IOM press briefing notes 14 Jun 2005: Indonesia

Spokesperson: Jean-Philippe Chauzy

INDONESIA - Aceh Shelter Program Employs 4,500 - An estimated 4,500 people are now directly involved in the manufacturing, transport and construction of IOM's transitional housing units in Indonesia's tsunami-devastated Aceh province.

IOM now employs ten Aceh-based contractors and has signed Memoranda of Understanding with six more. A workforce of roughly 700 just two months ago has expanded six-fold as contractors have started manufacturing pre-fabricated concrete beams around-the-clock and new contractors have come on line.

Employment figures will likely rise further as IOM's locally owned private sector partners extend their work day to build homes from dawn-to-dusk.

IOM is building 11,000 transitional shelters for Aceh's tsunami-affected population, at the request of the Indonesian government and dozens of new homes are nearing completion.

Next week IOM expects to hand over 32 more homes to internally displaced families in Tingkeum village, as part of the organization's commitment to house 107 families there.

At the request of Aceh's Governor, IOM is also committed to providing up to 1,000 homes for tsunami-affected civil servants. In addition to the first 30 shelters under construction at Dinas Pertanian agriculture department in Banda Aceh, another nine homes for local police at Lambaro, Aceh Besar were started on 8 June.

At Punge Blang Cut, 20 of a promised 117 shelter units have been completed in what was once a debris-strewn wasteland. At the request of new homeowners, bright green, yellow and blue paint has been used to liven up the white-board exterior walls of their transitional homes. The units will be handed over to their new owners at the end of June. Work also started last week at Lamgabat (55 units) and Lambaro (50 units).

Construction is also advancing quickly in Cut Paya, where the first 64 of more than 220 units are nearing completion. IOM last week broke ground on a community clinic at the site, where it has also been asked by UNICEF to build two transitional schools - part of a request to build 200 temporary schools throughout Aceh.

Work has begun on the Muhammadiyah I and II elementary schools in Merduati, a residential area of Banda Aceh heavily damaged by the tsunami, and site assessments have been completed at 24 other locations identified by UNICEF, including seven sites in Calang, Aceh Jaya.

In addition to funding the $2.3 million schools project and providing water and sanitation infrastructure, UNICEF will supply classroom equipment and textbooks. Once permanent schools are built, the local community will be able to convert the temporary schools into meeting halls, libraries or child centers.

The Ministry of Education plans to hold six classes a day in shifts in each of the schools, providing a safe learning environment for roughly 40,000 Acehnese students.

For more information, please call Paul Dillon, IOM Banda Aceh, Tel: + 62 812 698 8035, Email: