For over two years, the world has faced an uncertain situation due to COVID-19. However, slowly community began to adapt and bounce back with all the innovations to survive. Communities in Indonesia made many efforts to deal with COVID-19, such as forming the COVID-19 Task Force.
In Bali, the work of the Task Force is easier because of the existence of traditional villages–indigenous people–with all their local approaches. One of them is Task Force from Penglipuran Traditional Village. “Indeed, Penglipuran Traditional Village, institutionally, has exerted all its strength to protect or fortify its community with various efforts, both Niskala and Skala,” said Nengah Lancar, a community leader in Penglipuran Traditional Village.
Penglipuran Traditional Village has taken many preventive measures. They carry out mitigation efforts which, according to Prajuru [traditional leaders], have been reviewed from a theoretical point of view. “Through Prajuru, we propose holding COVID-19 education, including socializing the SOP [standard operating procedure], because our village as a tourist village has a large aspect for tourists to attend,” said Nengah Moneng, part of Task Force in Penglipuran Traditional Village.
In addition to conducting socialization, the task force has also independently procured COVID-19 prevention facilities and infrastructure. “We made all of our efforts because we have support from the community in Penglipuran,” added Nengah Moneng.
The independent efforts and quick steps taken by Penglipuran Traditional Village led to them obtaining the CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, Environment, Sustainability) certificate. These steps come from Penglipuran–traditional villages–to protect their community. So, the community can receive continuously updated information, then always be informed and more alert.
Hearing the efforts throughout 2020-2021 carried out by the Traditional Village made Dr. I Gusti Ayu Raka Susanti, M.Kes–Head of Surveillance and Immunization Section, Bali Provincial Health Service–feel proud because people can work together to protect each other. “So with this meeting, we at the provincial level immediately hear what the local community has been trying to do,” said Dr. Raka when socializing COVID-19 in Penglipuran Village.
This COVID-19 socialization occurred on May 12, 2022, at Village Hall. Even IDEP and village apparatus held this socialization after some people were informed about COVID-19. Still, with the lack of news about COVID-19 accompanied by a decrease in cases, people had missed the possibilities that could happen when they were “off guard”.
The meeting between the community and someone who is an expert in a health context, especially COVID-19, has brought back the community’s “alertness” in dealing with this pandemic situation. “The goal is to try to revive the COVID task force that was once active by updating the existing structure,” explained Wahyu Permana, Program Manager of the IDEP Foundation.
COVID-19 socialization also received a good response from the community, including Prajuru. “It seems that now is the time to revitalize, which is to revive it so that later it will not become negligent or can be said to be less alert,” said Nengah Moneng.
The presence of the task force with its work for handling COVID-19 has opened the community’s mind, especially in the Penglipuran Traditional Village, about the importance of collaboration. For this reason, just taking COVID-19 is not enough. “If we want to be more comprehensive, the task force is not only COVID but the disaster management task force, so the scope is wider because disasters are not only COVID. So if there is another disaster, we don’t need to create a task force,” explained Nengah Lancar, the Penglipuran Traditional Village’s COVID Task Force, in the education sector.
The development of disaster mitigation groups is important because it helps the community be prepared to respond to possible threats. Moreover, the informed community will be able to protect themselves and their surroundings, thereby minimizing the appearance of victims. Inputs and experiences from the Penglipuran indigenous people are also crucial for IDEP as partners and community companions later so that they can create a community resilience together. (Gd)