An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale which hit Yogyakarta and Central Java on May 27, 2006 resulted in 5,749 deaths, 428 909 damaged houses, causing a total loss of about Rp29.2 trillions. Since then, disaster risk reduction program has become an important part of the development program carried out in all sectors.
The magnitude of the effects in this incident showed the unpreparedness of the government to tackle the after effect. However, after sometimes, the recovery and development process took place relatively quickly. Within a period of 253 days, as many as 144 034 collapsed houses have been rebuilt, or in other words, an average of 570 homes were built every day.
"One of the things we managed to realize in the previous discussions was that we have a contributing factor which fosters our spirit, that factor is culture. It became the foundation for the Yogyakarta community to recover," said Head of Centre for Disaster Studies (PSBA) UGM, Dr.Rer.Nat Djati Mardiatno, M.Si, at a dialogue themed Post-Incident Development of Earthquake in Yogyakarta - Central Java in 2006, on Wednesday (25/5) at UGM.
In this regard, the Head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) of Yogyakarta, Gatot Saptadi, describes four factors that determine the success of the post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction all of which comes from the wisdom of the people of Yogyakarta. Those are leadership, local wisdom, true community empowerment, as well as the values of community life, such as the culture of mutual help and mutual respect.
Further, Gatot explained how in this process the public is able to cooperate with the government. "The recovery process used the concept of community-based. The government gives a stimulant of Rp15 million per house, and people on average contributed about Rp28,10 million in the form of funds, energy, materials, as well as a variety of building equipment," he added.
On the same occasion, the Coordinator of Advocacy Forum for Disaster Reduction for Yogyakarta, Aris Sustiyono, said that this experience has shown that the development needs to pay attention to cultural factors.
"People from Yogyakarta have been known for their tradition and valuable knowledge about the governance of community life. It should be able to become a principle adopted for the province’s development so that it won’t eliminate the local wisdom that already exists," he explained.
One of the values used is the philosophy of life by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana I, Hamemayu Hayuning Bawana, which can be interpreted as a form of harmonious relationship between man and man, man and God, and man and the surrounding nature. This principle, he said, must be translated into development policies that remain entrenched in the cultural wisdom, especially in the middle of the province’s development which raises the complexity of problems.
"Being modern does not have to abandon the philosophy of life taught by our ancestors, because philosophy is a way of looking forward in pursuing this life," he added.