Bisri – 111i414i Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies – Kobe University Abstract This paper discusses lessons learned and changes that occurred within international society after the Aceh Tsunami on 26th December 2004. There are three main topics; i.e. first – lessons in humanitarian aids delivery and its changes in coordination arrangement, second – formation of regional and international tsunami early warning system, and third – the importance of local wisdom. The organization of this paper will be as follows, introduction to Aceh Tsunami and its aftermath as well as significance, description of each topic, and conclusions which also include points from discussions at the presentation of this material. In sum, Aceh Tsunami is one of the disasters that change the face of disaster management and humanitarian realm. Key words: Aceh Tsunami, humanitarian aids, early warning system, local wisdom A. INTRODUCTION: ACEH TSUNAMI, AFTERMATH, AND SIGNIFICANCE

Indonesia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world due to its geological setting which thus resulted in constant threat by earthquake, volcanic eruptions, and tsunami risk in the country 1. That was due to the tectonic setting,
as it can be seen in Figure 1, Indonesia located at the subduction zone between Eurasian Plate, Australian Plate, Pacific Plate, and Philippine-sea Plate.

According to the recent report 2, Indonesia ranked 12th among countries at relatively high mortality risks from multiple hazards, with number of disasters basically increased during the last decade, measured 4.000 events from 2001 to 2007 alone. Aceh Tsunami in 2004 was the largest disaster in Indonesia for the past decades. Furthermore, the challenge was its possibility of more frequent events of disasters, increased exposure to vulnerability, lower coping capacity, thus leads to higher negative impacts. In addition, 40% of its population is exposed to risk of disaster 3.

Figure 1 – Active Tectonics of Indonesia The earthquake that precedes Aceh Tsunami occurred at 7:58 AM local time on 26th December 2004, with the magnitude measured 9.0 Richter scale (USGS) or 9.2 Richter scale according to Indonesian authorities. In islands near to the epicenter, tsunami height reached 9 meter with travel time less than 15 minutes, for example in Simeuleu Island (Brooks, 2010). While, in sum the tsunami also reached South Asia and African countries. Table 1 provides more detailed Aceh Tsunami’s height and travel time. The aftermath of Aceh Tsunami resulted in casualties more than 200,000 people (details can be found in Figure 2). Indonesia affected the greatest, municipalities in Aceh and North Sumatra practically destroyed, with losses in public housing dominates. In total, the estimate of damage and losses from this catastrophe for Indonesia alone was US$4.45 billion.

See further in Indonesian Disaster Data and Information Center, http://dibi.bnpb.go.id 2 http://gfdrr.org/ctrydrmnotes/Indonesia.pdf 3 See further on World Bank, 2005, Natural Disaster Hotspots, A Global Risk Analysis, Washington DC: WB



Table 1 Aceh Tsunami Height and Travel Time

Given the those factors, delivery of promised aids in Aceh disbursed adequately in terms of numbers, while reconstruction efforts around the world may have suffered from a lack of delivery of promised aid. Three years after the tsunami, 83 percent (US$6.4 billion) of committed aid had been allocated to specific projects (Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008:14 – 15). To date, those lessons and factors in Aceh still often to be cited and becomes reference on how humanitarian aids operation should be done, e.g. towards Wechuan earthquake (2008), Haiti earthquake (2010), Darfur crisis. Figure 3 below provides the detailed disbursement of aids in Aceh.

Figure 2 – Aceh Tsunami Number of Causalities While domestically at Indonesian level, the Aceh Tsunami served as the strongest-push for institutional reform in Indonesian Disaster Management System (Lassa, 2010); it also pushed several changes at international level. “As the largest reconstruction project in the developing world at that time, Aceh’s post reconstruction experience may provide useful lessons on how aid is delivered and how it should best be allocated to cover the three phases of relief, reconstruction, and development“(Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008:3). B. LESSONS FOR HUMANITARIAN AIDS The Aceh Tsunami became the largest humanitarian efforts in the world, at that time. As explained by Masyaraf and McKeon (2008), the disaster gave lessons for donors, to continue pr discontinue delivering promised aid, based on experiences worked in this tsunami; i.e. a) evidence that the host country is managing itself well with sound macroeconomic policies, b) evidence that loans and grants are being managed well, and c) evidence that beneficiaries are actually benefiting from the aid. It was being acknowledged that main factors which contribute are the existence of BRR (Government Agency, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency) and continuous monitoring on beneficiaries.

Figure 3 – Aids Commitment and Disbursement in Aceh Tsunami Relief Efforts (Source: Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008) Emergency response, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts in Aceh were being done by multiple actors, ranged from those with short-term and long-term existence of activities. In total, there were 463 organizations involved in Aceh, 435 of them are national and international NGOs, 27 donors, and 1 government organization i.e. the BRR. The BRR itself directly responsible to president, equal to a ministry, and the main channel for both central and local government agency for Aceh disaster relief. Table 2 below provides the distribution of organizations engaged in Aceh, classified based on relief sectors, i.e. social sector, infrastructure and housing, water and sanitation, productive sector, and cross-sectoral. 2

Table 2 Distribution of Organizations in Aceh Tsunami Disaster Relief

organizations also tried to implement directly in the field without cooperating with international or national NGOs, e.g. the case of ECHO to implement directly livelihood support for fisherman in Aceh. As consequence, as it can be seen in Figure 5 below, some of the funding flows was actually unutilized.

Source: Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008 According to Masyraf and McKeon, the nature of coordination of those multiple organizations for the relief efforts is as it can be seen in Figure 4 below. Governmental side concentrated through BRR, the donors formed Multi-Donor Fund (MDF), and UN agencies channeled their resource and information through United Nations Office for Recovery Coordinator (UNORC). However, this lead-partnership type within the Coordination Forum for Aceh and Nias (CFAN) has limitations because the NGOs, which actually the majority, did not formed any means to coordinate among themselves or to other agencies, thus relief or aids duplication still occurred in Aceh. Figure 5 – Funding Channels in Aceh Tsunami Disaster Relief In addition to lessons for humanitarian aids, experience in Aceh can also be seen in terms of its aids fragmentation which parallels to proliferation. Fragmentation itself has has two dimensions, i.e. 1) the number of sources (funding agencies) from which a recipient obtains aid; and 2) the extent to which each source contributes an equal share (Arnab et al, 2006). A common measure of how concentrated or fragmented aid is in recipient countries is the Hirschman-Herfindhal Index 9. The index for Aceh Tsunami’s programs is 0.155, placing Aceh’s reconstruction actors as moderately concentrated (Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008).

Figure 4 – Organizations Coordination in Aceh Tsunami Disaster Relief Source: Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008 One of the factors for the condition above is that, in Aceh, somehow many NGOs tried to fund themselves and not pledged towards donors. In which thus eliminate coordination links that usually happened at the time of disaster. On the other hand, some donor

Figure 6 –Hirschman-Herfindhal Indices Source: Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008 The state of humanitarian aids delivery for disaster relief in Aceh, however, is still relatively performed well. As it can be seen in Figure 7 below, most of the municipalities are scored more than 50% on financingto-needs ratio of aids. This indicates that aids were effectively distributed. 3

Figure 7 – Geographical Gaps in Allocations of Aids Source: Masyaraf and McKeon, 2008 Given the experiences in Aceh, both its strong points and limitations, thus the UN through UN OCHA started to develop the so-called Cluster System, including in Indonesia. In Indonesia thus UN OCHA and IASC (Inter-Agency Standing Committee), incorporated with Indonesian Government and national NGOs. Basically using this cluster system, IASC facilitated related organizations to coordinate before particular disaster occurred, so that when it actually happened, humanitarian organizations can work together faster and effectively. In Indonesia, thus, IASC and humanitarian organizations developed disaster scenarios and prepared necessary preparation for emergency response and disaster relief. Table 3 below provides name of clusters and its organizations in Indonesia. After Aceh Tsunami in 2004, at least in the case of West Java Earthquake 2009, the cluster system proven to be beneficial for better coordination in disaster relief (Bisri, 2012). Table 3 Cluster System Developed in Indonesia after Aceh Tsunami

C. INTERNATIONAL EARLY WARNING INFRASTRUCTURE IN INDIAN OCEAN During the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction (Kobe, January 2005), in which produced Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), a dedicated resolution was passed to mandate the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to take responsibility for the international coordination of the national efforts in the Indian Ocean regions in order to guide the process of setting up a Regional Tsunami Early Warning System for the Indian Ocean (ICG-IOTWS) (UN 2, 2005; UN 3, 2005). They act as coordinator for countries in Indian Ocean as member. In doing their mandate, at first, the IOC formed 6 Working Groups (WG) to ensure specific target to be achieved within 2005 – 2010 period. Those 6 WGs are: WG 1 – Seismic measurements data and exchanges; WG 2 – Sea level data collection and exchanges; WG 3 – Risk assessment, WG 4 – Modeling, forecasting, and scenario development; WG 5 – Establishment of a system of interoperable advisory & warning; and WG 6 – Mitigation, preparedness, and response. Table 4 List of Intergovernmental Coordination Group Meeting for Indian-Ocean Tsunami Warning Center

Source: Lauterjung et al, 2010 Within 5 years, hard infrastructure for Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System has been developed; i.e. country center, information and technology network, tide gauge and tsunami buoys, etc. According to Lauterjung et al (2010), at least there are four major achievements; i.e. 1) Interim Tsunami Watch Provider, 2) Tsunami Warning Focal Points, 3) Working Groups, and 4) Risk Assessment. In relation to the Interim Tsunami Watch Provide achievement, during the first stage to set up an Indian Ocean wide Tsunami Early Warning System it was agreed between the member countries in early 2005 that the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) should serve as Interim Tsunami Watch Provider and deliver 4

Source: IASC, 2009

tsunami information based on results of global seismic networks to the Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFP). The responsibility to disseminate Tsunami information on a national scale is lies by respective member country government. This aspect worked well. Afterwards, the international efforts also resulted in the nomination and identification of Tsunami Warning Focal Points. In this sense, as a first reaction to the deficient distribution of information during and after the 2004 tsunami each Indian Ocean country nominated an organization whose responsible to operate a 24/7 office for the reception of tsunami alerts produced by the PTWC and/or JMA and to disseminate warning products within the countries. While, specific Working Groups was established by the ICG-IOTWS to identify the needs of the different components of early-warning systems, to identify the needs of the community for joint activities, to organize the definition of requirements for a basin wide early warning system and to define the specifications and terms of reference of an Indian Ocean Regional Tsunami Watch Provider (RTWP). At the end of this period, thus the working groups being reorganized from initially three into six working groups; i.e. Working Group 1 – Tsunami Risk Assessment and Reduction, Working Group – Tsunami Detection, Warning, and Dissemination, and Working Group 3 – Tsunami Awareness and Response. Afterwards, in regards to achievement in risk assessment, during 2005 and 2006 numerous studies for tsunami hazard and risk assessment in the Indian Ocean rim countries were conducted by international scientific groups under the coordination of UNESCO IOC. In many countries these studies resulted in national strategies for disaster reduction and preparedness forming the basis for further steps and activities in the field of early warning. One of the examples of concrete activities, covering hazard and risk assessment, early warning system, and preparedness is the Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (InaTEWS). It was an end-toend cooperation between Indonesian Government with German Government through their German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). As it can be seen in figure 8 below, InaTEWS was a comprehensive efforts comprises of multiple activities to make Indonesian communities better prepared for tsunami. Sphan et al (2010), summarized InaTEWS’s achievement within 5 years which consists of technological development for, institutional building, and community preparedness.

Figure 8 – The End-to-end Concept of Ina TEWS Source: Spahn et al, 2010 After the development of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, at the present time, UNESCO initiated to develop a global system based on the existing RTWPs, within the four ICGs. This is still at a preliminary phase with the main focus of Working Group is harmonization and standardization of procedures, data exchange and products. Figure 9 below describe the main groups of tsunami warning system.

Figure 9 – Towards Global Tsunami Warning System Source: Lauterjung et al, 2010 D. IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL WISDOM The last point of international scale lessons learned and changes after the Aceh Tsunami 2004 is related to the importance of local wisdom. This point will be discussed by contrasting stories in Sri Lanka and Simeuleu (a small island in Aceh Province). The experience of Sri Lanka at the time of Aceh Tsunami 2004 was very ironic. The tsunami arrived 4 hours after the main earthquake, a very adequate time to evacuate all coastal cities, and the tsunami height was “only” 1.42 meter. However, death victim in Sri Lanka reached 31,000 people and 5,637 missing. As one of fellow Sri Lanka told, “we don’t even know the word ‘tsunami’ before that day”. Soon after, one of Sri Lanka Author made a poem to craft that experience. 5

With strong image of local wisdom generated from past experiences, many efforts to study and disseminate this type of stories conducted. For example, “Smong” story also being published at the Kobe Earthquake Museum and translated in Japanese. On the other hand, the story of Inamura-no-Hi no Yakata in Wakayama Prefecture 4 was also being translated into Indonesian and other languages and disseminated globally.

Figure 10 – Tsunami Impact in Sri Lanka Source: http://nalakagunawardene.com/tag/indianocean-tsunami/ In contrast to the experience in Sri Lanka, story of people in Simeuleu was very convincing about the importance of local wisdom. People in Simeuleu have a story of “Smong”, a bedtime story/song developed after tsunami experience in 1907, in general the content was “If an earthquake happened, run to highground because great wave will come”. “Smong” itself is traditional word (in Simelue) which means “big tidal wave”; i.e. just like the word “tsunami” in Japan. The story was so strong so that parents often use it to threaten their kids with sentences like “I will swallow you like a Smong” (Brooks, 2010:41). Given the strong memory of Smong story, even though that the tsunami arrived less than 10 minutes after the earthquake and the tsunami height was 9 meter, only 7 death victim out of 78,000 residents in Simeuleu (Brooks, 2010:42).

Figure 12 – “Smong” and “Inamura-no-hi” Story Translated into Various Languages Source: Bisri (Photo taken at Kobe Earthquake Museum-2011, and personal collection) E. CONCLUSIONS From this paper we can look at the example of how a major disaster have many important lessons learned and may pushed changes globally. All three points; i.e. changes in humanitarian aids delivery, global tsunami warning system, and local wisdom dissemination, can be transmitted across borders and may benefits various communities to better prepared to face the tsunami. This is not to say that there was no weakness or limitations on this topic. For example, even though number of aids disbursement was high, there was still a risk of inappropriate humanitarian activity, which indeed happened in Aceh. On the other hand, roads to global functioned and timely tsunami warning system is also still considerably far. Moreover, even the dissemination of local wisdom from one community is still need to be adapted towards recipient communities, to avoid misinterpretation. In the end, the most important thing is to continuous learning and improvement, both at local and international level, in creating better disaster and humanitarian management.

Figure 11 – Location of Simeuleu Island

See further in this website: http://www.town.hirogawa.wakayama.jp/inamuranohi/english/siryo_goryo. html


F. REFERENCES Arnab A., A.T.F. de Lima, and M. Moore, 2006, Proliferation and fragmentation: Transactions costs and the value of aid, Journal of Development Studies, 42:1, 1-21. Bisri, M.B.F., 2012, Exploring Intergovernmental and Inter-organizational Cooperation in Disaster Management (The Case of West Java Earthquake 2009), Unpublished Master Theses, Bandung: Graduate Program of Regional and City Planning, School of Architecture Planning and Policy Development, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB). Brooks, O., 2010, Tsunami Alert: Beating Asia’s Next Big One, Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), 2009, Indonesia Inter-Agency Contingency Plan, Jakarta: IASC. Lassa, J., 2010, Institutional Vulnerability and Governance of Disaster Risk Reduction: Macro, Meso, and Micro Scale Assessment (with Case Studies from Indonesia), Dissertation, Bonn: UNU – EHS. Latief, H. et al., 2004, Tsunami Aceh 2004, Tsunami Research Group – Institute of Technology Bandung. Lauterjung, J., P. Koltermann, and J. Sopaheluwakan, 2010, The UNESCO-IOC Framework – Establishing an International Early Waning Infrastructure in the Indian Ocean Region, Natural Hazards and Earth System Science:10 (2623 – 2629). Masyrafah, H., and J.MJA. McKeon, 2008, Post-Tsunami Aid Effectiveness in Aceh: Proliferation and Coordination in Reconstruction, Wolfensohn Center for Development – Working Paper 6. Spahn, H., M. Hoppe, H.D. Vidiarina, and B. Usdianto, 2010, Experience from Three Years of Local Capacity Development for Tsunami Early Warning in Indonesia: Challenges, Lessons, and the Way Ahead, Natural Hazards and Earth System Science:10 (1411-1429). UN 2: United Nations General Assembly, Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and prevention in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, A/RES/59/279, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/426907274.html. UN 3: United Nations, Common statement of the Special Session on the Indian Ocean Disaster: risk reduction for a safer future, A/CONF.206/L.6, available at: http://www.unisdr.org/wcdr/intergover/official-doc/Ldocs/special-session-indian-ocean.pdf.


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