Aceh Reconstruction Remains Painfully Slow

The speaker of the Indonesian parliament, Agung Laksono, expressed dismay at the slow pace of post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh. As of April 2006, only 19,483 housing units had been completed in Aceh, while 21,997 were under construction.

Acting governor Mustafa Abubakar said that in the first four months of 2006, 35,000 families were moved from tents into temporary shelters. This still leaves 10,000 families—some 25,000 persons—in tents one and a half years after the tsunami struck. A lack of timber and the poor condition of roads has slowed rebuilding in Aceh Jaya regency, where most of the tent-bound survivors are. Picking up the pace of reconstruction continues to be critical to avoid growing disillusionment and anger among survivors.

The distribution of aid among tenants and house owners is among the socially divisive issues in reconstruction. Some landlords have objected to renters receiving newly constructed houses. Allocations of land to people who were tenants before the tsunami, or the provision of loans so they could acquire land for housing, are controversial. A lack of official records of the number of tenants has made it difficult to determine how many people are eligible for aid. And tenants complain they are sometimes excluded from local decision-making on these matters.

M. Taufiqurrahman, “House Dismayed by Slow Aceh Reconstruction,” The Jakarta Post, 14 June 2006; Nani Afrida, “Aceh Gets 8,000 Shelters from Donors to Replace Tents,” The Jakarta Post, 14 June 2006; and Muamar Vebry, “Helping Survivors Without Land,” The Jakarta Post, 14 June 2006.