Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami

Multiple earthquakes hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Sept. 28, 2018. A post-earthquake tsunami also hit the provincial capital city of Palu causing massive destruction as 18 foot high waves rushed in. More than 65,000 homes and buildings were destroyed; 70,000 people were left homeless. The Indonesian disaster management agency estimated more than two million people needed humanitarian aid.

Rumah Aman (mobile app) screenshot.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy grantee, Build Change conceived and created Rumah Aman (a mobile app) and vetted it with 47 community groups. The app gave the earthquake-affected families of Central Sulawesi free access to housing recovery information, including messages on the basics of construction, safety advice and “ask the construction expert” functionality, along with a toll-free technical advice hotline. And as of October 2019, the app had been shared with 850 community leaders and downloaded more than 500 times.

Grantmaking for this project supported the opportunity to embrace technology to improve housing construction in central Indonesia with the possibility to scale up for use across Indonesia. This technology for disaster preparedness and risk reduction is increasingly becoming a more effective and efficient way to reach people.

Build Change was able to use their experience with mobile apps for disaster management in Nepal to Indonesia and modify it for use in the Indonesian context. The organization successfully developed the mobile app, conducted stakeholder engagement and vetting, released the free app to the public and presented the app to national authorities as part of their goal to rollout the app across Indonesia. And families were able to begin the process of recovery, better equipped to move toward rebuild their homes and their communities.

(Photo source: Build Change)