That’s how La Ode Agus Rianto, from the Wakatobi Office of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, once described his community in the face of rising tides and unpredictable weather.
In many of Indonesia’s coastal communities, bigger storms increasingly make it too risky for fisherman to go out and do their jobs, meaning months without income for families, and a serious blow to local economies. On top of that, rising sea levels claim more and more land every year, forcing families to abandon their homes. But a joint effort between USAID, Chemonics, and local governments is giving power back to these communities, by helping citizens assess vulnerability and adapt to the changing climate.
Through the Indonesia Marine and Climate Support (IMACS) program, communities are taking a look at their potential risks and taking action to improve their lives and increase their resilience. A community-led process—called Indonesia Climate Adaptation Tool for Coastal Habitats, or I-CATCH—is helping them take charge.