Indonesia: BRR and ADB committed to tsunami housing reconstruction and rehabilitation

News and Press Release
Originally published
Banda Aceh, 19 June 2007 - The community of Gampong Pande in Kutaraja regency, Banda Aceh celebrated the completion of 153 new BRR houses funded by the Earthquake and Tsunami Emergency Support Project (ETESP) financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). with the demolition of the last remaining barrack in the area. The event was symbolicaly undertaken by the Governor's representative,Zaidan M., the Head of the Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency of the Government of Indonesia (BRR), Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, representative of Banda Aceh's major, Zainal Abidin and Rehan Kausar, ADB's Housing and Spatial Planning Advisor. Senior officials from BRR and the Provincial and Local Governments, and representatives from international agencies and local and foreign NGOs were also present.

Gampong Pande is a community, which prior to the 2004 Tsunami had 1,139 residents divided into 205 households. However, only 346 persons from 160 households survived the tsunami. Besides the construction of houses, the ADB is also financing the construction of infrastructure, an abattoir and restoration of fish ponds as part of its integrated assistance for Gampong Pande.

"This new house provided by BRR-ADB is a blessing for me. I had nothing at all after the tsunami and now this is my first asset which I will treasure forever and will always be grateful", according to Arni Usman, a 52 year old widow. "Ï will now be able to manage my small tailoring business from my new home."

ADB is providing $72.5 million to rehabilitate and reconstruct houses and community infrastructure in Aceh and Nias following the 2004 Tsunami and March 2005 earthquake. The assistance is part of a $291 million ADB grant to the Government of Indonesia that is helping to rebuild the areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami disasters.

Through its on-budget program implemented through BRR, the ADB is funding the construction of almost 2,800 new houses and the rehabilitation of another 700 units. Under its off-budget program implemented by UN-HABITAT and four NGOs including Muslim Aid, German Agro Action, Help eV, and Cordaid, the ADB is financing the construction of about 6,500 new houses, and the rehabilitation of about 1,500 houses across Aceh and Nias including Simeulue.

"I have been in the barrack for almost 2 years. All I want to do now is move into my new house and worry about other matters in life rather than thinking about permanent housing all the time", says Abdul Mutalib, a 39 year old farmer.

The BRR and the Local Government are committed to moving all the tsunami and earthquake victims from the barracks into permanent houses by December 2007. According to Mangkusubroto, BRR has completed construction of 69.000 new house and another 30.000 are in-progress. By the end of this year, it would have built more than 100.000 houses across Aceh and Nias. While assisting in the symbolic demolition of the Gampong Pande barrack, Mangkusubroto added, "We appreciate the assistance ADB has extended to the Government of Indonesia wit its $300 million assistance program."

"We are grateful to the community for their understanding and patience during the preparation and implementation phases of the Gampong Pande project. The ADB has made considerable efforts in securing land tenure for these beneficiaries and we trust this will give them added security in the future", said Rehan Kausar. "The greatest satisfaction is to see this barrack permanently gone such that this community can now get back to a normal life once again."

ADB's multi-sector tsunami for Indonesia assistance package covers agriculture, fisheries, irrigation, micro and small enterprise development, housing, water and sanitation, health, education, transport, power, spatial planning and environmental management, and fiduciary oversight.

The $291 million ADB grant is financing the Earthquake and Tsunami Emergency Support Project (ETESP) to support disaster management, reconstruction and rehabilitation in affected areas of Aceh and North Sumatra. In addition, the ADB has contributed a $10 million grant to the Multi-Donor Fund for Aceh and Nias.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through pro-poor sustainable economic growth, social development, and good governance. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region. In 2006, it approved loans and grants for projects totaling $8.5 billion, and technical assistance amounting to almost $242 million.