An Islamic Relief project due to complete next month is helping communities in Sulawesi, Indonesia, to better protect themselves when disasters strike.

On 28 September 2018, three earthquakes struck Sulawesi, Indonesia. This was followed by a devastating five-meter-high tide of tsunami which hit the coastal areas of Palu and Dongola districts. The earthquake caused the ground to weaken due to a process called liquefaction, which caused homes, schools, hospitals and offices to collapse.

Over 2,000 people lost their lives, over 4,600 were severely injured and over 1,000 people went missing. Over 223,000 people lost their homes and had to live in temporary shelters.

Working with community members, faith leaders and the local government, we have been helping rebuild lives and strengthen them against future disasters.

Disaster preparation

We are educating communities on how to protect their homes. We have also built shock-resistant infrastructures and we are supporting 150 families from various regions to rebuild their livelihoods.

We are helping governments put infrastructures and systems in place to better manage, prepare for and recover from disasters.

In the Sigi District, Islamic Relief has established the Channel of Hope forum in order to train community and religious leaders on disaster preparation.

We also established a disaster response and recovery group in villages which will lead communities at all stages of any disaster: prevention, during the disaster and in recovery.  We have provided these groups with essential training and equipment to ensure that they are well-prepared should a future disaster strike.

Building resilience

At the district level in Sigi, we have established a disaster response and recovery forum comprising of government officials, private sector representatives, scientists and practitioners. This group helps build awareness of disaster recovery, and translates this into local government policies.

Working with the Disaster Management Department of the State University of Tadulako, Palu, we have conducted research on the liquefaction process, which was presented to the Disaster Management Agency and Development Planning Body. This will allow communities to better prepare for disasters and help prevent the destruction of properties.

We run an Islamic microfinance scheme in Sulawesi which gives families cash to set up small enterprises, whilst a separate programme supports others to launch businesses cultivating catfish and mushrooms.

Community members preparing catfish to be sold

Islamic Relief have also established a social enterprise cooperative which provides members with monetary support, as well as essential training in their respective fields.

We continue working with communities, faith leaders, and the government to help support communities and prepare for the future. Having receiving great appreciation for our resilience building work from various stakeholders, we are now expanding the project to support communities in Palu City over the next two years, which was hit the hardest by the earthquake.

This January 2021, Sulawesi experienced another earthquake 

On 15th January, a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit West Sulawesi, Indonesia, killing at least 90 people and injuring hundreds more.

Islamic Relief were on the ground once more, and were providing affected communities with essential support within 72 hours of when disaster struck.

We have deployed a team to the area in order to conduct an initial assessment and have been working with local non-governmental organisations to carry out an immediate emergency response. So far, we have provided 100 affected families in Tantetoda village with essential food items, blankets and hygiene items such as face masks and hand sanitiser.

Islamic Relief Worldwide teams load up aid to respond to the 2021 earthquake

Islamic Relief Worldwide teams load up aid to respond to the 2021 earthquake

We have also been working with the National Disaster Management Agency to help establish the most effective to support effective families going forward.

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