“Church has huge potency in disaster risk reduction, yet they need to coordinate their resource better in strategic alliance with government and non government bodies” This statement was revealed by one of church’s disaster task force from Semarang Timur Diocese, Javanese Christian Church in Central Java.
He was part of forty representatives of Indonesia Christian Churches and Javanese Christian churches who sit together on 2 day workshop of Disaster Management Deacons facilitated by the LPPS (the Christian center of Javanese and Indonesian Christian Churches) on August 5-6, 2011 in Yogyakarta.
Understanding the nature where churches live in and serve, LPPS conducted this workshop together with YEU and other disaster management network to share what have been done so far by their individual churches, diocese and synods in disaster management arena, what went well and what gap identified. It is well noticed that churches have huge capacity to respond disasters and the awareness among the churches towards disaster management issue is improving. However it acknowledges that some of the responses are not well coordinated and more focused in emergency responses rather than preparedness and mitigation.
The discussion revealed that amongst the 5 regions of Javanese and Indonesian Christian Churches, flood and earthquakes remain the highest rank of hazards which having different nature of intensity whereas flood is more regular than earthquake. It also shows that networks of churches in disaster response vary from internal stakeholders such as deacons, youth commission, till government agencies such as disaster agencies, social department, etc. The involvement and cooperation of churches in disaster management work has raised awareness amongst the church members yet skills need to be enhanced and mechanism systematized so their future involvement will more sustain and give greater impact towards the people they serve.
“We have many works ahead to bring the discussions implemented, let make things work : church needs to act now” said many of them, leaving the workshop with concrete idea of enhanced coordination among the churches from local till synodal as well as with other actors outside the churches.