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The MOU follows a tsunami drill involving 800 students, with support from the government of Japan.

BALI, Indonesia – Major hotels on the island of Bali signed a Memorandum of Understanding MOU on Saturday with local communities to become evacuation points for school children in the event of tsunamis. The signing took place following a second tsunami drill in as many weeks in the Indonesian island, involving 800 students, with support from the Government of Japan. 

The MOU signing is in response to the tsunami drills that are part of UNDP’s regional project called_‘Partnerships for Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunami in the Asia Pacific region’_. The $1.5 million Project is funded by the Government of Japan and is being conducted in 18 Asia-Pacific countries.

The eight hotels which signed the MOU with the Tanjung Benoa administrative village, in Badung disrict include the Grand Mirage, Bali Kama, Novotel, Tanjung Benoa Resort, The Mantra hotel, Peninsula Hotel, ION Hotel and The Segara. Five of the eight hotels signed a similar MOU in 2009.

Situated in south Bali, Tanjung Benoa is a popular peninsula sandwiched by water and served by just one major road. This makes the popular tourist area highly vulnerable, in the event of a tsunami. The MOU provides shorter routes to safety routes for more than 1,400 students, and their teachers..

 “In 2009 we signed an MOU with a focus on providing evacuation points for local communities. The current MOU is a follow up to the previous one and we are nowemphasizing evacuation points for children from nearby schools,” said I Gusti Ayu Susilowati from Tanjung Benoa Resort.

According to the UNDP, which leads the 18-month regional project, the signing of the MOU, illustrates how the private sector can be engaged in safeguarding communities.

“The moment students leave the school premises; the drills are no longer just about the school. The local administration, the traffic police, parents and the neighborhood – everyone becomes a part of this,” said Sanny Ramos Jegillos, Senior Advisor, Disaster Risk Reduction, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP Regional Asia-Pacific. “The MOUs signed this afternoon with eight hotels in the area show that even private enterprises play a vital role in saving lives.”

Saturday’s tsunami drill is the second in as many weeks. Last week more than 500 Indonesian elementary school children in Tanjung Benoa took part in the first of 90 drills, that are being supported by the Government of Japan.

The tsunami awareness project is in partnership with the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Center (IOTIC) – hosted in Indonesia by UNESCO, the Tohoku University, the International Tsunami Information (ITIC), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Other partners in Indonesia are the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

Indonesia and Japan are both located on the Ring of Fire, a region highly prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Both countries have experienced major disasters in recent years. . In 2004, Indonesia bore the brunt of the Boxing Day tsunami, which killed over a 200-thousand people. In March 2011, the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake followed by a tsunami killed around 20-thousand people.

Following the 2004 tsunami, Indonesia’s Government passed a Disaster Management Law in 2007, which led to the establishment of a national agency to address disaster management. The country is now a leader in disaster preparedness in the region, and is supported in its efforts by several partners including Japan and UNDP.

UNDP Bangkok’s Disaster Risk Reduction team is leading the Project with implementation support from the Country Offices, the Pacific Office, and the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

The 18 Asia-Pacific countries in the $1.5 million Project include: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.

Source: UN Development Programme | 29 August 2017

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