From Tent to Huntara (Temporary residence): Agus Falahudin’s Story Passes the Day During the Recovery of Cianjur

CIANJUR, WEST JAVA — “I used to see earthquakes like this only on television. But earthquakes now happen in my place. Is this God’s will or doom for me? I cried when I saw the conditions,” said Agus Falahudin the Dompet Dhuafa team, on Thursday (26/01/2023).

Agus Falahudin is one of the survivors of the Cianjur earthquake who currently lives in Pangkalan Village, Benjot Village, Cugenang District. He poured out his heart while staying in a temporary tent. It is calculated that he and his family have been in a temporary tent for 2 (two) months.

He and his wife and two children had previously settled in a tent that the RT provided collectively. But eventually, he and his family decided to set up a temporary private tent inhabited by his wife, two children, and in-laws. Agus chose to set up a temporary tent for the safety and comfort of the family. He lives in a temporary tent that is estimated to be no less than 1 X 4 meters wide.

“Living in RT tents. Two platoon tents, some are west and east. When I was in the tent, I saw the condition of the tent when it rained; on one side, I slept (on mats) on the ground, and there was no pallet like now. I saw children and toddlers crying; I finally thought I wanted to have my tent for my family, big or small,” she said.

Agus Falahudin and his family while still living in a refugee tent.

“Sleeping in a tent must be cold, and then I see the child cold too; my heart hurts to see it. But the important thing is that I have survived; thank God I was given health. But when night came, I was horrified (there was an earthquake). I did not want to stay up late at night and just wanted to see the day. But on the one hand, when it was Monday when the time showed past 13:00, I started to feel thankful to God. Because of the earthquake that happened to my family at 13.00 WIB,” he continued.

Siti Samsiah, Agus’s wife or who is often called Teh Neng, also said the same thing. She is rarely in the tent temporarily because, during the day, the temperature and weather are very suffocating due to the sun’s scorching heat. On the one hand, during the night pick up, the air temperature and weather dropped drastically to cold. 

“I rarely stay in the tent because if it’s a day (weather), it must be hot, whereas if it’s up to 8 p.m., it’s freezing. Especially when there is a big wind, oh my God, it is horrifying,” he admitted.

The appearance of the Huntara (Temporary residence) Bunga house for Agus Falahudin and family.

“The memories of the previous house (are hard to forget). All the memories are in the house. From my childhood, when I was in elementary school, middle school, and high school until I had two children, all those memories were (created) at home. I cannot imagine having a house anymore,” he added.

Good news approached Agus Falahudin when DMC Dompet Dhuafa built a pilot residence from the Bumi Endah Dompet Dhuafa Temporary Residence (Huntara Bunga) in his residential area in Pangkalan Village, Benjot Village, Cugenang District.

“Huntara Bunga” is a huntara (Temporary Residence) that carries the concept of a recycled house built with the remains of debris from houses damaged by earthquakes. Then it will also be equipped with new materials to build concretely Huntara Bunga. Huntara Bunga consists of two bedrooms, one living room and one terrace with an area of up to 7 x 5 square meters.

Agus and his son can comfortably live in Huntara.

The peculiarity of Huntara Bunga is the empowerment aspect. DMC Dompet Dhuafa and Recycle House Program (RHP) only socialize and provide knowledge about development and all essential materials and the right size in building a safe and comfortable residence.

“I work together with the residents (to build a building). Now, I am done building that. I was moved and felt I would no longer have a house. I prayed to shout and scream to God, and I wanted to have a home for my family. Do not let the month of Ramadan (we) sleep in a tent,” concluded Agus.

“Before the earthquake, I had a permanent brick house with three rooms; when there was an earthquake, I didn’t want to see tall houses with bricks. Because I also feel that maybe even the elderly, also do not want (brick houses). I want a house like this (huntara). I do not want a good house (luxurious); it is simple, it is okay, the important thing is, it’s comfortable, and the safety of my family is more guaranteed,” he continued.

Agus repurposed the door of his former home, damaged by an earthquake last November and coupled it with new materials to complete the foundation and construction of his Flower Huntara, a pilot model.

However, Agus and his family will only occupy Huntara Bunga after all members of the Kampung Pangkalan community group already have Huntara Bunga. As the spirit of cooperation passed down by DMC Dompet Dhuafa, Agus and other group members will help the construction of Huntara Bunga until no more souls are suffocated due to the scorching heat of the sun and turn blue due to the hunk of the cold night air.

“Alhamdulillah, I thank the DMC Dompet Dhuafa family and all their extended family. May this goodness be replaced by Allah SWT and give a long life to the big family of Dompet Dhuafa. I cannot return the favour to the big family of DMC Dompet Dhuafa and colleagues (donors). Insyallah, DMC Dompet Dhuafa continues to advance; long live, given the greatest sustenance. I, as a family, can only pray, can’t do anything,” said Agus.

Huntara Bunga presented by Dompet Dhuafa and Recycle House Program (RHP).

“Now it has a huntara (Temporary Residence) from DMC Dompet Dhuafa. Alhamdulillah, it’s excellent, O Allah, to be able to house again. Alhamdulillah, the house is good, insya Allah is safe from earthquakes, insya Allah is a blessing for all. Thousands of alhamdulillah,” added Teh Neng.

All this kindness results from the cooperation of good friends who participated in the Bantos Cianjur Pulih: Dari Kita Untuk Cianjur Bangkit movement. Through the cooperation of good friends, able to help survivors affected by the Cianjur earthquake have decent housing, on the one hand, it introduces the concept of sustainable development that carries a recycled lifestyle. In addition, good friends provide empowerment and long-term change for survivors facing the future and rising from the slump of earthquakes that have taken their lives. 

Good friends can visit link to get involved in the Bantos Cianjur Pulih: Dari Kita Untuk Cianjur Bangkit movement. It’s Time for Indonesia to Be Empowered to Face Disasters.