During the earthquake, I didn’t know what to do. My body froze and all I remember was the safety of my family.
-Participant in a recent disaster preparedness training conducted by Fairtrade field staff
Two months ago, Fairtrade coffee farmers and many more in Indonesia were the victims of successive calamities, including flash floods and an earthquake that reached 6.1 on the Richter scale.
While the majority of our trainings focus on coffee and the Fairtrade Standards, our most recent training was three days on Disaster Risk Reduction. The training, delivered by two local experts, was attended by 38 participants from 13 coffee producer groups from Central Aceh in a simple hotel last week in Medan, North Sumatra.
Hagung, a Fairtrade Liaison Officer for Indonesia and Philippines who coordinated the event, said that the training was precisely designed to help with basic concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Based Risk Reduction. Due to unpredictable weather patterns and greater frequency of natural disasters, the training also covered adaptation to climate change to enable them to make efforts to protect their communities.
Aside from those topics, the participants learned about practical tools, such as seasonal diagramming, historical transects, hazard analysis, to develop community risk assessment maps. This helps the community create a step by step guide for building a local response team.
The participants were very happy and thankful for the valuable lessons. One participant from a cooperative said, “At least now if the earthquake or flash floods come again, my community and I have knowledge of what to do. And we plan to use our Fairtrade Premium money to have prepare a community response team, which functions to help victims and avoid further loss.”
Erwin Novianto is a Regional Managerial Consultant for Fairtrade’s Producer Services and Relations team in Southeast Asia and China.