Indonesia: Aceh flood - Damage and loss assessment

Originally published



In late December 2006, widespread flooding struck eastern and central Aceh and parts of neighboring North Sumatra province. Seven Acehnese districts were affected: Aceh Tamiang, Aceh Timur, Bireuen and Aceh Utara on the east coast; and Aceh Tengah, Bener Meriah and Gayo Lues in the highlands.

Government requested that a damage assessment be carried out in affected areas to assess the damage and to better design post-emergency assistance. The survey was carried out through the network of the Kecamatan Development Program (KDP) from December 30 - January 19 in affected villages.


The assessment indicates that 757 villages in 46 sub-districts in seven Acehnese districts were affected. In Aceh Tamiang and Aceh Utara almost every sub-district and village was affected; in the other five districts a smaller percentage of sub-districts and villages were affected.

The floods affected over half a million people, but fortunately deaths and injuries were relatively low. 512,879 people live in affected villages. The survey indicated that there were 47 deaths and 8,460 injuries (1.5% of affected population). The poor make up 27% of flood-affected households.


The total damage and losses caused by the flood are estimated at US$ 210 million or Rp. 1.9 trillion. Damage constitute a greater share of the total: US$ 198 million (or Rp. 1.78 trillion or 94%), compared to the US$ 12 million (Rp. 110 billion) in losses, although this in part is due to limited available data on losses. Private damage and losses far outweighed public damage and losses, accounting for 70% of the total.

Damage and losses from the flood are concentrated in two main sectors: infrastructure and housing and the productive sector. Damage and losses in the former amounts to Rp. 1.33 trillion ($148 million), or 71% of total damage and losses. In the productive sector, damage and losses are estimated at Rp. 418 billion ($46 million), or 22%.

A total of 4,412 homes require replacement, 13,124 were heavily damaged, and 24,874 were lightly damaged. Overall, housing damage and losses account for US$ 105 million (Rp. 952 billion), 51% of the total from the floods.

The agricultural sector was particularly hard-hit. The survey indicates that a total of 2,353ha of agricultural land require rehabilitation, 14,440ha were heavily damaged, and 7,610ha were lightly damaged. Rehabilitating the productive sector will be crucial for facilitating the return to "normal" social and economic living conditions.


Over 75% of damage and losses were concentrated in two districts: Aceh Tamiang and Aceh Utara. These two districts sustained damage and losses totalling Rp. 1 trillion ($115 million) and Rp. 515 billion ($57 million) respectively. The least affected district was Aceh Tengah with Rp. 6.9 billion of impacts ($769,189).

Some sub-districts were more affected than others. Total damage and losses for sub-districts range from a high of Rp. 118 billion ($13 million) for Banda Pusaka in Aceh Tamiang, to a low of Rp. 99 million ($11,107) for Dewantara, Aceh Utara. Indeed, the ten most affected sub-districts account for approximately 58% of total damage and losses across the province, or Rp. 1 trillion ($121 million).

There is also significant variation in damage and losses per village within and across districts. Calculated at the sub-district level, village averages range from a high of Rp. 23 billion ($2.5 million) per village in Tenggulan sub-district, in Aceh Tamaing, to a low of Rp. 96 million ($10,720) per village in Nisam, in Aceh Utara. The ten most affected villages account for 16% of damage and losses across the province, or Rp. 407 billion ($34 million). All these villages are located in the ten most affected sub-districts, which are located in Aceh Tamiang, Aceh Utara and Aceh Timur.


Expand Existing Tsunami Programs. Many existing programs cover key sectors affected by the flood, particularly housing, agriculture, roads, schools and health.

Target Funds Locally. The massive variation in impacts suggests that funds should be allocated at the sub-district or village level.

Utilize Community-Driven Development Mechanisms. The types of damage vary considerably between areas. Adopting a community-based approach can help match funding to diverse community needs and can increase community ownership.

Manage Expectations and Complaints. The tsunami reconstruction process highlights the importance of managing expectations and responding to complaints when they occur.

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