Since 2013, a flood resilience project has been implemented in Indonesia along three river basins: Bengawan Solo, Ciliwung and Citarum. It is a part of the Zurich-IFRC Flood Resilience Alliance, a five year commitment to enhance community flood resilience and risk reduction in some of the most vulnerable countries. The partnership sits within the wider Zurich Global Flood Resilience Alliance, a cross sector collaboration which brings a diversity of skills and expertise to enhance community flood resilience solutions. In Indonesia the project is implemented by Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) in partnership with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Zurich Insurance Indonesia (ZII). The project will end in March 2018.
The project has three main objectives:
- Increase flood resilience in communities such that their knowledge and coping mechanisms are increased.
- Enhance effectiveness of disaster risk reduction solutions.
- Influence policy-makers and donors on disaster risk reduction policies.
The project is about increasing community resilience to floods through a holistic intervention using a resilience framework based on the 5 types of capital (human, financial, natural, physical & social). Community-specific flood risk reduction activities are implemented in parallel with other initiatives to strengthen community preparedness to potential floods. The project is targeting a few vulnerable communities initially to test new ideas and innovative solutions to reduce risk of floods and then will scale up to larger areas if such solutions and tools are found to be effective and sustainable.
The project has three facets which aim to address community flood resilience in a holistic way.
The first facet is preparing communities and building their capacity to respond to potential floods. This is achieved through developing a team of trained volunteers, setting up a command post, installing an appropriate early warning system, developing a community level contingency plan and standard operating procedures, running simulation exercises and developing village level risk maps. vulnerability, capacity and risk assessments (VCA) of the communities are analysed and awareness is raised about existing hazards and potential disasters, thus increasing the community’s capacity to secure people and take necessary preventive or protective measures.
The second approach of the project is to develop community level interventions/projects to reduce the exposure to flood risk and mitigate likely impact of the disaster in future.
Based on results and analysis of various community assessments and exercises (baseline survey, VCA & risk mapping), various micro-projects are developed together with the community. These mitigation activities can be both structural and non-structural interventions. While the project cannot aim at big structural interventions, often a small structural improvement can have a profound impact on reducing flood risk. Building evacuation places, installing water storage and supply, constructing flood gates, etc. are examples of structural activities that communities might implement as a result of the project.
In addition, if a larger infrastructural initiative is prioritised by the community, the PMI leaders will approach the relevant government agencies and advocate for that activity.
In order to develop innovative and effective tools to flood risk reduction, the project aims to extend partnerships with local academia and research institutes. An agreement had been signed with the Institute Technology of Bandung (ITB) to develop and install the Flood Early Warning Early Action System (FEWEAS) for the Bengawan Solo and Citarum watershed area.
Similarly, a study on household waste management in communities along the Ciliwung river had been completed by our partner – South Pole International. Furthermore, an agreement had been signed with the Agriculture University of Bogor (IPB) regarding community-based Riparian rehabilitation and protection in the Citarum River Area. IPB had done the research in the Citarum area to examine several aspects concerning biodiversity (vegetation) of riparian ecosystems, soil type and characteristics, runoff, erosion and sedimentation rates, the rate of river water flow, rainfall rate, map of site location, including runoff and erosion modelling development and rehabilitation design and guidance. The output of this research is a recommended project implementation plan proposed to government.
The third facet is the advocacy to local/national actors and government agencies about the need for flood risk reduction initiatives at all levels and the need to share solutions and lessons learned to the benefit people across the country.