This was a big step toward reconstruction in the region.

“When I joined the PWJ and ACT teams to run the JPF3 program I was very enthusiastic and excited, because so far I could only see the many sufferings that people in Sigi regency experience after the earthquakes. I have faced many challenges and obstacles but all of them can be overcome because of the help from colleagues from PWJ and ACT, I also have learned a lot from farmers by spending time listening to them and discussing with them to find solutions for their agriculture recovery. Now farmers are smiling again!” ACT staff, Syurhil shared of his experience.

Since October 19, 2020, Peace Winds Japan has begun another project in Sigi Regency. We will continue partnership with ACT for the recovery of farmland and seed distribution in six villages, and with a new partner called INANTA, PWJ will support a disaster risk reduction (DRR) and mitigation capacity building project in two villages where disaster risk is extremely high.

The infection rate for COVID-19 in Indonesia is among the highest in the Southeast Asian countries, PWJ and our partners put the highest safety measures against the infection, to protect our project staffs as well as our supporting communities.

This project is funded by the grants from Japan Platform and donations from PWJ supporters.

We appreciate your continuous support!