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Indonesia: First Step Towards Post Merapi Reconstruction

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- The World Bank together with Ministry of Public Works and National Disaster Management Agency held a workshop for facilitators who managed the Yogyakarta earthquake back in 2006.

- This workshop is the first step of recovery and the facilitators are expected to gain uniformed knowledge in managing the post Merapi disaster response

- The experience from REKOMPAK program during the Yogyakarta reconstruction in 2006 is the main fuel to start reconstructing the areas affected by the Merapi disaster

December 29, 2010, Yogyakarta - Based on joint assessment by the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), World Bank & UNDP, the total damage and losses from Merapi volcano disaster is expected to reach over four trillion rupiahs. To start the reconstruction of settlements which were destroyed by pyroclastic and cold lava flows, the World Bank and the Ministry of Public Works, the REKOMPAK (Community-Based Settlement Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Project) and BNPB held a workshop for facilitators previously involved in the Yogyakarta's post earthquake reconstruction in 2006.

The workshop, organized with funding from the Global Facility for Disaster reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), was intended to refresh the facilitators' knowledge, as well as to share information and experience related to early recovery needs of the villages around the Merapi volcano. It is expected that facilitators will have consistent understanding when they start working with the community to ensure effective reconstruction program in Merapi.

"With this workshop, the facilitators are expected to be able to identify the steps and priority actions that need to be undertaken immediately to manage post Merapi disaster recovery with available resources," said Iwan Gunawan, Senior Specialist of Disaster Risk Management from the World Bank Office Jakarta.

Various issues and challenges related to the recovery process surfaced in the two-day workshop. "Not only settlement and infrastructure issues, land rehabilitation and reforestation must also be managed as there are a lot of burned forests," said Bodi Wibowo, Expert and Facilitator for REKOMPAK . On the other hand, Yogyakarta has sufficient experience in rebuilding areas that sustained damages from previous Merapi eruptions. "Technically, we are ready to rebuild areas affected by the Merapi impacts as we have experts and facilitators in the field with sufficient experience from post earthquake of 2006," said Teguh Muhammad Abduh, REKOMPAK coach from the Ministry of Public Works.

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According to BNPB, with the emergency response status of Merapi disaster coming to an end per 5 December 2010, the Merapi area is now entering the early recovery stage. Yogyakarta reconstruction experiences post 2006 earthquake will become the main asset in rebuilding the areas affected by the Merapi disaster.

Most refugees not only lost their homes, but also their livelihoods, as they usually worked around their house as farmers. Now they are forced to switch profession becoming sand miners. The reconstruction must bring back the livelihood of the affected community. "Prior to the eruption, I raised chicken, all of my chicken were gone, and now I earn my living by selling sand from the eruption," said Iwan, a refugee.

One of the important elements in the success of post Yogyakarta earthquake reconstruction was community involvement and mutual assistance in reconstruction. The REKOMPAK project, under the coordination of the Ministry of Public Works Ministry became one of the largest community based housing reconstruction projects post 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta. More than 15 thousands earthquake resistant houses and 1,800 community infrastructure were managed to get rebuild by REKOMPAK. Using community-based development approach which involved the affected population, the project was a success, thanks to facilitators who acted as a bridge between the community and the local authority. The Java Reconstruction Fund (a trust fund managed by the World Bank for post 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake) plans to allocate its remaining 3.5 million dollar to the REKOMPAK project to support post Merapi disaster recovery.

In late October and November 2010 the Merapi volcano, located around 30 km from the City of Yogyakarta, erupted and caused over 340 casualties and displaced more than 200,000 people from the villages around the volcano. Pyroclastic materials and cold lava flows had destroyed thousands of houses and the surrounding areas.

About the REKOMPAK-JRF Project

REKOMPAK, which is implemented by the Ministry of Public Works, is to rebuild public infrastructure and earthquake-proof houses. The project also assisted risk mitigation efforts and readiness against disasters in villages which suffered from earthquake impacts through community-based approach, particularly in planning, priority setting and implementation stages.

REKOMPAK funding came from the Java Reconstruction Fund (JRF), a multi-donor grant facility as a response to earthquake in May 2006 which struck the Central Java province and Yogyakarta Special Region and tsunami which hit West Java province's south coast in July 2006. The grant facility was set up due to a request from the Government of Indonesia, to support governmental efforts and priority in reconstructing and rehabilitating areas which suffered from disaster impacts. The JRF mandate will be ended on December 2011.