Houses for Mentawai Victims to Be Completed by 2013

The Jakarta Globe

The government plans to complete the construction of permanent housing for victims of the 2010 Mentawai tsunami by 2013, officials said on Monday.


“We have set aside Rp 1.16 trillion [$133.4 million] for three years of relocation and rehabilitation after the 2010 tsunami,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency [BNPB].

“We will use the funds to build temporary housing, permanent housing, and public facilities and infrastructure,” he said.

The Mentawai district chief has announced that the government will build 2,072 temporary houses in three sub-districts — North Pagai, South Pagai and South Sipora — for the 11,432 victims who have lost their homes.

“So far, we have built 1,393 temporary houses in those three districts and are planning to build another 679,” Sutopo said.

“But, seeing as our relocation and rehabilitation program is set until 2013, instead of continuing to build temporary housing, we can see that it would be more efficient to build permanent housing,” he said.

According to Doddy Ruswandi, BNPB’s deputy of field emergency, about Rp 486,000 billion has been earmarked for relocation and rehabilitation projects this year.

He said the main difficulty in the relocation and rehabilitation of people in Mentawai was obtaining building materials.

“Although we have already prepared all the blueprints to rebuild Mentawai, the building materials are hard to find in the new location,” he said.

“Therefore, we have to go all the way to Padang to get the necessary building materials,” he added.

Doddy said the BNPB has also prepared a budget of Rp 13.9 billion for one year to help the tsunami victims regain their social and economic lives.

“We plan to fund development projects in the area via community-based business initiatives, such as fish farming,” Doddy said.

He said the government would also work to rebuild damaged infrastructure to help local communities recover their pre-tsunami lives and livelihoods.

Sutopo said the victims would only live in temporary housing for a couple of years before moving into permanent housing.

“Hopefully, the construction of all permanent houses will be completed by 2013,” he said.

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