A Rebuilt Market in Quake-Hit Central Sulawesi Holds Hope for a Brighter Future

March 30, 2022

As construction gains ground on a market in Indonesia’s Sibado village, a farming community awaits a fresh start following the 2018 devastating earthquake hitting the Central Sulawesi province which took the lives of many of their neighbors.

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami damaged the only market that the community had used, rendering it completely unusable. The community has since had to rely on temporary facilities that are often flooded in the rains and are inadequate to meet their needs.

UNDP’s Programme for Earthquake and Tsunami Reconstruction Assistance (PETRA) has been working in the region on reconstructing a more stable, permanent structure for the community. The project, funded by the German Development Bank (KfW), has also been working to rebuild vital infrastructure in another quake-hit province of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

The market's inclusive reconstruction process, which is expected to be completed in late 2022, also incorporates green design elements by using environmentally friendly materials and involving local community members.

“We are so grateful for the PETRA project’s work here,” said Azan Septiawan, the head of the village of just over 3,000 people.

The new market – built to resist disasters including earthquakes – will be used by approximately 120 vendors.

Many of the needs of women's communities are being incorporated into the rebuilt market. Many of the market's traditional sellers and consumers are women, therefore it's critical to guarantee that their needs are met. Women make up 35 percent of the construction workers currently working on various projects under PETRA. Women are also included in the decision-making process to ensure that gender concerns are addressed at all levels.

“We plan to begin using the facility twice per week and provide an opportunity for our community to market their produce and other goods,” Septiawan noted, adding that neighboring communities, whose marketplaces continue to be flooded during the rainy season and suffer other consequences due to weather patterns, will also be allowed to use the space.

The farming village of Sidabo lies about two hours north of provincial capital Palu where the villagers receive most of the household items and daily needs. The market is more than a business hub; it is also a gathering place for social events, where locals strengthen their links in order to support their community.

With running water and sanitation facilities provided as part of the reconstructed market, Septiawan hopes the community will help keep the market clean throughout the year.

Farmers will be required to pay a modest rent to the village administration, which Septiawan notes, will be used to develop the area and help improve the village’s living conditions.


Written by Ranjit Jose
Edited by Tomi Soetjipto
Photos by Olyvianus P. Dadi Lado