TDMRC and Andalas University Enhance Flood-Affected Community Resilience in Nagari Aia Gadang

On October 11 2018, nine sub-districts in West Pasaman district, West Sumatra, were hit by flood which was the most severe flood in the last ten years. The reported economic loss was 5.4 trillion Rupiah. Jorong Batang Saman area, in Nagari Aia Gadang, Pasaman District, was one of the most poorly affected areas. With maximum inundation of 180-200 cm, around 700 houses were submerged, two houses were severely damaged, and one person was reported as the casualty.

Nagari Aia Gadang is an area that is most frequently and severely area affected by flood. The flood usually comes from relatively high-lying areas like mountains or hills in which torrential rain falls for one or two days. The flood destroys farmlands and the local’s agriculture-based livelihoods. This has become a consequence for the communities living in this flood-prone area, in which their livelihoods can be affected and cause the financial status of the middle-class families to be more vulnerable. However, the locals still choose to live in the area despite the fact that it is prone to disaster.

In a strategic plan drafted by the Government of West Sumatra, disaster mitigation is listed as a priority for regional development implementation at the Province and District level. It is listed as the Tenth Priority, namely “Environmental Conservation and Disaster Management”. It aims at reducing the environmental damage as well as losses due to disasters. Its objectives are to increase the community preparedness in disaster management, improve emergency responses and regional post-disaster recovery, and enrich the local wisdom in environmental management and preservation.

Through the Higher Education Excellence Community Service Program (PPMUPT), Andalas University (UNAND) along with TDMRC Universitas Syiah Kuala intends to conduct a capacity building activity to help the flood-affected community in Nagari Aia Gadang and increase their livelihood capacity. This project is a collaboration of several institutions, namely the Institution of Research and Community Service (LPPM) of UNAND, TDMRC of Unsyiah, Aia Gadang Government, Tunas Muda Farmer Group and Teratai Group. This collaboration is supported and facilitated by the District Agricultural Services of West Pasaman.

To achieve the goals, two main approaches will be used. The first one is Participatory Approach, in which the community will be involved in identifying the kinds of activities that can help them increase their disaster management capacity and livelihood resilience capacity. The other one is Multi-stakeholder Approach, which is vital for the implementation of activities identified in the first stage.

The following are the main activities for the Capacity Building: 1). Increasing Community Preparedness to Flood, and 2). Improving the economic-livelihood resilience that is based on Agribusinesses.

The first activity operates mainly through:

  • DRR Mapping (on the 1st – 2nd week of July 2020)
  • Assessing community needs through a series of FGDs (on the 3rd week of August 2020)
  • Enhancing Disaster Knowledge and Awareness in Communities (on the 1st – 2nd week of September 2020)
  • Strengthening DRR Communities (on the 1st week of June 2021 – the 4th week of July 2021)
  • Initiating the Village Plan and Regulation and Village Fund Allocation Drafting related to DRR (on the 1st week of August 2021 – the 4th week of September 2021)

As for the second activity, it operates through:

  • Identifying the kinds of flooding recovery efforts at Batang Pasaman riverbank and the local economy (on the 3rd week of August 2020)
  • Pilot project by planting types of plants to reduce damage of the riverbank from the flood and enhancing the community economic resilience (on the 4th week of August – 4th week of September 2020)
  • Laying out a comprehensive economic resilience road-map (on the 1st and 2nd week of September 2020)
  • Training on Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Economic Empowerment (on the 3rd and 4th week of July 2021)

Click here to watch PPMUPT project in Nagari Aia Gadang, West Pasaman.