- The SPADA (Support for Poor and Disadvantaged Area) National projects amounts USD 134 million, of which 78 percet is financed through a world Bank loan and credit
- SPADA National covers 186 sub-districts in 32 disadvantaged districts in 8 provinces
- A total of 1,888 sub-projects were completed in 2010: 946 infrastructure, 459 education, 338 health and 145 targeted to youth
Kabupaten Sambas, Kalimantan Barat, 16 Oktober, 2011 - The rusty old automobile wheel rim hanging in front of the Galing Fire Station is sounded to raise the alarm, setting the firefighters running with their water pumps and hoses. They run down a narrow wooden planked walkway past rows of kiosks jammed together in Galing Market, heading for the river where they begin pumping water and directing it at the fire. This is the firefighting process presented by the Galing District Firefighting Team on March 17, 2011.
Galing District is the site of frequent fires, especially in the market where the wooden kiosks are jammed together wall-on-wall. In 2000, Galing was almost destroyed by a fire. As many as 180 house/shops went up in flames. Losses reached Rp 45 billion. An irony indeed for a market located so close to a source of water.
“Panicked, I carried out anything I could salvage. My food shop, for which I had paid Rp 70 million in installments voluntarily for one year, was taken by the fire,” Suhendrayanti said.
A victim of the 2000 fire, Suhendrayanti said she was grateful for the Galing Firefighting Team. “This assistance is just exactly what we need. Whereas previously, we had to put out fires with buckets, we now have the Fire Station. We hope there will be no repeats of that fire 11 years ago.”
Galing District is located some distance from the Sambas Regency capital. The trip takes 2 hours over a rough dirt road. During the rainy season the road becomes muddy and very difficult to navigate. This difficult access and the threat of fire are the main reasons that the Galing District community has prioritized the Fire Station.
The fires in residential areas there are frequently caused by electrical short circuits and the careless use of stoves. This vulnerability to fires is exacerbated by wooden structures being built right next to one another. Besides that, Galing District is located near a forest. Uncontrolled nomadic slash and burn land clearing is a major problem. The land clearance fires set easily spread into plantation areas.
“The Fire Station is a priority for the people of Galing. With funds from the PNPM Support for Poor and Disadvantage Areas (SPADA), the people of Galing held a two-day training course with one pump and four hoses at a cost of Rp 18.51 million, ”Galing District Facilitator Joni Kurnia explained. He added that the Galing community had established monthly fire fighting fees of Rp 10,000 per kiosk, meaning that as much as Rp 800 thousand is collected monthly. Besides that, the community has also purchased an additional pump for Rp 8 million.
Since 2009, there have been 6 fires in Galing, which were all successfully extinguished by the Galing Firefighting Team. Fire Station Chief M Purba said, “We have 45 firefighters divided into two firefighting teams. One team handles the operation of the pumps, including the holding and directing of the hoses from end to end. The second team is divided into 2-man units who stand night fire watch in turns, of course, with the help of members of the community.”
When fighting a fire, these two teams join forces, with two people from each team handling one pump because the Fire Station does not yet have a fire engine to carry the equipment to fire sites.
Purba explained further that, “We don’t have a truck yet, but we never give up. We will always come to help no matter where a fire starts. The farthest village from us is 25 kilometers away. Once, when the Fire Station Team had to carry the pumps to go put out a fire in a village, one of the pumps fell on one of the firefighters. Not only was the firefighter injured, we failed to save the house.”
“We don’t have fireproof jackets, nor do we have firefighting uniforms or helmets, but our spirit certainly exceeds that of those who are better equipped,” Warjini, one the members of the Firefighting Team, added.
Even so, they do need protection when they are bravely saving the community from the danger of fires. Sambas Regent Burhanuddin Rasyid said that the Regional Administration needs to ensure the health of the Firefighting Team.
“We must continuously motivate and support these young men; at the very least for their routine operations. Once they can arrange for a more appropriate place to store equipment, including for their fire watch activities, we will support that. We must continuously encourage them,” Galing District Head, Agustian SIP, MSi. said.