The Impact of Disasters to the Economic Growth of a Country a Study Case of Indonesia Essay
Economic growth is defined as the increase of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) or other measure of aggregate income. It is often measured as the rate of change in real GDP and it refers only to the quantity of goods and services produced. As we all know, each country has its own economic development that can be affected both positively and negatively. When a country experiences a negative growth, it can be referred to by saying that the economy is “shrinking” and it is associated with economic recession and economic depression.
Let’s bring to focus on Indonesia’s economics growth. With domestic consumption known as the major driving forces behind any country’s economics growth, being a developing country, Indonesia must be able to sustain its economics growth. Ironically, even though Indonesia’s wealth lies on its abundance of natural resources and this has become its pillar for economic growth, poverty still has become a big problem in Indonesia. Why is this so? The answer is natural disasters.
Being the top three of most occurrences of natural disasters, Indonesia’s economic growth is greatly affected by it. This is because natural disasters give a big impact on the life of the people in the country. Its impact is like a ripple effect which continued to affect others. During this time of chaos, the government’s decision is needed to solve all the problems that disaster has caused with the help from the people too. Indonesia is a paradox; it is the world’s largest archipelago, both a place of natural beauty and natural disasters.
The beauty makes it a prime tourist destination, but its failure to provide and maintain road infrastructure or important disaster-management technology may seriously hamper this vital part of the nation’s economy. Yet, the disasters make it one of some reasons that cause tourist unwilling or afraid to visit the beauty of Indonesia. Natural disasters are not disasters people do on purpose. It is not because of what someone did, but it is a nature calling, something we may predict but we never will be able to avoid.
We might have been able to minor the causes, but natural disasters occur spontaneously. It came all of a sudden without any friendly, even a stern warning. And these disasters have come and gone in Indonesia. This country probably has experienced most of the most destructive disasters ever occur in the face of the earth. Natural disasters, such as: the tsunami in Aceh back at 2004, earthquake in Padang, and the most recent disaster, the eruption of Gunung Merapi, have been occurred in Indonesia. All these disasters have affected the economy in Indonesia over these past few years.
There are positive and negative effects, and some lasted short, while others affected long enough. Any disaster mostly has negative effects. For the victims of the disaster, most likely they lost all their possessions, places to live, and the worst of all, their family members, even their own lives. This may continue to be a long-term effect, as this tragedy may be a trauma to the individuals. For the country or city, generally, it needs more time and effort to rebuild and reconstruct all the facilities and the places for living. Another negative impact is that the tourism will be decreased.
For example, Merapi dust covers up Borobudur Temple, which is the main tourist attraction in Jogjakarta. The dust contains many acids and it may affect the Borobudur Temple’s structure. If Borobudur is damaged, it will make our historical heritage facing a downward movement. For Indonesian government that means the income from international tourists will also be affected. The tourism department will loose its primary income. From the farmers’ side, the time when they could harvest, they would not be able to do that and eventually will make it a financial loss.
For the economy itself, it will cause a major problem. People who work in that location do not have a place to work and the economic activities are agitated. They do not have income for their living. While for the government, they need more money to reconstruct the buildings, public facilities, and to take care of the victims’ needs for the present time, because like stated before, they do not have income for themselves and it’s the government’s responsibility to take care of their people.
It is barely impossible to have the positive effect when you face a disaster that destroys the place physically and socially. In contrast, if we have the will to think about it a little bit deeper, we could find one or two positive impacts of a disaster. For the tourism, the location may become more famous after the disaster, the media all around the world explain about how great and wonderful the place was before the disaster happened. It may cause the tourists around the world more curious and therefore go to that place and experience the beauty. The income from the tourism could increase.
Volunteers from any countries may also come to help and it may increase the income from the transportation. Another example from the Merapi disaster is that the soil from the lava, for the next few years, will change the ground of the areas around Gunung Merapi being a fertile place. Also, the sand from the Merapi eruption is a high quality product that can be sold with a high market price. Short-term effects on economy are varied. It can cause a lost of income from the people, therefore they cannot afford the things that they should buy to fulfill their primary needs.
The sellers on that location will also lose their buyers. The per capita income will decrease for some time until the place is fully revitalized. People may also find other jobs that differ from their previous jobs, this might lead to better employment and income if they work hard. We would then like to emphasize further that natural disasters does affect a country’s economy in various ways. They destroy capital stock, such as homes, roads, factories, pipelines, and they disrupt the ordinary flow of production and consumption.
The risk is that essential federal assistance to help families that have lost everything will expand into a spending splurge predicated on the notion that the economy is at risk. The long-term effect is the investment, the disaster may cause distrust from the investor to plan their investment on the location. This will lead into difficulties on improving and the reconstruction of the location. And if the condition does not improve like how it is planned, poverty will increase and the location will be left undeveloped.
Earthquakes, tsunami, eruptions are some of the few things to cause long-term effects, major disasters. Yet, what affect economy most is the minor disasters in everyday life. Every year, the frequent floods and landslides that kill families affect more Indonesians by pushing communities back into poverty. These smaller disasters do not always make the international media aware or do not always require large-scale reconstruction efforts, but they affect more Indonesians than those rare, catastrophic disasters, which make headlines in media all around the world.
Now that every possible impact has been pointed out, there are a few points to be considered for reducing the risks in natural disasters which affect country’s economy. Investing in disaster risk reduction not only saves lives and livelihoods, but it also helps to reduce the costs involved in responding to disasters. This can offer a measure of protection for country with developing economies, such as Indonesia, and helps safeguard its critical infrastructure.