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World Vision housing project in Indonesia lauded as ‘best practice’ in post-tsunami rebuilding

15 Sep 2005 08:29:00 GMT
Source: NGO latest
World Vision International (WVI)
Website: http://www.wvtsunami.org

A World Vision housing project in Aceh has been lauded as ‘best practice’ by the Indonesian government department tasked with rebuilding the tsunami-affected area.

The head of BRR (Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias) Mr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto expressed his appreciation of World Vision’s work during a public ceremony in Banda Aceh this week.

After presentations and speeches, the first foundation stone for World Vision’s permanent housing project was laid at Lamjabat village, about four kilometres northwest of Banda Aceh city.

World Vision plans to build 139 permanent houses for tsunami survivors in the area. The redesigned village incorporates escape routes and high points as part of the community’s disaster mitigation plans. The 2004 tsunami destroyed the village, home to more than 1,600 people.

The event was held to share planning and restructuring guidelines of the village with surrounding communities and local government agencies, media and other national and international non-government organisations.

The Governor of Aceh, Azwar Abu Bakar, several sub-district and village leaders of Banda Aceh and Banda Besar areas, national land agency officials, NGO and USAID representatives and the community attended the ceremony.

Around 260 villages across Aceh have started the reconstruction process supported by various NGOs. “But today is a special day because this is the first time a village is planned,” said Kuntoro.

Kuntoro explained to the 150-plus audience that World Vision involved the community in the planning process of Lamjabat village as well as using an integrated approach.

“Let’s make Lamjabat a role model, an example for other villages,” said Kuntoro.

“Beforehand, there were NGOs who came only to build houses, but they could not provide the sanitation, water, and other facilities.

“At the time I thought this plan was too good to be true, because this is the first time where everything is planned: the width of the road, pavement, fishpond, the mosque, women’s centre and schools.

“Could this be real? But today, Alhamdulillah(thank God) this is something real,” Kuntoro said happily.

Head of Lamjabat village, Mr Azbar expressed the community’s excitement over the development.

“This development is done fully by the community facilitated by World Vision. Unlike other developments, World Vision is the only one who involved the community since the beginning,” Azbar said.

Mr Kuntoro requested a ‘Learning Centre’ be constructed in the village with displays to educate other agencies and communities on best practice in community based housing development for Aceh reconstruction. The displays would also allow the community to follow the development process in their village.

“By doing this, people could see the development they usually mistrust, could even be done bottom-up. Aceh could be known as the place where the development process always respects community wishes.”

Seven community groups, including skilled workers, have been established to assist with building houses in the village.

In Lamjabat, in addition to the permanent housing project, World Vision continues to distribute food aid to the community.

“We appreciate World Vision for helping us. All over Banda Aceh you’ll see this kind of shelter built by NGOs and the people, so that they don’t have to pass the month of Ramadan in their tent. We appreciate that. Thank you World Vision,” said Kuntoro.