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UN relief chief bemoans slow Aceh reconstruction CALANG - Reconstruction in Indonesia's Aceh is moving too slowly nearly 10 months after a killer tsunami struck, and there is not enough coordination between aid groups, a top U.N. official said on Sunday. Jan Egeland, the U.N.'s chief emergency relief coordinator, said the province's remoteness on the tip of northern Sumatra island, a lack of roads as well as ports had made things difficult for the international community.

But more urgency was needed, Egeland said during a visit to Calang, once a pretty town of 9,000 people on the west coast of Aceh that was obliterated by the Dec. 26 tsunami. Around 170,000 people were killed or are missing and feared dead in Aceh after a 9.15 magnitude earthquake, the strongest in four decades, unleashed the most devastating tsunami on record. The calamity killed or left missing more than 232,000 people across a dozen Indian Ocean nations.

"People of course are frustrated here because it's gone too slow and I understand. It has gone too slow. We now need to help the Indonesians help themselves quicker into reconstruction," Egeland told reporters after visiting quake-hit Pakistan. "It's clear that we must move much quicker now to put people away from the tents and into permanent houses. All agencies and all NGOs need to work more together."

"It has not been good. There have been hundreds of different actors and each one starting their parallel programmes," he added. Egeland noted large sums of money were available and said reconstruction was moving ahead well in some places, but that in others it was too slow. More leadership and coordination between the government and the donor community was needed, he added.

Last month the first large-scale building of homes was completed in Aceh, with around 10,000 houses built for survivors living in tents and military style barracks. The earthquake and tsunami left around half a million people homeless. Many survivors are still living in squalid camps. Across the long Acehnese coastline devastated by the tsunami, some home rebuilding has already taken place, but this has often only been the work of individual communities.

Most of the tsunami-related housing projects are being funded by international aid groups. BRR, the government agency overseeing the rebuilding of Aceh, has said another 20,000 houses for survivors were under construction. The BRR has also said it planned to oversee the construction of tens of thousands more houses in the future. The global community has pledged more than $4 billion for tsunami relief and rehabilitation in Indonesia.


Link to related event Related event:
Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake') Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake'):
01 February 2005 · Indonesia raises tsunami toll again
31 January 2005 · Aceh buries dead, peace hopes fade
23 January 2005 · Indonesia ups tsunamis toll by 7,000
23 January 2005 · Tsunami victims still being recovered in Indonesia
21 January 2005 · Donors pledge $5.1 billion to Indonesia


Posted in Earthquake @ 16 October 2005 12:52 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

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