Editor's Note: This article was first published on April Dialog. Dr Tony Whitten is Regional Director, Asia Pacific, Fauna & Flora International (FFI). FFI is RER’s technical partner, managing key elements of the...
The subdistricts of Kampar Kiri and Kampar Kiri Hulu in Riau province were hit by floods when the Subayang River burst its banks on 14 Jan 2019. This caused damage and disrupted life for several villages. APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited) Group’s Indonesian operations PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (PT RAPP) quickly mobilised its community development unit to distribute relief aid to the affected communities.
Almost more than 540 homes across four villages in Kampar Kiri subdistrict were reported to have been submerged, with Kuntu Village the most affected. In Kampar Kiri Hulu subdistrict, the flood rendered a major road in Gema Village unusable.
PT RAPP’s community development unit distributed hundreds of relief packages that included rice, oil, sugar and other food items, with the hope that these would help alleviate some of the difficulties faced by the affected communities as they work towards recovering from the floods.
Nazarudin, chief of Kuntu Village, one of the affected villages, said, “RAPP continues to engage our village and neighbouring communities, in times of peace and in times of need. The company has previously conducted many training sessions and organised various community activities for the benefit of our community.”
Dody, a youth leader in Kuntu Village, added, “The floods have badly affected the community and our main income source, rubber. We are very grateful to have RAPP providing aid.”
Active Engagement and Community Development
PT RAPP remains an active and engaged corporate citizen in the communities in which it operates, having implemented programmes to enrich the communities culturally and economically.
The company works closely with the government to roll out the Climate Village Programme, which encourages local communities to carry out climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. The programme also helps build resilience in participating communities against disasters such as famine, drought and floods, and tackle issues such as emissions and food security.
PT RAPP continues working with government, non-government and community stakeholders to support development of education and infrastructure. These efforts include developing SME (small-to-medium enterprise) programmes to nurture local entrepreneurship, and organising blood donation drives. The numerous training sessions conducted by the company cover best practices in integrated farming, integrated pest management, and education excellence. It is also active in disaster relief, having deployed roving medical teams and distributed N-95 masks to local communities affected by the 2015 haze.
These are just some of efforts represent APRIL Group’s commitment in building resilient communities as an integral part of its operations and journey in sustainable development.
More importantly, we would like to take this opportunity to wish the communities in Kampar Kiri and Kampar Kiri Hulu all the best and a speedy recovery. Semangat!