Poverty and Disaster


Disasterchannel.co,- Poverty is a social problem which is a phenomenon that occurs in almost all civilizations in the world today. The definition of poverty according to academics is a condition where people are able to work or are able to try, but their work or business does not meet their daily needs. The problem of poverty is a very basic thing for a country or civilization, even according to the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia in chapter XIV article 34 states that the poor and neglected children must be looked after by the state.

When this article was written, it coincided with National Poverty Eradication Day. The question is, are disasters closely related to poverty? Or can the disaster itself be a source of poverty? That’s what disasterchannel will try to discuss in this article. 

If we look at Law of the Republic of Indonesia No. 24 of 2007 concerning disaster management, the definition of a disaster is an event or series of events that threatens and disrupts people’s lives and livelihoods caused by either natural factors and/or non-natural factors or human factors, resulting in casualties. human life, environmental damage, property loss, and psychological impacts.

If we look at the definition of Law No. 24 of 2007, we will see how disasters result in impacts in the form of environmental or property damage and even psychological damage. These three things have a heavy impact and affect the life of an individual or group. If we look at the book entitled “Eradicating Poverty” by Devi Arfiani, it explains that disasters will cause what is called natural poverty.

According to Devi Arfiani, natural poverty is not only caused by disasters but is also the result of a lack of limited natural resources and low levels of existing technology. So natural poverty itself has three factors as disasterchannel has explained and of course this article focuses on disasters.

Try to imagine if a disaster destroyed the environment as defined by our country’s laws. Of course, people who are very dependent on natural products, such as agricultural communities, will be affected, due to losing their livelihoods due to disasters. However, disasters can also be caused by humans themselves, resulting in natural damage which of course is detrimental to society. 

We can see the problems that befell Wawonii Island. Here, the existence of irresponsible mines causes environmental damage and gradually leads to disaster, and affects the lives of local communities. Mining on this island certainly damages the environment, causing rice fields and the sea as a source of income for the Wawonii community to be threatened due to damage caused by mining activities on the island.

Then we move on to the next diction, namely that disasters cause loss of property. Indeed, there are many cases of terrible disasters, resulting in the loss of property in the community. Of course, we can see this in many cases, such as the Aceh earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2004 and the disaster that occurred in Central Sulawesi in 2018. If we search on the internet regarding these two disasters, we will see how devastated a city was due to the disaster. These two incidents also resulted in the loss of many people’s property due to the disaster.

Lastly, disasters have a psychological impact on society. In this era of modern response, we are familiar with the term PFA (Psychological First Aid), which aims to assess and treat early symptoms resulting from the trauma of the disaster that occurred. In simple terms, PFA is psychological first aid carried out specifically to treat emotional wounds that leave an impression on people who have just experienced a traumatic experience. Imagine if the post-disaster trauma could not be overcome, of course this would affect a family’s economic situation.

The close relationship between disaster events and poverty through this article and the explanation above really proves that disasters are related to disaster events. Therefore, the preparation of economic measures must also be included in the mitigation movement in Indonesia. Apart from that, the community’s economic preparations in facing disasters have also been intensified. This point can be done through insurance companies, where they should prepare special disaster insurance packages. So that if a disaster occurs in an area, customers have insurance that can make their lives easier, especially in the aftermath of a disaster.

Author: Abdurrahman Heriza

Editor: Lien Sururoh

Translator: Nugrah Aryatama


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“Pertolongan Pertama Psikologis: Langkah untuk Membantu Meredam Luka Batin Seseorang – Center for Public Mental Health,” n.d. Accessed October 17, 2023. https://cpmh.psikologi.ugm.ac.id/2020/10/12/pertolongan-pertama-psikologis-langkah-untuk-membantu-meredam-luka-batin-seseorang/.“UU No. 24 Tahun 2007.” Database Peraturan | JDIH BPK. Accessed October 17, 2023. http://peraturan.bpk.go.id/Details/39901/uu-no-24-tahun-2007.

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