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Indonesia: West Sumatra sets deadline to complete post-quake works

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Syofiardi Bachyul Jb. , The Jakarta Post , Padang | Fri, 01/08/2010 10:00 AM | The Archipelago

Rehabilitation and reconstruction in West Sumatra following September's earthquake will be completed by 2011, a team announced Thursday.

West Sumatra Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Technical Supporting Team coordinator Sugimin Pranoto said the central government had allotted Rp 6.47 trillion for the recovery projects, which would be disbursed in three phases.

"The fund covers everything, including rebuilding homes that were heavily and moderately damaged by the quake," he said when presenting his team's programs at the West Sumatra governor's office in Padang.

The rehabilitation of the people's houses slightly damaged by the Sept. 30, 2009, quake was the responsibility of the regency/municipal administrations in the province, he added.

He said apart from the state and regional budgets, the rehabilitation and reconstruction fund had come from foreign aid and NGOs.

Sugimin said of the total fund, Rp 314 billion had been spent for early recovery programs since November 2009, Rp 3.5 trillion for the first phase reconstruction in 2010, and the rest was for the next phase of reconstruction in 2011.

The figure included Rp 3.16 trillion needed to rebuild 7,636 units of the heavily and moderately damaged houses until this mid year. Others would be built in the second semester of this year and next year.

"The reconstruction will rebuild affected areas even better compared to before their devastation, especially for the government institutions' buildings, infrastructure, people's housing and other facilities."

National Disaster Handling Agency (BNPB) head Syamsul Maarif said his agency had established the technical supporting team to help handle rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in West Sumatra.

The team's main task were to assist the governor to program, speed up and monitor the implementation of the program, and facilitate coordination among the stakeholders.

The team was established, he said, because the West Sumatra earthquake was considered as a provincial disaster that an ad hoc agency whose establishment needed a presidential decree was not needed.

"Once the BNPB received the fund, it directly conveys it to the governor to further implement the rehabilitation and reconstruction programs," Syamsul said.

Separately, West Sumatra Governor Marlis Rahman called on regents and mayors in the province whose regions were affected by the earthquake to allocate a minimum of Rp 1 million per unit to help mend lightly damaged houses.

"I was informed there are regions that have yet to allocate the fund in their 2010 budget hoping that either the BNPB or the provincial administration will cover the deficit.

"Neither the BNPB nor the provincial administration will cover the rehabilitation of lightly damaged houses."

A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake devastated much of West Sumatra on Sept. 30, 2009, killing at least 1,117 people.

The earthquake reportedly has heavily damaged 114,797 houses, moderately damaged 67,198 houses and lightly damaged 67,838 houses.