TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) urged the government to establish a national disaster emergency status after the flash floods and landslides that hit 16 districts or cities in the province.
“The emergency response status is not enough to mitigate disasters that occurred in NTT. In fact, if we see the condition in the field, the requirements to determine the status of national disaster emergency have been met,” said Dominikus Karangora, Walhi NTT coordinator, on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Dom lamented the statement made by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo that the status could not be issued as the regional government activities were not paralyzed.
“This statement blurs the fact that local governments actually find difficulties on disaster mitigation,” he said.
According to Dom, coordination between agencies from the regency or city and the provinces is also poor and slow.
“Until now, only three out of 16 affected regencies/cities have declared disaster emergency status, namely East Sumba, Lembata, and Malaka districts. Meanwhile, the provincial government seems to be indifferent in taking a stance on this current disaster mitigation process,” Dom added.
If the district and provincial governments lacked capabilities, he went on, the central government is obliged to take responsibility as it has adequate resources for the disaster mitigation process and post-disaster reconstruction.
“We hope that the number of victims is not a factor to determine the status of a national disaster that must be high. For the disaster in NTT, this indicator is highly irrelevant,” said Dom.