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Construction Begins For 36 Houses In Phuket Tsunami Reconstruction Project

AIA Thailand volunteers to build houses in Phase II of project in Tachatchai village

TACHATCHAI, 13th May 2006: Construction has begun for the second phase of the Habitat for Humanity/AIG tsunami reconstruction project in Phuket, Thailand.

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Paving the way: (From left) Thomas White, AIA Thailand’s executive vice-president and general manager, Sutti Rajitrangson, AIA’s senior vice-president/administration, Raul Sarceda, associate director of Habitat’s disaster response project in Thailand and Steven Barnett, managing director and CEO of New Hampshire at the groundbreaking ceremony in Tachatchai

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Practical lesson: Thomas White having a go at making interlocking earth bricks

Thirty-six new houses will be built in Tachatchai village, some 800 km. south of the capital Bangkok. The southern Thai province of Phuket suffered extensive damage and up to 250 deaths were reported after it was hit by the December 2004 tsunami.

The houses, each about 36 sq.m. in size, will have walls made of interlocking earth blocks and rust-proof galvalum roofs. The house design includes a bedroom, receiving area, kitchen and a toilet.

About 60 people attended a groundbreaking ceremony that was held on 24th April. Among those in attendance were Thomas White, executive vice-president and general manager of AIA Thailand and Raul Sarceda, associate director of Habitat’s tsunami disaster response project in Thailand. In his speech, Mr White said: “We are so proud that we can return to the society that has long supported our business operations in Thailand.”

AIA Thailand’s parent company AIG’s Disaster Relief Fund is contributing 16 million Baht (more than US$425,000) to fund the Tachatchai project as well as another project in Ranong province. AIA is also sending volunteer teams to build the houses in Tachatchai.

The interlocking earth blocks used to construct the Tachatchai houses are produced at Khao Lak, about 100 km. north of Phuket, as part of a post-tsunami livelihood development project. The project is managed by World Concern, an international non-governmental organization that has partnered with Habitat on several tsunami-recovery projects. 

AIG is also supporting the construction of 64 houses in Suksamran in Ranong province, about 220 km. north of Phuket. More than 30 houses will be built on stilts and the rest are constructed on the ground. The house size and design is similar to those in the Tachatchai project.