Determined to keep abreast of affairs throughout the country, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyon has installed a 'situation room' at the Presidential Palace. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
Showing posts with label Natural Disaster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Natural Disaster. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Govt Allocates Rp 67 Billion for Sinabung Victims’ Relocation

Jakarta Globe, February 5, 2014

People living within three kilometers from the crater of Mount Sinabung will be
relocated, the government’s disaster-management agency has said. (IRIN Photo)

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said on Wednesday that Rp 67 billion ($5.5 million) had been allocated to a build a new settlement for more than 1,000 families displaced by volcanic activity around Mount Sinabung in Karo district, North Sumatra.

Repeated eruptions since September last year have driven nearly 32,000 away from their homes and killed 16 people. The government has, however, decided that the replacement land will be provided only for people living within three kilometers of the crater.

BNPB secretary Fatchul Hadi said the new houses would be built in the subdistrict of Kabanjahe, approximately seven kilometers away from the old neighborhood inside the danger zone.

“The main issue with this relocation plan was [the acquisition of] land, but it has been settled now,” Fatchul told a press conference at the BNPB headquarters in Jakarta. “We’ve secured 15 out of the targeted 25 hectares. In the next few days, we hope to secure all of it.”

A total of 1,109 families will be included in the relocation plan. Each of them will be allocated between 100 and 150 square meters of land, and Rp 30 million with which to build a new house.

“The fund [Rp 67 billion] also includes costs for the construction of necessary facilities, such as roads and clean water,” Fatchul said.

The BNPB would coordinate with the Ministry of Public Works to enact the measures, he said, which are not expected to begin until the volcanic activity returns to normal levels.

Related Article:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marzuki Suggests House Members Donate 25% of Salaries to Sinabung Victims

Jakarta Globe, January 15, 2014

A villager pours pesticide from a bucket as Mount Sinabung spews ash at Kebayaken
 village in Karo district, North Sumatra, on Dec. 4, 2013. (Reuters Photo/Roni Bintang)

The House of Representatives Speaker Marzuki Alie suggested during a plenary meeting on Wednesday that each member of the legislative body should donate 25 percent of their monthly salary to victims of the ongoing Mount Sinabung eruptions in North Sumatra.

The donation scheme was initially suggested by Heriyanto, a lawmaker with the Democratic Party, during the meeting.

“I recommend that we give 25 percent of our incomes to the victims of Mount Sinabung,” he said as quoted by news portal “I will be the first.”

Marzuki approved the motion, banging his gavel, adding that all lawmakers from the Sinabung district should donate the entirety of their monthly salaries to those affected.

A House member on average receives Rp 15,510,000 ($1,287) per month, excluding extra allowances for utilities and housing, which could amount to more than Rp 45 million per month.

“This is something for pride,” he said as quoted by “At least it could relieve us of our sins for the new year.”

Anton Sihombing, a lawmaker from the Golkar Party, urged the central government to take concrete actions to help the volcano victims.

“We have to insist that the government [assist] the victims of Mount Sinabung,” he said as quoted by Detik. “They have been evacuated in more than four months.”

The slow response of the government has also prompted a Twitter campaign.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday tweeted that he plans to visit the victims next week.

“Next week, God willing, I will return to Kabanjahe to make sure that the Sinabung administration and victims are well,” he said.

More than 25,000 residents have fled their homes in the past week around Mount Sinabung.

Related Article:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Former Social Affairs Minister Accused of Stealing From Victims of Natural Disasters

Jakarta Globe, Nivell Rayda | November 23, 2010

Former Minister of Social Affairs Bachtiar Chamsyah before his trial in the Anti-Corruption Court got underway on Tuesday. He faces life imprisonment for his alleged roles in three separate cases of corruption, which are said to have cost a total of Rp 36.6 billion ($4.1 million) in state losses. (JG Photo / Afriadi Hikmal).

Jakarta. Former Social Affairs Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah faces life imprisonment for his alleged roles in three separate cases of corruption — including one case in which he allegedly profited from victims of natural disasters — which are said to have cost a total of Rp 36.6 billion ($4.1 million) in state losses.

The Anti-Corruption Court on Tuesday began hearing Bachtiar’s trial. Prosecutors from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) formally indicted the United Development Party (PPP) politician, accusing him of violating articles 2 and 3 of the 1999 Law on Corruption.

Lead prosecutor Zet Todung Allo told the court that in all three cases, Bachtiar had appointed companies without tender processes linked to the procurement of live cows, sewing machines and sarongs.

Zet, reading the indictment, said Bachtiar violated the law for personal profit, or to allow others or private corporations to profit.

In the first case, Bachtiar is suspected of collaborating with a private importer, PT Atmadhira Karya, to mislead the government about the number of live cows imported from Australia in 2004.

Atmadhira later channeled Rp 800 million to a non-profit foundation owned by Bachtiar, Insan Cendikia.

That same year, the ministry appointed PT Ladang Sutera Indonesia to provide 6,000 sewing machines to assist home industries nationwide.

The KPK said, however, said that ministry officials had contrived for the machines to be distributed to major companies because they were unsuitable for use by small and medium enterprises.

In the third case, Bachtiar allegedly conspired with businessman Cep Ruhyat to rig the procurement of sarongs earmarked for victims of natural disasters in 2006 to 2008.

Bachtiar denied enjoying illicit funds from the projects, saying that his former director general on social aid and security, Amrun Daulay, was in charge of the procurement processes.

Amrun is now a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party headed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

House to summon West Sumatra governor

Antara News, Saturday, November 6, 2010 00:40 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The House of Representatives (DPR)`s Commission II on home affairs will summon West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno for questioning about his absence during a natural disaster in his province.

"Commission II will propose the summoning of the West Sumatra governor and Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi," Budiman Sujatmikio, a House Commission II members, said here on Friday.

Budiman who spoke during a discussion on "politicizing natural disasters" said that the governor and the minister had made contradictory statements regarding the governor`s absence.

He said the governor had claimed he had traveled to Germany to make a comparative study with permission from the central government while the home minister had said Jakarta had never given Irwan such permission.

"The House needs to use its power to obtain a clarification from them because it is impossible for both of their statements to be true," he said.

West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno left for Germany to be a speaker at an Indonesian Business Day held to promote investment, trade and tourism in the country.

The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in a press statement received by ANTARA on Wednesday said Irwan, a PKS cadre, had gone to Germany at the invitation of the Indonesian ambassador in Berlin.

West Sumatra was one of five provinces invited to the event. The other provinces were South Sumatra, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and Papua.

The event in Muenchen was on Friday also attended by former president BJ Habibie, the Indonesian ministers of trade, industry and tourism as well as the head of the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

Related Article:

Friday, November 05, 2010

SBY back to Yogyakarta to closely monitor Merapi

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 11/05/2010 4:26 PM | Headlines

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announces he will closely monitor the situation of Mount Merapi from Yogyakarta as the volcano's three major eruptions early on Friday have brought the death toll to some 100.

Yudhoyono said after a coordination meeting with some Cabinet ministers, the Indonesian Military (TNI) chief and the National Police chief at the Presidential Office in Jakarta he would come back to Yogyakarta on Friday evening and may stay in the presidential palace there to lead the disaster mitigation efforts. The president visited Yogyakarta and neighboring Magelang only on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with people seeking refuge from the disaster.

Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said the president might move to the Military Academy in Magelang if Yogyakarta was uninhabitable, and that the length of his stay would depend on the development of the situation.

Yudhoyono also announced several instructions in a press conference after the meeting, including that all emergency activities would be under the sole command of National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Syamsul Maarif, whose status has been lifted to a ministerial level.

"Although the Yogyakarta and Central Java administrations still function, seeing the scale of the disaster it is better than BNPB head takes the command with assistance from Yogyakarta and Central Java governors, Diponegoro Military Command chief, and Central Java and Yogyakarta police chiefs," Yudhoyono said.

He added that he had instructed Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono to organize humanitarian relief for Merapi refugees, and the TNI to dispatch a brigade to help build temporary hospitals and emergency kitchens, as well as evacuate people.

The president also announced the government would allocate budget to buy cattle belonging to the locals at agreeable prices, saying it was expected to lure them not to return to their homes to take care of the animals after evacuation order was issued. He assigned Agung and the Yogyakarta and Central Java governors to deal with the matter.

Concluding the press conference, Yudhoyono asked journalists and the nation to pray for the safety of people around the volcano and an end of the calamity.

Related Article:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Indonesian President Promises to Beef Up Crisis Response Agency

Jakarta Globe, Camelia Pasandaran & Lutfia Ismira | November 02, 2010

Jakarta. In the wake of criticism over relief efforts following last week’s natural disasters, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Monday that the National Disaster Management Agency would be provided with the necessary equipment to do its job.

A plume of ash and smoke shot about 3,500
meters into the air, covering nearby Yogyakarta
in a layer of dust. (EPA, AFP Photos)
He said the head of the agency, known as BNPB, held ministerial rank and therefore could sidestep the bureaucracy.

This meant the BNPB did not have to waste time coordinating with other ministries.

Commenting on criticism of the relief effort, he told officials to just focus on their jobs.

“I say don’t worry about all that,” he told a cabinet meeting. “Think of it as a whipping. It always happens. There are people who give help, and there are also many who criticize and forget to help.”

B ad weather and rough seas on Monday continued to hamper the distribution of relief supplies for the tsunami survivors .

The situation was made worse by tropical cyclone Orchid, which is bringing heavy rain and high waves to the Mentawai area.

Yudhoyono said he wanted extra funding for the agency in the 2011 budget to ensure its effective operation.

“The BNPB should have a high level of readiness, not only concerning its personnel but also its communication equipment and air transport,” he said.

The BNPB has 10 helicopters, two Hercules planes, five warships, two ships, six speedboats and 15 longboats at its disposal.

“We need to change our point of view in handling disasters as we are vulnerable,” Yudhoyono said. “We have to do everything to survive in the face of disasters.”

He praised the military for quickly mobilizing its Hercules planes to deliver supplies in Mentawai, where access was difficult.

“This model should be followed in the future,” he said. “If we cannot get supplies through by sea it should be through air.”

However, he said the first priority should be rescuing the injured. “I underline the need for speedy evacuations,” the president said . “The use of helicopters should be prioritized to transport the injured.”

The president said people in disaster-prone areas should be trained in what to do when a tragedy struck.

“There should be new policies that will really be able to reduce the number of victims when natural disasters hit,” he said.

In the case of Mentawai, the president said it was dangerous to allow people to return to villages too close to the sea. “We need a new regulation or a law if necessary to reorganize this for their own safety,” Yudhoyono said.

Andi Arief, the president’s adviser for social and disaster management, said the death toll from the tsunami had been revised slightly down to 431, with 88 missing, presumed dead. About 15,000 people had been displaced.

BNPB’s director of disaster risk reduction, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said that apart from bad weather, their efforts were being hampered by poor communications.

“We are also faced with technical hindrances such as communications, which are only available in Sikakap, while electricity and communications infrastructure were never available in the rest of the areas that have been affected,” he said.

Despite the hindrances, he claimed the flow of aid was being well coordinated.

“We realize, however, that not all the aid supplies are being distributed evenly among the victims, considering the circumstances,” Sutopo said.

Another week of disaster - The Jakarta Post/Irma Rahmi Damayanti

Related Article:

Monday, September 06, 2010

President to visit Mt Sinabung refugees

Antara News, Monday, September 6, 2010 13:13 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will visit refugees of Mount Sinabung which erupted recently in Tanah Karo district North Sumatra Monday.

Accompanied by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, the President is scheduled to take off at Halim Perdanakusuma airport here at 7 am Western Indonesia Time.

The President and entourage are expected to arrive at Kelapa Sawit airbase of the Indonesian Air Force in Medan at 9.25 am. The head of state would be briefed by North Sumatra Governor Syamsul Arifin on the handling of the Mt Sinabung eruption in Tanah Karo district.

Yudhoyono will also observe directly refugees in Jambur Sempakata and Jambur Tuah Lopita, Tanah Karo district, about two hours drive from Medan.

Several ministers are included in the president`s party, among others Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, Minister/State Secretary Sudi Silalahi, Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyanigsih and Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri.

The president and party are expected to spend one night in Medan and return to Jakarta on Tuesday morning, September 7, 2010.

Up to Saturday, September 4, 2010, the number of Mt Sinabung refugees was recorded at 21,701.

The volcanic activities of Mt Sinabung have relatively been declining. Now, only three volcanic tremors were recorded a day with seldom ash burst.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

High-Tech Den Will Keep SBY on Top of the Situation

Jakarta Globe, July 13, 2010, Camelia Pasandaran & Markus Junianto Sihaloho

Determined to keep abreast of affairs throughout the country, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyon has installed a 'situation room' at the Presidential Palace. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Just days after an assessment showing that about a quarter of his ministers have missed their performance targets, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday launched a “situation room” to keep an even closer eye on their work.

“I often tell you that running the government in our country should be based on a credible system and management,” Yudhoyono said during a test run of the Rp 8 billion [$880,000] “situation room” at the Presidential Palace.

The room features several big screens that can display the progress of government programs using the Geographic Information System and a real-time map.

Yudhoyono said that the facilities would help the government monitor and speed up its priority programs. They would also help leaders address problem quickly by providing continuous, updated monitoring.

“A decision maker should be able to make decisions day or night, whether at the location or during local or foreign trips,” Yudhoyono said. “A president will be able to make decisions while traveling here or in foreign countries.

“The wheels of the government should not stop moving due to the location of the president, vice president, ministers, governors or district heads.”

Yudhoyono asked Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Presidential Working Unit for Development Supervision and Control (UKP4), to record details of certain issues to serve as the basis for government policies and programs.

He said all government officials must truly report what happens in the field.

“We have to convince all regional and district officials that what they report to the president is truly what has been implemented in the field,” Yudhoyono said, adding that the system would show any discrepancy.

“In here, we need good government ethics, accountability for what has been carried out by all of us,” he said.

He also wanted cabinet members to monitor their own areas of responsibility.

In other news, a senior Golkar Party official said the president should use the poor results of the recent six-month evaluation of cabinet members as a basis for reshuffling the body.

Priyo Budi Santoso, Golkar’s leader in the House of Representatives, said Yudhoyono should not hesitate to rearrange his cabinet.

“If the performance is really bad, then the president has to follow it up,” he said. “A reshuffle could be done without having to give much consideration to its political effect.”

The evaluation focused on 14 criteria, including bureaucratic reform, good governance, poverty alleviation, food security, infrastructure, the business and investment climate, energy and the environment.

The secretary general of the National Mandate Party (PAN), Taufik Kurniawan, said the results of the evaluation should have no bearing on possibly reconstituting the cabinet, and called on the UKP4 to explain its findings and the methods used.

“If the red marks were due to not fulfilling the president’s targets or an inability to communicate with the House in the best way, then it should not be a problem,” he said.

“But if the red marks were the result of a minister’s inability to implement the government’s programs because there was no funding for them, then the evaluation is too subjective.”

Taufik added that the evaluation should not be politicized by parties for their own interest.

“Let’s remember that reshuffling is the president’s prerogative,” he said.

Kuntoro did not provide detailed information about the evaluation but revealed that Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tifatul Sembiring, Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar and Minister of Public Works Joko Kirmanto were among those receiving a failing grade.

Related Article:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

President opens development planning Congress 2010

Antara News, Wednesday, April 28, 2010 14:03 WIB

Giving direction: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gestures during his opening speech at a national development planning meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday. Antara/ Widodo S. Jusuf

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono here on Wednesday opened the National Development Planning Congress 2010 which will last until May 1.

Aimed at drafting the government`s Work Plan for 2011, the congress is being participated in by around 2,000 people consisting of, among others, governors, district heads, mayors from all over Indonesia.

The congress` theme is "Acceleration of Just Economic Growth Supported by Consolidation of Central-Regional Government Relations".

The theme is translated into 11 national development priorities in 2011, namely bureaucratic and administration reform, education, health, poverty eradication, food resilience, infrastructures, business and investment climate, energy, the environment, natural disasters, least developed regions, the most outer and inner islands, post-conflicts, culture, creativity and technology innovation.

The results of the earlier two working meetings led by the President and attended by governors from the country`s all provinces at Cipanas (West Java) and Tampaksiring (Bali Province), became inputs in drafting the government`s work plan 2011.

The congress is also expected to synchronize programs, main activities, venues and budgets prepared by the ministries and government institutions, which are considered urgent and need to be implemented immediately.

After delivering his opening remarks, President Yudhoyono is expected to present copies of two books titled "Guarding the Momentum for Change: Evaluation of the Five-Year Implementation of the National Middle-Term Development Plan 2004-2009" and "The Administration and Regional Development Implementation: Strengthening Synergy between the Central and Regional governments and Among Regions," to three representatives, namely Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in his capacity as chairman of the All Indonesian Provincial Governments Association (APPSI), Pacitan District Head Sujono in his capacity as chairman of the All Indonesia District Government Association (APKASI), and Palembang Mayor Eddy Santana Putra in his capacity as chairman of the All Indonesia City Administration Association (APEKSI).

Related Article:

SBY warns officials against sleepiness

Monday, January 25, 2010

US envoy praises Indonesia for sending aid to Haiti

Antara News, Monday, January 25, 2010 13:28 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron R. Hume has praised the Indonesian government for sending aid to earthquake-devastated Haiti.

"Yet this week Indonesia is making generous contributions to the people of Haiti in their greatest need. Indonesia`s extended hand is not a mere gesture. It is a significant act of leadership," Ambassador Cameron said in his statement published on the official website of the US embassy in Jakarta, Monday.

The aid for Haiti, in many ways, was similar to Indonesia`s pledge to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a pledge that triggered positive promises from other governments, he said.

"Indonesia is playing a key role in creating a world community ready to respond to the challenges of the 21st century," he said.

Fate and geography make Indonesia uniquely vulnerable to natural disasters. The Aceh tsunami of five years ago made an indelible impression on the entire world, but other events as recent as last year`s earthquakes in western Java and Padang reminded the people of Indonesia`s vulnerability, Hume said.

"First, why is Haiti important? Despite its favorable location in the Caribbean, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest countries in the world," Hume said.

Its people suffer from disease, malnutrition, wretched public services, and lack of economic opportunity. But they also have a proud history of being the second country to fight for and win their independence from colonialism, and they have a rich artistic culture. But for the past century development has passed Haiti by. There must be a way to turn around that decline, according to the US ambassador.

"Second, what does Indonesia have to offer? Quite a lot that is in greatest need, especially skill and experience: 30 doctors with a field hospital and medicine, 25 communication workers, 10 electricians, plus supplies and food. Indonesia knows how to respond to a natural disaster, and it knows that human solidarity counts. Anyone who has watched the extensive television reports from Haiti would know that Indonesia will be helping to meet Haiti`s most urgent needs," he stated.

"Third, why can`t others meet these needs? My own country, like others, has been quick to dispatch rescue workers, medical teams, and supplies - but we know that acting alone cannot be adequate. Isn`t it likely that the resourceful Indonesian who brought emergency cell phone service back to Padang might have just the skills most needed?," he said

The US ambassador said that Haiti lacked basic infrastructure even before the earthquake.

The roads, port, electricity grid, water and sanitation service, and communications are broken or destroyed by the earthquake.

"Little wonder that delivering assistance the last meter to a victim is so hard," he said.

The United Nations, including its Brazilian-led peace-keeping force, is at the center of international efforts to help Haiti. The organization has its own reasons to grieve the loss of so many able and dedicated staff.

Hedi Annabi, the Secretary-General`s special representative, died in the rubble of the UN headquarters last week.

"He was a remarkable man -- calm in crises, straightforward in discussions, dedicated to doing the good he could, able to appreciate irony, but never cynical. Others now need to step forward," Hume said.

According to the envoy, Indonesians should be proud of their government`s actions to help Haiti.

"Although Haiti is a small, poor country on the other side of the world, our future depends on leadership that brings together global responses to what might appear as local needs. Indonesia is playing its part to provide that kind of leadership, both on the ground in Haiti and at the conference tables of the climate change talks, the G-20, and elsewhere. Indonesia`s leadership makes it an important partner for the United States," he said.

`Men anpil, chay pa lou` is a Haitian proverb which means, with many hands, the burden is light. "Indonesia is lending an impressive hand to the Haitian relief effort," he added.

Related Article:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

President: Let's consider moving RI's capital

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 12/03/2009 10:50 AM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said the idea of relocating of the national administration center from Jakarta should be considered.

Speaking to governors from across the archipelago at a gathering in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, on Wednesday evening, Yudhoyono said Jakarta was far too crowded to be the center of the national administration.

"Fifteen years ago there was a proposal to move the national administration center to Jonggol in West Java, but since the [1998] monetary crisis, ideas on relocating were no longer heard," he said as quoted by Antara state news agency.

Commenting on an idea to relocate the country’s capital to the Central Kalimantan city of Palangkaraya, Yudhoyono said it would not be practical because the city was too far from Jakarta.

But considering seeing the vast area of Palangkaraya, Yudhoyono said it was natural that its residents wanted to develop it into a better and bigger city.

He added it also made sense to develop Palangkaraya, because unlike other areas in the country, Kalimatan was relatively free of natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

Yudhoyono and his entourage are in the city for a two-day visit to open the Indonesian Provincial Administrations Association (APPSI) national conference on Thursday.

Related Article:

SBY: New capital city needs consideration

Saturday, November 21, 2009

WHO official impressed by Indonesia`s disaster response

Antara News, Saturday, November 21, 2009 04:35 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan admired the Indonesian disaster response in dealing with the 7.9-magnitude earthquake which struck Padang, West Sumatra, recently thanks to effective government coordination.

"The response to the quake in Padang had been made under effective coordination between the government, local communities, and many disaster response agencies," Margaret said here Friday.

She said coordination and cooperation between the people, government and the relevant organizations and institutions in disaster handling is extremely necessary for rapid and effective recovery efforts.

"Only in six weeks after the disaster, the situation is now calm and peaceful which significantly contributes to making rapid progress in rehabilitation and recovery efforts," she said.

Margaret added that the biggest challenge in disaster handling is posed by establishing effective and efficient coordination to help the quake victims as quickly as possible.

As natural disasters may strike everywhere and at anytime, under such circumstances the country where the disaster struck did not have to ask for foreign assistance, because normally help would automatically come from other countries without being asked.

She admired the disaster response from other countries which is a sign of solidarity from the people of other countries.

International humanitarian aid arrived in Indonesia without being asked, and it would be necessary to establsh effective coordination of the relevant authories in the distribution of the relief aid to the disaster victims.

The WHO director general had recently visited Padang for an inspection of the recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the disaster-hit areas.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Better relief efforts in Indonesia this time round

Channel News Asia, By Zul Othman, TODAY | Posted: 12 October 2009

US Air Force personnel and US Marines unload relief supplies for remote areas of west Sumatra, Indonesia.

PADANG: After several natural disasters in recent years in Indonesia, the local authorities and the military were this time given the strongest message yet by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to do better in leading recovery efforts – and it has begun to show.

Since the West Sumatran earthquake struck on Sept 30, the Governor's office in Padang has built emergency schools and sent food to needy families, including over 6,000 tonnes of rice as of Friday.

Their efforts have received praise from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC).

Team leader Winston Chang said that "all systems (were) working well with no obstacles on the field ... good cooperation on the field with various agencies and institutions".

The situation was slightly different earlier last week, when Mr Yudhoyono said he was "not pleased if governors report on damaged infrastructures that they need some hundred billions of rupiah ... what I want to know is the ongoing emergency steps", as reported by Indonesian daily Kompas on Tuesday.

Given the "geological risks" Indonesia faces, the President added that "the military should keep building effective capacity with high alertness", so they can respond quicker.

One foreign aide worker noted how the Indonesian army had arrived in the quake-hit region just as the Singapore Civil Defence Force was due to fly in on Oct 1. In the end, the 42-man SCDF rescue team flew in the next day, as the local government had not been ready to receive them earlier, Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry had said.

'We'll never refuse help'

In an interview with this reporter, Padang governor Gamawan Fauzi said: "We will never refuse help from the outside – be it in health supplies, rescue or food – but we must show that we have the ability to do it by ourselves also," he said.

This is not some "misplaced sense of patriotism" at work, either, said University of Indonesia international relations lecturer Sayed Fazan.

"It's not bad to have locals in charge because we need the element of local knowledge, especially when access to the most remote of areas is concerned."

While UNDAC is directing relief efforts on the ground, officials from non-government organisations – some 184 NGOs have set up base at the Governor's residence – said the government has been "more than helpful" in their aid efforts.

"We've had quite a lot of help from the government here in terms of organising flights and making sure we reach as many people as possible," said Mr Andy Holland of England's ShelterBox, which has been distributing tents and food to the people in Pariaman.

But the going is bound to be slow, with the inaccessibility of rural locations made worse by landslides brought on by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake, said Mr Mohd Tahar Jumaat from Singapore's Mercy Relief.

"Although the Indonesian government and other agencies have flown in much of the aid needed, the isolated areas are not getting the supplies and this will take time," he said.

The natives, it seems, are getting restless. At the most badly-affected areas in Pariaman – 50km away from Kota Padang – villagers lined the roads with boxes, hoping passing vehicles will fill their boxes with enough money for their next meal.

Farmer Akmal, 49, whose family of five now live in a tent pitched by the roadside, expressed a lack of confidence in some local officials. "We've not been getting any help, so we hope that those giving us help do it directly and not through the regional government. We want to rebuild our home, but we have no money," he said.

Despite Mr Yudhoyono's popularity, locals remember how some provincial officials were accused of misappropriating aid after the Aceh tsunami in 2004 and the Nias Island earthquake in 2005.

"The people do expect the government to be professional and aid to be delivered on time," said University of Indonesia's Mr Sayed.

But the drive to have Indonesians lead recovery efforts seems to have gone unnoticed among the locals. At Kota Bangkor, located on the outskirts of Pariaman, one villager said she has seen more foreigners come to their help.

This is simply not true, countered Padang governor, Mr Gamawan: "We have a lot of locals – 1,600 local groups, in fact – that have been mobilised to the outskirts to give help. We value foreign help, but we cannot let it be said our locals don't want to help our own people."

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Tax deductions offered for earthquake donations

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 10/05/2009 11:55 AM

The government has offered a tax deduction to individuals and corporations that donate money or assets to help victims of last Wednesday’s powerful earthquake that devastated West Sumatra.

The value of the donation will be deducted as gross revenue to calculate the donors’ income tax, a spokesman for the Directorate General of Tax, Djoko Slamet Suryoputro, said Sunday as quoted by

Djoko said the finance minister would further regulate the tax incentive policy, but confirmed that “the new policy is already effective.”

He said the policy was stipulated in the 2008 law on income tax in regard to the general regulations on donations for disaster victims.

The donors, he said, would need only to show receipts of their donations when they report their income tax next year. “The donation must be given through authoritative institutions or nongovernmental organizations,” he said.

The government had reduced the income tax of those who donated money to the victims of the Yogyakarta earthquake and the tsunami on West Java’s south coast in 2006.

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President asks TNI to get ready for more disasters

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 10/05/2009 12:34 PM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on the Indonesian Military (TNI) to remain well prepared for quick response operations to deal with natural disasters in the future.

The President said the military operations other tan war would be a daunting challenge facing the TNI given the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

“Indonesia us situated in a disaster-prone region, therefore disaster may strike at any time. TNI has to develop capability and preparedness for quick deployment to disaster-hit areas like West Java, West Sumatra and Jambi,” Yudhoyono said in his speech in a ceremony to mark the TNI’s 64th anniversary on Monday.

The President also thanked the TNI for its contribution to the disaster mitigation efforts in the earthquake-devastated West Java, West Sumatra and Jambi.

TNI Chief Gen. Djoko Santoso said the armed forces had deployed personnel from North Sumatra-based Bukit Barisan military command and sent two helicopters, six Hercules cargo planes, a Fokker plane and a Hercules VIP plane for the humanitarian mission in West Sumatra.

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Obama calls Indonesian president over quake

Google - (AFP)

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Friday offered personal condolences to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono over the devastating earthquake in Sumatra which killed at least 1,100 people.

"The president expressed condolences for the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in West Sumatra," Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

"He received an update from President Yudhoyono on the situation on the ground and reiterated his offer, on behalf of the United States, to do everything we can to help alleviate the suffering and provide assistance to the relief operation."

Gibbs said that Obama had tried several times to reach Yudhoyono before connecting for Friday's five minute call, and said the two presidents plan to see one another at the APEC summit in Singapore in November.

Obama spent part of his childhood living in Jakarta when he was a young boy, after his divorced mother married an Indonesian.

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More pictures ....

Friday, October 02, 2009

Indonesian Government Approves $26m Aid For Earthquake Victims

Shop owners searching for their belongings on Thursday in the ruins of a building destroyed by an earthquake in Chinatown, Padang, West Sumatra. (Photo: Safir Makki, JG)

Indonesia’s government has approved 26 million dollars in cash aid to help victims of a massive earthquake that may have left thousands dead on the island of Sumatra, the finance minister said Thursday.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the allocation of Rp 250 billion would be enough for two months of relief operations in the area of the Wednesday quake, which caused devastation in the coastal city of Padang and its surrounds.

The 7.6-magnitude quake would likely hurt the domestic economy and affect Indonesia’s state budget, Indrawati said.

Padang is home to nearly one million people.

“It will certainly have an effect as Padang and the surrounding areas are areas that have potential to contribute to the economy and the budget,” she added.

At least 529 people were killed in the quake, officials confirmed, but that figure is expected to rise as thousands remain trapped in collapsed buildings.

Officials said they were suffering from a desperate shortage of heavy machinery, but added that aid including tents, blankets and medicine had been sent to the disaster site.


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Thursday, October 01, 2009

President to lead meeting on Padang earthquake at Halim

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/01/2009 11:08 AM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to lead a coordination meeting on Padang earthquake when he arrives at the Halim Perdana Kusumah Airport later on Thursday.

Yudhoyono is en route from the U.S. to Jakarta after attending the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, the U.S. reported that a source in the State Palace said the meeting was scheduled at 11 a.m.

After the meeting, Yudhoyono will visit the earthquake-hit city of Padang, where some 200 people were killed as of Thursday morning.

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