The Mayor of Banda Aceh, Inaugurated the Disaster Preparedness School Festival

Banda Aceh, TDMRC. The Mayor of Banda Aceh, Ir. Mawardy Nurdin, M.Eng.Sc., invited all related parties to success the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programs investing DRR values from early age children and school children.

Thus said by the Mayor of Banda Aceh while inaugurated the Disaster Preparedness School Festival (DPSF), in open space Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC) – Unsyiah, in Ulee Lheue, Sabtu (24/12).

According to him, all elements who are involved in the area of disaster should strengthened school capacity which are located in the prone are to disasters in Aceh because most of them are lack of information regarding disaster preparedness, even teachers are often not prepared to deal with disaster.

He added, this ought to be a starting point for local government and school management located in disaster prone area to start from simple things in increasing the capacity of disaster preparedness education and school’s commitment in the creation of Disaster Preparedness School (DPS).

Meanwhile, the Coordinator of DPSF, Drs. Mukhlis Hamid, M.Pd., said, in collaboration with LIPI, UNESCO, Provincial Education Agency, Indonesian Red Cross, and some related agencies, TDMRC has initiated disaster preparedness school in Banda Aceh and Great Aceh. Those DPSs are located in Meuraxa and Peukan Bada area which are zero point of earthquake and tsunami 2004 and are prone-area to disaster.

Mukhlis said, his party has conducted those such activities since 2009. From the initial phase, they have evolved the concepts in 28 schools at all levels. The activities were focused on the strengthening of school’s management capacity, teachers, and students.

He also said that after seven years of tsunami 2004, there are a number of schools located in disaster prone-area not yet adopt the disaster preparedness education into their school curricula. Therefore, he expected, there is a sustainability of the development of the DPSs.

In commemorating the momentum of Seven Years Earthquake and Tsunami 2004 Reflection, TDMRC tried to make this event as the campaign medium to promote disaster preparedness in school, specifically which are located in disaster prone-area.

The festival is an educative recreation activity which was held in outdoor space of TDMRC as a medium to promote disaster preparedness among students by stressing on the self-development issues, which include mental, physics, intelectual, spiritual, and social related DRR. About 1000 participants were participated in this event, they come from TDMRC, Banda Aceh Municipal Government, Jambo Minda Foundation, Kualisi untuk Laot Aceh (Kuala), Walhi Aceh, Indonesian Red Cross, Education Agency of Aceh Province, Banda Aceh and Great Aceh, as well as schools those have involved in DRR activities.

The series of activities were: 1) Campaign: balloon released by Mayor of Banda Aceh marking the opening of the festival, prayer in mass-grave, Workshop on the Lessons-learnt of DPS in Aceh; 2) Competition: Evacuation Route Design, Permanent Procedures, Integration of Disaster Education into School Curricula, Student First Aid Contest, and Drawing; 3) Exhibition: Education Expo, Fire Extinguish Demo, Disaster Smart-Car, Movie Show, and Trees Distribution.

It is expected that through this festival all participated schools and its elements can increase their perceptions, skills, and awareness in promoting disaster preparedness education in their circles.