TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called for the implementation of disaster education in every educational institution starting this year.
"I want this disaster education to be implemented, and it must start this year in the public and in schools, particularly in disaster-prone regions, up to the community level," Jokowi said, while speaking during a coordinating meeting on disaster mitigation 2019, on Saturday.
Indonesia has been blessed by Allah with fertile soil, but the country is located in the Ring of Fire, with earthquake plates, which makes the country prone to natural disasters.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) will coordinate with the Education and Culture Minister for disaster education in schools.
Several regional disaster mitigation offices (BPBD) have already started campaigning on disaster education for the public at large.
In addition to education, consolidation and coordination are also crucial for disaster mitigation efforts, he emphasized.
Jokowi also asked the BNPB to plant mangroves in coastal areas to reduce tsunami impacts.
Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lt Gen. Doni Monardo and East Java Governor Soekarwo were present at the coordinating meeting, in which some four thousand Indonesians and foreigners participated.
According to data of the BNPB, a total of 2,572 natural disasters had hit during 2018.
January and February are the peak months of the rainy season that could trigger flooding, landslides, and whirlwinds.
In January 2019, Indonesia was hit by 366 natural disasters that claimed 94 lives or led to several missing, injured 149, and affected and displaced 88,613 others.
The catastrophes also damaged 4,013 homes and 146 public facilities.
More than 98 percent of the natural disasters in January this year were hydrometeorological in nature.
Compared to the number of natural disasters in January 2018, the number in the same period this year increased by 57.1 percent; the number of dead and missing victims was up by 308.7 percent; and the number of injured victims was up by 186.5 percent.
The number of people affected and taking refuge in safer places decreased by 49.8 percent, and the number of damaged homes was down by 59.7 percent.