On Thursday, 3 June 2021, Islamic Relief and its partners from various government agencies, civil society organizations including religious leaders and communities convened in a workshop with the title “The Role of Faith Leaders and Religious Places in Disaster Risk Management in Palu City, Central Sulawesi Province”.
Fahmi Rahmatna, DRR Coordinator of Islamic Relief explained that “This workshop is one of 51 activities to be done under the project of ‘The role of religious places in Community and City resilience in Palu City’ funded by Islamic Relief Nederland. The project will replicate what we have done successfully in Sigi district, Central Sulawesi and will cover three main activities, namely at community level to build village-town resilience, in city level to enhance the capacity of Palu city in managing the future disaster, and in livelihood aspect to empower economy of the community. This workshop is aimed at finding the role of religious leaders and religious places among the three main activities”.
Country Director Islamic Relief – Nanang Subana Dirja, who delivered a speech during the opening ceremony of the workshop mentioned that the role of religious places and faith leaders in responding to disaster was apparent during the 2018 earthquake triggering tsunami and liquefaction in Central Sulawesi.
“Islamic Relief team arrived within three days since the onset of the earthquake, and met many survivors who sheltered in various religious places. They acknowledged to receive a lot of assistance from the faith leaders – also affected by the disaster – to face the crisis. In reference to the disaster management law, the role of faith leaders is demanded to also cover the disaster risk reduction activities, in which they can be active to prepare for the future disaster and mitigate its adverse aspects surrounding their environment and religious followers”.
In this occasion, CD Islamic Relief also mentioned that in September 2022, there would be a G-20 meeting in Indonesia in which Faith Leaders would also convene to contribute for its role in solving the global problem such as poverty, climate change, peace, etc. “I hope that from Palu city there will also be some faith leaders to attend this forum. Islamic Relief will host one of the event”, Nanang was quoted as saying in his closing statement.
In the meantime, the Head of Disaster Management Agency of Palu City, Ir Singgih B. Prasetyo, MSc in his opening remarks mentioned that the principle of Pentahelix in disaster management was a must in which multi-stakeholders from government, private sectors, and civil society organizations worked together to prevent, prepare, and mitigate the future disaster, including also the religious leaders.
“Palu City is prone to disasters, especially earthquake as the Fault of Palu Koro is very active and any time it can cause big earthquake like in 2018 that killed more than 2000 people. So, the religious leaders can take its role to provide awareness to its religious community to always be prepared and take action to mitigate for future disaster.
Let us hear what the faith leaders say from Moslem, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus who attended the workshop in the video below.