Tanjung Padang Residents Rebuilding the Old Livelihoods

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Laila Afifa

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  • Alamsyah and his fellow fisher in Tanjung Padang Sirenja, Donggala, Central Sulawesi, December 16, 2021

    Alamsyah and his fellow fisher in Tanjung Padang Sirenja, Donggala, Central Sulawesi, December 16, 2021

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaResidents of Tanjung Padang, Donggala use tool aids to restart their businesses that were lost to the earthquake and tsunami in 2018. 

    Alamsyah still clearly remembers the evening on September 28, 2018. He was still at the sea when the earthquake and tsunami hit the coast of Central Sulawesi. His boat was tossed around by towering waves, and then ended on the height, sandwiched between two coconut trees. “All are gone,” said the fisherman of Tanjung Padang Village, Sirenja District, Donggala, Central Sulawesi when met on December 16.

    His house, which was located around 100 meters from the coast, was destroyed. He was grateful that his family was safe, including two of his sons who were also at the sea during the disaster. For months, he did not work and stayed in a temporary shelter. However, he could no longer stay still. He fixed his boat. Two other boats were broken. “I reconnect the torn trawler,” said the 50 years old man who has been fishing since elementary school.

    Luckily, some time later there was an offer of work tool from Care Peduli Foundation and Karsa Foundation. “ I received panambe (big fishing net),” Alamsyah said. Slowly, he rose back. Now, the father of nine children has had four boats. Because with panambe, the amount of fished fish is also ample. “With panambe, (I) can earn Rp 5 million,” he said. Half for Alamsyah, another half for the workers, which usually consisted of 10 people. Meanwhile back then, for Alamsyah, Rp 300.000 per day was already good. He is now completing the construction of his house.

    Alamsyah with the panambe he received.

    According to Lestari Ningsih, person in charge of Karsa Foundation, her group and Care Peduli had previously conducted a survey to know the needs of the 2018 disaster survivors in Tanjung Padang and several other villages. “Each of us has business. Just develop our business,” Lestari imitated the people’s request at that time. Their businesses were ruined by the earthquake and tsunami that took away their assets.

    Finally it was decided the aid was in the form of tools or equipment that were mostly needed to recover their livelihood. “Our intervention was not uniform because each has different needs,” Edi Wicaksono, program manager of Karsa Foundation, said. They also joined several trainings based on their needs, especially related to disaster risk management and entrepreneurship.

    Those who were declared most in need of assistance also submitted the items needed. If Alamsyah proposed panambe, another fisher, Rizal, received bamboo and rope for rompong (floating fish traps) and trawls nets. He could still use his old boat that had been fixed. “Before the net income was around Rp 1 million per month, now more,” said the father of three children. He can also earn an income from paddy field and 2 hectares of clove plantation.

    At the same time another Tanjung Padang resident, Nurainun, chose another tool. “Floss maker tool,” said the 39-year-old woman. She received the tool in 2020. With the help of her husband who is a fisher, she can produce (floss) once or twice a week. “Depends on the weather,” she said. Approximately, she produces 30 packs of floss that are sold for Rp 25.000 per pack. Not only sold in Sirenja, she sometimes gave the floss to her sister who works in Palu or her child who studies in Islamic boarding school in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. “Alhamullilah, (it) really helps with the income.”

    Nur Afika, 20, not only started her business, but also developed it by opening a kiosk selling clothing, masks, socks and other accessories. “Back then (I) studied while selling headscarves,” she said. From Care and Karsa, she received goods capital such as clothing and headscarves.

    Even when the livelihood is getting better, they are still monitored by Karsa and Care Foundations. According to Lestari Ningsih, several continuing programs have been prepared. Because most of the residents in Tanjung Padang are fishers – 200 families in Tanjung Padang are fishers – the team has prepared a program on strengthening sustainable small fishery practices. “Also fishery product processing and its marketing.”

    Read: Survivors of 2018 Earthquake and Tsunami in Donggala Build Businesses

    Purwani Diyah Prabandari (Donggala)