In 2013, the Australia–Indonesia Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction completed a national tsunami hazard assessment for Indonesia, which highlighted the vulnerability of the Indonesian coastline to tsunamis. There is a significant risk of a tsunami between 0.5 and 3 m high inundating parts of the Indonesian archipelago and affecting provincial capitals and important regions of agricultural production. Coastlines of a number of other countries share this vulnerability. The scale of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and the subsequent destruction and loss of life have highlighted the need for disaster-prevention programs and an understanding of the post-disaster recovery process.
The 2004 tsunami devastated coastal areas of the Indonesian province of Aceh, causing widespread destruction. The earthquake that triggered the tsunami dramatically altered land levels. Large areas of coastal farmland were inundated by sea water, some permanently, and many farms were covered in sediment scoured from the sea floor and the coast.
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) recognised the need to assist the recovery of agricultural capacity and production in tsunami-affected Aceh, and established a series of projects in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture.
This guide focuses on the lessons learned about agricultural recovery after the Aceh tsunami event. Farming is the principal source of livelihood for a large percentage of the population of Indonesia. Being prepared to assist tsunami-affected rural communities to recover their livelihoods is an important part of disaster response in Indonesia.
Chief Executive Officer, ACIAR