IOM-American Red Cross Open Latest Aceh Settlement Site
Representatives of IOM and the American Red Cross yesterday handed
over keys to the new owners of dozens of homes built for
tsunami-affected people in Aceh province.
The 44 units located in Cot Paya, Baitussalam, a short distance
from the provincial capital Banda Aceh, are part of a US$20 million
American Red Cross contribution to IOM’s shelter construction
programme in Indonesia’s northernmost province.
At the request of the Indonesian government, IOM is building
thousands of durable, earthquake-resistant transitional homes
throughout Aceh’s tsunami belt. Since March 2005, more than
1,600 families have moved from tents and government-built barracks
into IOM shelters, and a further 1,600 units are currently under
The same Indonesian-designed units have been reconfigured to
build nearly 200 schools in partnership with UNICEF, and 37
satellite health clinics serving the primary health care needs of
more than 40,000 people living in the barracks and thousands of
others in nearby communities.
IOM incorporates livelihood support programmes into the
settlements, including a brick factory in Cot Paya that will supply
building materials to the shelter programme, which would otherwise
have to be purchased in neighbouring Medan two days away by road.
In addition, the Organization’s 22 private sector contractors
who manufacture and erect the 36 sq/m modular cement homes provide
employment for roughly 7,000 people in Aceh, putting money back
into the local economy.
The shelters, which can be rapidly disassembled, are considered
transitional if the land on which they sit is not owned by the
beneficiaries. Working with its government partners, IOM secures
the land rent-free for a period of two years during which time the
beneficiaries can negotiate a future rental or lease-to-own
agreement with the landholder. The Indonesian authorities through
the Reconstruction Agency for Nanggroe Darussalam Aceh and Nias
Island (BRR), have also indicated they are willing to negotiate the
purchase of the land which could then be subdivided and made
available to residents living in IOM’s homes.
In recent months IOM has moved 120 families into transitional
homes in the Cot Paya area and built both a clinic and school at
the site. Last November, the settlement was the focal point of
United Nations Special Envoy Bill Clinton’s visit to Aceh.
The former US president toured homes and the school, and met local
women participating in a successful IOM-supported baking
IOM has built an additional 31 permanent homes on an adjacent
plot of land secured by the government. These units will be handed
over to tsunami-affected civil servants in a ceremony on 10
February to be presided over by the country’s Justice
Minister. On 5 February, Indonesian Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla,
toured the newly completed civil servant homes during a brief visit
to Aceh, accompanied by IOM chief of mission, Steve Cook, and BRR
Director Kuntoro Mangkusubroto.
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