THE ASEAN VILLAGE:
TANGIBLE SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY FROM ASEAN AND PARTNERS FOR THE COMMUNITY IN PALU CITY
The AHA Centre and the local administration of Palu City, Central Sulawesi in Indonesia, has officially launched the ASEAN Village, consisting of 100 permanent houses, one mosque and one auxiliary health centre. The village is a sign of the tangible support from ASEAN Member States and partners in the spirit of One ASEAN One Response for the community, which was impacted by triple disasters in September 2018. The launch was held in a hybrid format, on-site in Palu with COVID-19 protocols in place, and virtually via Zoom.
Mr. Hadianto Rasyid, SE, the Mayor of Palu City, expressed his gratitude for the generous support from the people and Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Government of the Philippines, the Government of Australia, Direct Relief and other supporters of the ASEAN Village. He also commended the AHA Centre for coordinating assistance for the ASEAN Village project and its contribution to the recovery programme in Central Sulawesi. “We’re very grateful that today the ASEAN Village is officially launched. We also thank all donors for their contributions and support for the people of Palu City,” Mr. Hadianto said during the launch.
The construction of the ASEAN Village started in August 2019. Under the first-phase construction, 75 permanent houses were handed over to the local administration in April 2020. The construction continued with an additional 25 permanent houses, a mosque, and an auxiliary health centre, all of which were handed over to the administration of Palu City in April 2021, five days before the start of Ramadhan, to allow for the facilities to be used immediately by the residents of the ASEAN Village and the surrounding areas. “The ASEAN Village provides solutions for the affected community who previously lived in temporary shelters,” Mr. Hadianto added.
ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, joining the launch virtually from Jakarta, expressed his hope that the ASEAN Village would provide the people of Palu with an opportunity for a safe environment to recover from the destructive impact of the disaster and to resume their livelihoods and day-to-day activities. “I am pleased to note that the ASEAN Village is part of the new development design of the city of Palu, strategically located in close proximity to key social infrastructure including schools, healthcare facilities and markets”.
The AHA Centre facilitated ASEAN’s collective response during the emergency response stage and subsequently in the early recovery phase, as well as in the rehabilitation and reconstruction period. For the development of the ASEAN Village, the AHA Centre worked closely with the Palu City administration as its direct counterpart and implementing partner, under the guidance of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB).
Joining the launch in Palu with her team, Executive Director of the AHA Centre Ms. Adelina Kamal expressed her hope that the ASEAN Village could be included in the disaster-resilient village programme, which is an Indonesian government programme, in an effort to strengthen community resilience through community-based disaster risk-reduction efforts. “The ASEAN Village will have the resilience to adapt to, anticipate and deal with possible future disaster threats”, she said during the launch.
The AHA Centre also launched a book called “New Homes of Opportunities” that documents its experience and lessons over the past two years in building the ASEAN Village, and captures the thoughts and recommendations from the ASEAN Village’s supporters and survivors.
The official launch of the ASEAN Village was also attended by the Governor of Central Sulawesi Province Mr. Rusdi Mastura, and virtually via Zoom by the Ambassador of the Philippines to ASEAN H.E. Noel Servigon; Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to ASEAN H.E. Pengiran Hairani Pengiran Tajuddin; Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Counsellor Mr. Simon Ernst; Executive Vice President of Direct Relief Mr. Bhupi Singh; and ambassadors and representatives from ASEAN Member States as well as Dialogue Partners and partners of ASEAN.
Written by : Moch Syifa | Photo Credit: AHA Centre