President Jokowi Urges for Readiness, Vigilance over Disaster Risks

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 2 Maret 2023
Category: News
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President Jokowi opens the 2023 National Coordination Meeting on Disaster Management, Thursday (03/02), at JiExpo, Kemayoran, Jakarta. (Source: a screenshot)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Thursday (03/02) at the Jakarta International Expo (JIEXPO) in Kemayoran, Jakarta, opened the 2023 National Coordination Meeting on Disaster Management.

In his remarks, President Jokowi said that all countries remain ready and vigilant against climate change that can potentially increase the frequency of disasters.

“Climate change has drastically caused an increase in natural hazards. Indonesia has been identified among the top three of the most disaster-prone countries,” the President stated.

According to the President, the frequency of disasters in the country has increased by 81 percent from 1,945 disasters in 2010 to 3,544 disasters in 2022, including floods, volcanic eruptions, landslides, earthquakes, and other natural and non-natural disasters.

“We must stay alert and remain vigilant through disaster preparedness, including emergency response and post-impact stages. Everything must be prepared and managed properly,” he said.

The President went on to say that the pre-disaster stage is critical to mitigate risks and minimize the number of victims and amount of damage.

“We often focus on the emergency response phase when a disaster occurs, while pre-disaster stage is more important. The pre-disaster actions include disseminating information to the people, educating the community, and providing emergency training to the people for disaster prevention. That must be a priority,” he added.

On that occasion, the President underscored several points of note regarding pre-disaster stages, as follows:

First, developing an early warning system in disaster management.

“Early warning system is important. We often exercised a delayed warning,” he said.

Second, providing education on disasters to the public, such as emergency action plans for earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

“Educating the people and providing emergency training to the people is far more important so they know the safest place,” the President added.

Third, spatial planning and construction-related matters.

The President urged relevant officials, especially the regional public works offices and regional development planning agencies to pay attention to this matter.

“Do not make the same mistakes. In Palu, the cracks always appear in the same village or district when an earthquake or tsunami occurs every 20 or 50 years, yet housing is always being rebuilt there,” he stressed.

The Head of State also ordered related officials to pay attention to the disaster vulnerability map in providing building construction permits.

“We should’ve known where volcanic eruptions and earthquakes frequently occur since we have a disaster risk map. There should be directions on earthquake-resistant construction for those who will begin the construction,” he remarked. (FID/UN) (RIF/HD/MUR)

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