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Habitat For Humanity Indonesia Consults Communities As Reconstruction Phase Moves Forward Following Java Earthquake

Habitat for Humanity- Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre Research Advocates Comprehensive Shelter Framework Strategy For Disaster Response

JAKARTA, 27th June 2006: In the spirit of learning and sharing, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia has piloted the first program of community learning in its reconstruction phase. The earthquake that devastated the area of Yogyakarta and Central Java is estimated to have displaced more than 200,000 people.

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All ears: More than 25 homepartners from the Kelegen and Sribit villages in Yogyakarta learning about construction technology for earthquake-resistant homes from Habitat staff and experts from local universities. Homepartners also shared their views on home designs.

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Ringing in support: Nokia Indonesia donated US$100,000 to Habitat for Humanity Indonesia to help build 60 homes for earthquake victims in Klaras village, Bantul district, Yogyakarta. Chairman of the Board of HFH Indonesia, Mr Jusuf Arbianto received the cheque from Mr Marko Kyotoharju, Country Director Networks Nokia Indonesia. The long-term plan is for community empowerment through the provision of permanent homes.

The purpose of the community program was to impart vital information about rebuilding lives after the earthquake; teach and train about building new earthquake-resistant homes and more importantly, to gain an understanding of the homepartners’ needs and expectations, so as to develop an appropriate design for their new homes.

This first-of-its-kind program, held just prior to the one-month anniversary of the 27th May earthquake, saw more than 25 homepartners from two communities participate in a two-day field workshop, conducted by a team from Habitat for Humanity and local universities - Duta Wacana Christian University and Lembaga Manusia Bangunan.

More workshops will be organized in the future, under the umbrella of the Habitat Resource Center (HRC). The HRC will oversee mobile training units that will provide technical assistance and skills training for rebuilding, as well as identify and develop alternative construction materials that can be produced locally.

In Yogyakarta, Habitat for Humanity plans to build transitional core houses with 1,000 families within a year, as on-site reconstruction has been found to be more beneficial to the progress of families from relief to recovery and long-term development,. Each core houses answers the need for durable temporary shelters in the reconstruction phase and allows homepartners to remain in their villages while they transit into permanent homes in the redevelopment phase.

These transitional core houses, costing an estimated US$1,700 each, could be completed within one week of its foundation being laid. They are portable and can be reused should relocation be mandated by the government.

Habitat for Humanity Yogyakarta aims to build core houses for 90 affected households by the first quarter of 2007. Thirty units each have been slated for the villages of Kelegen and Sribit in the Bantul sub-district.

Support in terms of financial contributions and donations in kind are welcomed. Habitat for Humanity will also host volunteer groups through its First Builders program to help with the reconstruction efforts.

For more information, please contact the Habitat for Humanity office in your country or email national@habitatindonesia.org