Community-based information network supporting emergency response

jalin merapi_1 The Jaringan Informasi Lingkar Merapi (JALIN Merapi) is an information network active around the Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia. During the 2010 eruption it was able to effectively deal with the rescue and emergency response using ICTs and an effective team of volunteers mobilized through community radios in the affected area.

Title:  "Jaringan Informasi Lingkar Merapi (JALIN Merapi)"

Country: Indonesia

Organization: The Jaringan Informasi Lingkar Merapi (JALIN Merapi) is the Information Network around the active volcano Mount Merapi in Indonesia. JALIN Merapi was founded and initiated by three community radio stations after the 2006 eruption of the volcano: Lintas Merapi radio in Klaten, MMC FM in Boyolali, and K FM and K FM in Dukun-Magelang.

Theme: Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

Overview of activities: The 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia caused 277 deaths and hundreds of thousands of people displaced to refugee camps. The information collected by volunteers in the field was integrated into the JALIN Merapi's website, so that it could be accessed by many people. The website was visited by 4,200 visitors per day on average. The needs of the refugees could easily be communicated to aid organizations. Donors could send aid in the form of money and goods via JALIN Merapi, supply and distribution of the aid could also be accessed on line.

Methodology: JALIN Merapi used various media to immediately deliver important data and information, which in turn could support the process of decision making, emergency response and aid delivery.

On 25 October 2010 the Twitter account @jalinmerapi was created. The number of followers kept increasing as the condition of Mount Merapi deteriorated. Thanks to the already existing infrastructure, aid in the form of food and logistics was quickly and readily available when the largest eruption occurred on 5 November 2010. JALIN Merapi also manages 5 groups on Facebook with 240 - 250 members in each group. The followers of @jalinmerapi and members of the Jalin Merapi Group are volunteers of JALIN Merapi, government officials and common people. Thousands of messages have passed through all these media.

Major Outcomes/Impact:

People could send their queries or requests for aid directly via SMS Gateway or using the shout box at JALIN Merapi’s website. The data in the website was regularly updated by 800 volunteers participating in the disaster management after the 2010 eruption. To coordinate this big number of volunteers, JALIN Merapi made facebook groups. Twitter account was also been used to accelerate information to wider public.

All information from SMS, shout box, twitter, email, facebook were then summed up and updated in the website. For donors, there was available a database concerning the need of refugees. Maps were available for those who wanted to distribute their aid directly to the displaced people.

The group of volunteers of Jalin Merapi stayed back in the area and withstood clouds of ash, smoke and fire to tweet information to followers. They ensured that their friends and neighbors knew what’s coming, where to go and whom to call. According to Indonesian citizens the information provided by the Jalin Malapi via Twitter  was better than that of the local government. Now the Jalin Merapi Twitter account @jalinmerapi has over 35,000 followers.

Milestones and lessons learned:

All these works could not be made without the three community radios stations in the area of Mount Merapi that were the front liners in organizing information and logistics at the grassroots level: Lintas Merapi radio in Klaten, MMC FM in Boyolali, and K FM in Dukun-Magelang. The community radios also served the purpose of monitoring the volcano. Volunteers working in the field could update the situation using radio, phone, short message service (SMS), twitter, facebook and instant messenger.

Through the community radios accurate information about the number of people in the area, the type of aid and specific needs for rescue and rehabilitation was obtained. The information was updated in the website so that effective response was garnered. This helped in preventing more loss of life and effective strategies for rescue and rehabilitation missions.

In disaster prone areas it helps to create awareness amongst the communities so that they can effectively handle disasters. Following the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, community radios in Indonesia have played a vital role in rehabilitation and rebuilding the community. The successive earthquakes in 2007 and 2009 in Sumatra Indonesia reinforced the effectiveness of community radios in helping the community in times of disaster.

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)-Japan Working Group had organized two workshops on community based disaster management utilizing community radio in Central Java, Indonesia in 2009. One of the workshops was held in Klaten close to Mount Merapi and was participated by the community radio Lintas Merapi. The workshops were part of a pilot project aimed to raise community awareness of Disaster Risk Reduction Utilizing Community Radio and this workshop helped the participants prepare radio programmes on disaster risk reduction which was effectively used by Lintas Merapi.

Contacts:

Jaringan Informasi Lingkar Merapi (JALIN MERAPI)

Website: http://merapi.combine.or.id/
Email: jalinmerapi[at]gmail.com
Twitter: @jalinmerapi, @jalinmerapi_en
FaceBook: Jalin Merapi
Tel: +62 274 3024 876
SMS Gateway: 08180 438 9000

Radio Komunitas Lintas Merapi 106.4 FM

Alamat: Deles, Sidorejo, Kemalang, Klaten, Jawa Tengah
Email: lintasmerapi_fm[at]yahoo.co.id
Twitter: @lintasmerapi
Facebook Group : radio komunitas lintasmerapi 106.40Mhz (Open Group)
Blog: http://lintas-merapi.blogspot.com/
CP: Sukiman (0815 7806 3195)

Radio Komunitas MMC 107.8 FM

Blog: http://mmcfm.wordpress.com

Radio Komunitas K 107.8 FM

Alamat: Kompleks Mts Aswaja, Dukun, Magelang, Jawa Tengah
Facebook Group: Sobat Radio Komunitas K FM (Open Group)
CP: Sonhaji (0858 7897 2983), Muhammad Asnawi