The National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) has set out 26 April as the National Disaster Preparedness Day (Hari Kesiapsiagaan Bencana Nasional or shortly HKBN) throughout Indonesia with the aim of increasing the individual awareness in order to be ready on the occurring disasters. In addition to that, on the same day last year in 2017 the first HKBN took place by successfully involving 10.500 participants from all over Indonesia.
On 26 April 2018, the second commemoration was held by the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) of Central Kalimantan and it was the first time for Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) to get invited by the local government due to its huge contribution in taking the initiatives for establishing the Fire Aware Community (Masyarakat Peduli Api or shortly MPA).
In 2017, BNF received the grant from Indonesian Climate Change Trust Fund (ICCTF) in order to support a wide array of capacity building activities for local communities. One of the programmes was to establish Fire Aware Community (MPA) in two neighbouring villages of Sabaru and Kereng Bangkirai. The MPAs in the two villages are expected to be able to work together for protecting not only the peatland forest from the fire but also their local surrounding from disasters.
In order to perform more professionally, BNF pushes the MPAs to participate in the HKBN 2018 that was hosted by BPBD of Central Kalimantan.
“This event serves as a follow-up activity from the previous ICCTF-funded establishment of the MPAs because the focus of the grant is a sustainable programme for local community” Said Yunsiska Ermiasi, BNF conservation representative.
Therefore, the participation of Fire Aware Community in the event has helped BNF showing its serious attempt to empower local community by strengthening collaboration with the local government.
During that one-day event on last Wednesday, the BNF-MPA received the training for handling the disasters. The BPBD designed the fire simulations in three spots in Palangka Raya that were carried out at the Governor’s Office of Palangka Raya, Muhammadiyah Public Hospital, and SMA 3.
“These three spots represent the blue triangles that symbolize Disaster Management; the government as the center of authority, hospital as the public places, and high school (SMA 3) as the education center,” said Kibo, Chief of Disaster Prevention from BPBD.
Darliansjah, Chief Implementation Officer of Regional Disaster Management Agency Palangka Raya also added that most of the organizations and institutions are unaware of the occurring disaster. They do not have specific regulations such as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that drives the understanding of the staff when the disaster happens.
“We don’t have to worry about the earthquake issues in Central Kalimantan. According to the reports, fire is our foremost enemy. Therefore, now we’re focusing on the fire as our common disaster that happens almost frequently in the public places not only in our forest” Darliasjah added.
In the simulation at the governor’s office, the MPA group members were trained to employ a light fire extinguisher tool called APAR for the first hand aid to prevent the fire to spread while the next session at Muhammadiyah Public Hospital together with the hospital staffs, MPA also learnt to safely evacuate the patients from the hospital. Last but not the least, the final activity carried out at SMA 3 Palangka Raya is growing the understanding and the awareness on the high school students for the risk of the fire before it becomes a public disaster.
The MPA members were so active during commemoration day. As the name implies, the members hope that the event isn’t merely a ceremonial to commemorate the disaster prevention only, but their future expectation also goes to have more opportunities to get involved in the same useful and productive activities. (AE)