Sustaining a transformative disaster risk reduction strategy: Grandmothers telling and singing tsunami stories for over 100 Years saving lives on Simeulue Island

Stephen Sutton, Douglas Paton, Petra Buergelt, Saut Sagala, Ella Mailianda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract: As projections about the number and scale of natural hazard events and their impact on human populations grow, increasing attention is being paid to developing effective means for preparing for and mitigating those impacts. At the same time there is an emerging understanding that gradual and incremental changes in disaster risk reduction (DRR) will not adequately meet the future needs of vulnerable populations. Transformational changes have been identified as a necessary requirement to avoid ongoing large-scale losses of life and property and models have been proposed to recalibrate DRR strategies to achieve transformative changes. One cited example of a transformative change in DRR is that of Simeulue Island. Simeulue Island suffered two tsunamis approximately 100 years apart (1907, 2004) with markedly different impacts. This paper looks in detail at the cognitive and developmental mechanisms Simeulue co-opted to sustain the transformational change throughout the 20th century. Information from interviews and observation identified the role of grandmothers have in the effective communication of risk as well as motivating appropriate action to save lives. The possibility of similarly overlooked, local, and pre-existing community capacities for transformative change in DRR is then discussed.

Keywords: natural hazards, disaster risk reduction, Transformation, Tsunami, Grandmothers
Original languageEnglish
Article number7764
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sustaining a transformative disaster risk reduction strategy: Grandmothers telling and singing tsunami stories for over 100 Years saving lives on Simeulue Island'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this