Population Data Development for Evacuation Simulation Research in Collaboration with JST-JICA

The survey was conducted by census, obtaining data door-to-door from all buildings in Meuraxa sub-district.  The surveyed buildings included houses, shops, and dormitories. Based on the survey results, the total percentage of occupied buildings in Meuraxa sub-district was 68.96% and the percentage of vacant buildings was 31.04%. The census outcome shows that the majority of residents of Meuraxa sub-district are 12 – 60 years of age.

Map of Meuraxa

Map of Meuraxa District

The majority of village leaders supported the survey and moreover delivered population input for their villages. As regards cooperation and openness of the community in delivering information, data acquisition was more successful after lunch (except on holidays), because a number of the homeowners performed activities outdoors. In order to avoid having to collect data twice in one location, the surveyor decided to conduct the survey in the afternoon. There were two villages (Gampong Baro and Blang Oi) that seemed to resist the survey, although there was an appointment letter from the University and a reference letter from Meuraxa sub-district. Here the survey team needed time to get a survey permit letter. This occurred because during the period after the disaster, a number of surveys had been conducted by other institutions that gave no feedback to the villages. There was a public assumption that every survey activity is data collection for aid agencies, so the team could not escape complaints aimed at other agencies.

The census outcomes in 16 villages in Meuraxa sub-district were as follows:

Family ID: 4.343 (69.28%)
Building ID: 6,269 (100%)
Number of empty buildings: 1,926 units
Number of population: 14,649 (100%)
Number of infants (age 0-3): 1,459 (9.96%)
Number of children (age 3-12): 2,135 (14.57%)
Young/adult (age 12-60): 10,755 (73.42%)
Number of elderly (age >60): 277 (1.89%)

Based on observations and interviews during the census, the age of the majority of the population is below 50 years. This is because a large number of elderly in Meuraxa sub-district were victims of the tsunami on 26 December 2004. The vacant buildings are caused by the fact that (1) a number of people have not returned to the village; some have moved away from Banda Aceh and some remain in Banda Aceh but away from areas susceptible to tsunami; (2) children who are not yet adults currently reside with guardians; (3) some residents sold their buildings and moved permanently to another city in Aceh or outside Aceh (4) before the disaster, each plot of land had only one building (occupied by more than one family), while after receiving aid each family has its own house.