Barbara Kinney / Clinton Foundation
Jul 20
July 20, 2014

Asia 2014: Day 4 Recap


Yesterday, President Clinton traveled to Banda Aceh for the fifth time, to commemorate the ten year anniversary of the tsunami. Named as U.N. Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery in 2005, President Clinton led a $5 billion effort to help Indonesia and other tsunami-affected areas build back better.
At the first stop of the day, the President received a briefing on the early warning system implemented after the tsunami. The new system alerts the citizens of the area about any potential danger, allowing them to reach high, safe ground and preventing loss of life.
Barbara Kinney / Clinton Foundation
Then, President Clinton and the delegation were joined by his good friend, Pak Kuntoro. Kuntoro, who is head of the Bureau of Reconstruction and Redevelopment (BRR) - a ministerial level agency formed by the Indonesian Government to coordinate and oversee post tsunami work. 
Later that morning, President Clinton visited the PLTD Apung 1, a former floating diesel power plant barge, which was dragged more than five kilometers inland during the 2004 tsunami, and remains there as a reminder of the devastation caused by the natural disaster. President Clinton also visited with a number of people who he first interacted with in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, including a 10-year old boy named Fajar. President Clinton first met Fajar when he was two days old, when he came to Banda Aceh as U.N. Special Envoy in 2005. That day, the tour guide brought the precious little boy from his home - the first born in the village after the tsunami - and asked the President to name him. The President asked his interpreter for the word in their language that meant new beginning, to which she answered Fajar - or "Dawn" in the English-language.

President Clinton in Banda Aceh 10 Years after Tsunami

The President then met with local fishermen in a harbor village nearby. Near the pier and dozens of colorfully painted fishing boats, he heard from the village chief, the village elder and four fishermen about the progress they've made and what they'd still hope to accomplish in recovering from the tsunami. One man shared that 90 percent of the community are fishermen and the economy was devastated after the tsunami destroyed many of their ships. Ten years later, they have rebuilt much of what they lost but still hope to increase the amount of equipment, learn techniques to better fish, and acquire more boats.
After a discussion of ways to improve the fishermen's livelihoods, two Clinton Global Initiative member organizations announced they would make two new Commitments to Action:
  • Bumble Bee Tuna and Anova have committed to funding an assessment of Banda Aceh and the Aceh province to identify potential for improvement and development of the local fishing industry, with the potential for an additional CGI commitment to work within identified local communities to develop fisheries.
  • Wetlands International has made a commitment to provide assistance with the coastal restoration of the village Lampuuk and the region in general. They will provide training and teachings to the villagers on the coastal restoration as well as access to information on other coastal restorations they have done.
Next, President Clinton paid his respects at mass grave in Lumpuuk where he laid a wreath and observed a moment of silence. 
Barbara Kinney / Clinton Foundation
On his last stop of the day, President Clinton visited a mosque that he also visited in 2005 following the natural disaster. The mosque was the only building left standing in the area but was significantly damaged. It has since been completely restored, though a damaged portion has been preserved as a reminder of the tragedy. President Clinton was joined at the mosque by many women and children from the surrounding community.
Barbara Kinney / Clinton Foundation
View more photos of President Clinton's visit to Banda Aceh.
Tomorrow, President Clinton and the delegation will be visiting a forest conversation project in Borneo where the Clinton Climate Initiative has worked to conserve forest, protect biodiversity, and support local communities through carbon credits. Follow us on our new Tumblr page to stay up to date with #CFAsia2014