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Jakarta Post

Religion used as approach to disaster mitigation in West Nusa Tenggara

  • Panca Nugraha

    The Jakarta Post

Mataram   /   Wed, July 24, 2019   /   08:58 am
Religion used as approach to disaster mitigation in West Nusa Tenggara Survivors of an earthquake that devastated Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) in August 2018 gather in front of new temporary housing in Sanjang village, Sembalun district. (Antara/Ahmad Subaidi)

The West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) administration has released a book on disaster mitigation in the hope of making religion one way to approach natural disaster mitigation.

The attempt to debunk popular belief that a disaster is the result of God's wrath that has to be accepted no matter what is being helped by the NTB Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), with the title Friday Khotbah [sermon]: Disaster in Islam.

The head of NTB BPBD, Ahsanul Khalik, said that besides advancing a religious approach, the book is also an attempt to take disaster as a form of faith and unity test.

“We all hope that a disaster could mature the people of NTB to view it as a way to avoid social issues and to strengthen their faith in Allah SWT,” Ahsanul said.

Ahsanul added that as humans, their duty was to perfect their faith in God, that way they could also strengthen disaster mitigation and minimize casualties. 

He said the book launch was very important in making people aware that earthquakes, landslides, droughts, fires, floods and other natural disasters were not azab (punishment) from God.

Education about and mitigation of natural disasters through the religious approach has proven to be very effective, according to Ahsanul. An estimated 3,000 copies of the book will be distributed to mosques in remote villages.

The distribution is aligned with the hope of spreading natural disaster awareness even further and preparing people for such unpredictable catastrophes. (dmy)