The Empowerment of the Local Knowledge in Handling and Tackling the Disasters in Sinjai Regency
The disaster of the landslides and the flash floods do not just completely crush tangible properties but also those
intangible things, (economic, psychological, social, and cultural), and more specifically they cause great impacts on the
communities lives. In connection with that, this article will analyze comprehensively and intensively the community
understanding about the disasters, the local strategies, and the community response to the disaster susceptibilities as the main
component in the disaster management plan, which the Sinjai communities still have. This research used the ethnographic
approach with the data collection techniques of observation, in depth interviews, and focused discussion. Then the data were
analyzed descriptively and analytically. The research results revealed that the communities in Sinjai still preferred to use their
local knowledge when treating the environment and avoiding the disasters. The interpretation of the disasters was done by the
communities in two parts, namely the cause and the meaning of the disasters. With the results of this research, it was hoped
that we could create a new strategy for the local policy management and to design a plan for the local-knowledge-based policy
in order to mitigate the vulnerability and the disaster management in handling and tackling the disasters.
Keywords— local knowledge, disasters, mitigation, handling, tackling.