TDMRC researchers were sent to Mataram, a city in West Nusa Tenggara Province of Indonesia started from February 10 until 18 to assess the city coastal community vulnerability towards impacts of coastal hazards. The activities were part of Partnership Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) USAID Research Grant No. 5-395 title “Incorporating climate change induced sea level rise information into coastal cities’ preparedness toward coastal hazards”.
The survey was led by Rina Suryani Oktari, supported by Dr. Eko Pradjoko from Mataram University. The survey was aimed at knowing the coastal community’s knowledge and preparedness towards impacts of coastal hazards, such as erosion and coastal flooding coupled with impacts of Sea Level Rise. Two sub-districts in Mataram were the study area of this investigations. The survey was also assisted by 12 students from Mataram University who were the enumerators of the survey. Two methods were applied in this investigations. The first method was by distributing a set of questionnaires to 321 respondents at the coastal sub-districts. The second method was by conducting in-depth interviews with local stakeholders in Mataram.
The survey found that the level of the preparedness of the community is low. Most of the communities in the sub-district have to endured severe impacts of coastal flooding and coastal erosion. Informal settlers around the beach area exacerbated the adverse impacts as they are eligible for social protection promoted by the city government, such as insurance for fishermen. Not more than 19% of the community has a saving to protect their economy should there long pause of fishing activities due to severe weather. Low participation of the community was also indicated during the process of coastline structure protection project. Insufficient discussion with coastal settlers has led to low ownership and low understanding of the community to the coastal zone management.
Another visible concern was bad sanitation condition around the coastal area contributed to severe health problems among coastal settlers. The indicated issues will be brought to discussion among the city stakeholders during Focus Group Discussion. The Principal Investigator of the research, Dr. Syamsidik, mentioned that the findings could be potential ways to integrate the research results into the city’s planning and works. As TDMRC has been focusing to promote its research results into policies and community’s practices, the challenges to bring the issues into related stakeholders remained. The research is expected to continue until end of 2019.