UB Sociology and WALHI East Java Help the Residents of Pandanrejo Village to Identify Potential Disaster

The Department of Sociology FISIP UB held a Community Service entitled “Socialization of Potential Disasters in Tourism Areas”

The Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Brawijaya (FISIP UB) held a Community Service entitled “Socialization of Potential Disasters in Tourism Areas”, Saturday (11/05/2024).

This activity, which collaborates with the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), was carried out in Pandanrejo Village, a tourist village famous for its garden tours and strawberry picking. Also present at this activity were representatives from KWT (Women’s Farmers Group) and local Village Owned Enterprises (BUMDes).

Activities were carried out at Lumbung Strawberi in the form of socialization by presenting material regarding potential disasters in tourism areas and forms of mitigation efforts

The Team Leader, Lutfi Amiruddin, S.Sos., M.Sc said that the material presented was aimed at providing disaster risk knowledge to village communities, especially for those who live in villages as tourism areas.

Through this outreach activity, it is hoped that it can become a medium for the local community to learn about the history of Batu City, including Pandanrejo Village and become a tourism area.

“Through this activity, it is hoped that we can help local communities to identify and map various kinds of potential disasters that may arise in line with the development of their village as a tourism area. Thus, the community can take action as a form of mitigation effort for possible disaster risks that will occur in the future in Pandanrejo Village area, armed with the knowledge gained during this socialization activity,” explained Lutfi Amiruddin.

This community service activity presented representatives of WALHI, which is one of the largest environmental organizations in Indonesia, as presenters. WALHI is a non-profit organization based on non-governmental organizations that focuses on providing advocacy for the community regarding healthy and sustainable environmental management and governance policies.

“The presence of WALHI representatives as presenters is expected to provide comprehensive material for the community regarding potential disasters in tourism areas because it is delivered directly by experts,” explained Lutfi, who is also a Sociology Lecturer at FISIP UB.

Indra as a representative from WALHI said that Batu City, if seen from its historical roots, could be said to be a tax-free land with a variety of great potential attached to it. Indra even called Batu City a paradise city with abundant springs and fertile soil.

“Therefore, it is difficult to say or talk about disasters in Batu City, because this city is considered an ideal area so it is safe from disasters. Even though basically the potential for disaster is still present accompanying the twists and turns in the development of Batu City,” said Indra.

According to Indra, disasters vary greatly, from natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, non-natural disasters such as technological failure, modernization, and social disasters such as social and economic disparities that turn into social conflicts.

Therefore, it is necessary to map potential disasters, such as in the river south of Pandanrejo Village which is one of the routes of the 2020 flash flood. In Pandanrejo Village itself, the same as what happened in Bulukerto Village, Indra explained that there were no historical records of disasters before the flood in 2020. So, the potential disasters that might occur are more non-natural disasters.

The material continued with a presentation of the history of the development of Pandanrejo Village and Batu City into tourism areas. According to Indra, previously Pandanrejo Village was not as crowd as it is now, in 2001 there were not too many settlements in Batu City, however, in the past 20 years, several residential areas have increased due to urbanization. As a result, the level of traffic safety in Batu City is getting lower along with the development of tourism in this region.

According to him, the residents of Pandanrejo Village, who are farmers in terms of production, if linked to the flow of urbanization and uncontrolled regional development, could change the local community’s way of production, resulting in loss of living space and displacement of their livelihoods. This is very relevant when natural farming skills using a cooperative system are no longer used, replaced by practical skills working in hotels.

Thus, tourism development that does not pay attention to the skills of local residents will increase the risk of disasters which have the potential to become social conflicts, economic instability and environmental degradation in Batu City tourism area.

At the end of the presentation of the material, Indra as the speaker emphasized that mitigation is only aimed at reducing the risk of disasters, it does not mean eliminating disasters, because disasters are part of the activities of living things. According to him, mitigation of potential disasters in Batu City as a tourism area depends on the choice of direction of tourism growth that will be taken in the future, whether development is directed towards a tourism city or an agropolitan city. Then Indra also touched on the issue of disaster administration which cannot be limited to regions, so handling it must be done together. [Sos/Irene/ UB PR/ Trans. Iir]