Indonesia

Indonesia: Help of Germany to complete 206 houses in North Aceh

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Lhoksemauwe, Indonesia-Relief - German NGO Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V. (Help) is completing construction of 206 permanent houses for 213 families in village of Kuala Keureutoe Timur, subdistrict of Tanah Pasir, North Aceh. Unlike another donated houses that have been built in multiplex style, the Help's 36 square meter houses have been built separately from each other.

Located about 30 kilometers from the North Aceh capital city of Lhoksemauwe, the houses in the village of Kuala Keureutoe have dimension of 5x7 meter, plus 1 square meter bathroom. The house has 2 bedrooms and its own water dweller. And as it is built separately from each other, the house has its own yard on all of each side.

"Our village is lucky enough to receive the donated houses. We really have to praise the god for this blessing," said Muhammmad Thalib, the village secretary. He proudly told Aceh Kita last week that while another villager is having difficulty to find barracks for temporary shelter, his villager already stayed in barracks and now waiting for the completion of their permanent houses.

"We also continuously received 12 kg of rice each months. Even better, women in the barracks also received sewing machine to start their own business," Thalib added.

Currently, 213 families (729 people) from Kuala Keureutoe Timur live in 15 barracks in dusun Lapang, in the neighboring village of Matang Tunong. Located 7 kilometer from Kecamatan Tanah Pasir (the subdistrict office), each barracks has 12 rooms of 5x4 meters. The Kuala Keurreuto Timur, a 153 hectares village, is 3.5 kilometer from the kecamatan.

Thalib said the houses are being built on top of people's old land, and that's way in every house that being built has been labeled with its owner name. Only a few houses have to be relocated to another area. Each family has to get involved in the construction process, so they can monitor the progress, as well as for hindering possibilities that they will complain about the house after being completed.

Thalib admitted that previously the villagers have a problem with Help requirement that each family has to pay Rp 150,000 ($15) to process the land certificate and buy land to build school and health clinic. But as they have no other choices, and it is for their own land security, they finally could hardly fulfill the obligation.

The new head of North Aceh District Tarmizi Abdul Karim shocked when received the report that the villagers have to pay for the land certificates, as the government already announced that the land certificates would be provided for free. So he ordered the Tanah Pasir subdistrict head to return the people money in full.

But the problem is the money is not only to pay for the land certificate, but also to buy land for school and health clinics. "We have to pay Rp 6 million ($631) to the landowner. We still owe Rp 4 million to Abdul Amin, our own villager," said Nurdin Hasballah, the village head. Hasballah is very sure that the villager will share the burden, and Mr Amin already agreed to be paid gradually in several years. =A9 denny/dzie