Journalists Prepared to Face Urban Disasters During Rainy Season

JAKARTA — On Saturday (16/12/2023), Dompet Dhuafa conducted the 2023 Alert Journalist training for 30 journalists. Held in the Ciliwung River Basin (DAS), East Jakarta, the training focused on urban disasters. Activities included exploring the Ciliwung River, Earthquake Mitigation, the Role of Communities in Restoring River Civilization, and Small-Scale Fire Extinguishing Education.

The training was facilitated by the Disaster Management Center (DMC) team from Dompet Dhuafa, featuring Achmad Lukman from the Chairman of the DKI Jakarta PRB Forum, Bani Kiswanto as the Alert Journalist Event Coordinator, and M. Fatzry Iqbal Hsb from Dompet Dhuafa’s Public Relations.

The Ciliwung River exploration included a garbage collection activity along the riverbank.

Achmad Lukman highlighted that Jabodetabek, especially Jakarta, is highly susceptible to disasters, ranging from floods to earthquakes. By offering training and education to journalists, Dompet Dhuafa aims to broaden public knowledge on disaster preparedness and its impacts. Given that many journalists work in skyscrapers and disaster-prone areas, enhancing training and education is crucial, as reflected in the Journalist Alert 2023 initiative.

“At the outset, we embarked on an exploration of the Ciliwung River to observe the narrowing of the River Basin (DAS) due to residential development. Participants were also encouraged to clean up trash in the Ciliwung DAS area, which we will later analyze in detail. The exploration covered a 10 Km stretch from the TB Simatupang Bridge to the Ciliwung Condet Hermitage,” Lukman detailed.

Lukman shared insights on disaster mitigation, particularly in urban contexts.

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Furthermore, Desy Edian Sari, GEDSI (Gender Equality Disability and Social Inclusion) Specialist at DMC Dompet Dhuafa, mentioned that DMC Dompet Dhuafa has been actively engaging local communities to foster environmentally conscious river communities. This involves various programs such as Eco-Edu tourism, which includes river rafting, waste management, nursery huts, and camping, as well as the establishment of the Betawi Civilization Village that celebrates Betawi batik preservation, Condet ponds, Betawi archery, and cuisine.

“Intervening in the role of communities to revive the Ciliwung River’s civilization is undoubtedly challenging and requires considerable time to add value to these communities. For instance, at the Ciliwung Condet Hermitage, what was initially a dumping ground for household and industrial waste, as well as flood runoffs and disease hotspots, has been transformed in 2022 into a site promoting river eco-tourism, tree nurseries, and Betawi cultural preservation,” she stated.

An activity involving sorting garbage by type.

Dompet Dhuafa acknowledges the necessity for collaborative action in enhancing the Ciliwung River’s civilization. The participating journalists, who collected various types of trash from the Ciliwung DAS, found that 70% of the river pollution was dominated by plastic waste, followed by cloth waste at 30%. This situation requires awareness from all sectors since such waste takes decades to decompose fully, posing a significant problem for the Ciliwung DAS.

Lukman also provided education on earthquake mitigation, emphasizing the importance of community awareness of their surroundings as a preventive measure. In the event of an earthquake, it’s advised to seek open spaces or take cover under sturdy furniture if indoors. For those in coastal or mountainous areas, moving to higher ground and away from potential landslide zones is crucial. Drivers are advised to exit their vehicles during an earthquake.

A Ciliwung River exploration activity was accompanied by a thorough cleanup of the riverbank.

Post-earthquake, Lukman advised checking the immediate surroundings and evacuating buildings in an orderly manner. He demonstrated proper behavior during indoor earthquakes, such as protecting the head with a bag or chair and exiting in an orderly fashion.

“Remember to head to predetermined assembly points. Lukman also emphasized the importance of disaster preparedness in high-rise buildings, including the availability of emergency exits, safety signage, designated safe assembly areas, and regularly checked smoke detectors,” he added.

Participants of the 2023 Alert Journalist training engaged in various activities.

The Alert Journalist event concluded with a session by Sanadi, a DMC Dompet Dhuafa representative, who discussed small-scale fire extinguishing techniques, such as dealing with gas stove leaks and using various firefighting tools.

“Alhamdulillah, this session serves as an educational opportunity for our journalist colleagues to practice using safety equipment for fire extinguishing. The goal is to ensure they are well-trained, especially since these tools are commonly used in our daily lives,” he concluded. (Dompet Dhuafa / Bani / Muthohar)