New Nias School Construction Project Launched

Posted: 
03/23/06

School-aged children on Indonesia's
earthquake-ravaged Nias island are the latest to benefit from IOM's
post-tsunami construction services programme.

With new funding from UNICEF, IOM will build
225 classrooms in 43 temporary schools on Nias in North Sumatra
province, which was heavily damaged by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake
on 28 March 2005.

IOM has already built more than 140 earthquake
resistant elementary schools in five tsunami-affected districts in
neighbouring Aceh province as part of a US$2.3 million
UNICEF-funded project launched in July 2005.The schools are an
adaptation of the modular housing units IOM has erected throughout
Aceh's tsunami-belt.

UNICEF has identified 32 sites in Nias
district and a further 11 in South Nias district. Once complete,
the schools will provide sufficient classroom space for 10,000
children.

A comprehensive damage assessment conducted by
IOM of 600 villages in 28 sub-districts around Nias in the
earthquake's aftermath, concluded that more than 70 percent of the
island's 1,065 school buildings were either completely destroyed or
sustained heavy damage.

Located eight hours from IOM's principal
logistics centre in Medan, North Sumatra, and a minimum 12-hours
sailing time from the port town of Sibolga, construction services
in Nias are further complicated by widespread damage to roads and
bridges. In recent months IOM has rebuilt or rehabilitated 19
bridges on the island that will ease the delivery of hundreds of
metric tons of building supplies to future school construction
sites.

Sufficient modular cement components to erect
24 schools have already been transported by road and ship from IOM
contractor factories in Aceh to the island.

In addition to building new school and bridge
work, IOM continues to provide trucks and logistical support to
recovery operations in Nias. The Organization will launch a new
counter-trafficking initiative in Nias next week, and is currently
exploring with donors the possibility of further expanded
construction services on the island.

For further information, please contact:

Paul Dillon

IOM Indonesia

Tel: +62 812 698 8035

Email: "mailto:pdillon@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">pdillon@iom.int