Habitat’s disaster response initiatives span ASIA/PACIFIC REGION
Habitat for Humanity continues to help rebuild homes and lives after September 2009’s series of disasters in the Asia/Pacific region.
In earthquake-ravaged Sumatra, Indonesia, Habitat was the first non-governmental organization to receive government approval for the construction of core houses, or small but well-constructed permanent structures that provide the option of further expansion in the future. Habitat Indonesia plans to build an initial 200 houses in the village of Pasa Bali Kudu, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the provincial capital of Padang. In West Java, Habitat Indonesia expects to host its first Global Village team of volunteers from Singapore. Habitat plans to build 1,000 earthquake-resistant core houses with latrines and schools in one year.
In the next phase of Habitat’s response to Typhoon Ketsana, Habitat Philippines has distributed 300 house repair kits in Malanday, Marikina City and Metro Manila. Habitat Philippines also plans to create 2,000 transitional shelters and, in the longer term, 4,000 core houses. Habitat home partners from the former BASECO shipyard site in Manila have helped build steel-framed toilets in evacuation centers.
“I am really thankful for the training I got from Habitat,” says Alex Acampado, one of the helpers whose own home was constructed with steel-frame technology. “Through my work, I am able to provide for my family and also help others in need.”
In Vietnam, which was also badly affected by Typhoon Ketsana, Habitat received funding from Exxon Mobil and cement manufacturer Holcim to support its disaster response effort. Another 400 families will be served through roof repairs. Habitat Vietnam earlier received a US$100,000 grant from the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that will be used to provide roofing materials for 600 families in flood-hit Quang Nam province.
In tsunami-hit Samoa, an initial team of 10 volunteers mobilized by Habitat New Zealand is building a Habitat Resource Center in the village of Lepa and has renovated a church hall for accommodating volunteers. Under a partnership with the Samoan government, Habitat New Zealand will build 350 traditional houses, called fale, in Lepa, as well as in the villages of Saleapaga and Falealili.
Meanwhile, Habitat India has committed to helping rebuild homes after the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were hit by the worst floods in 100 years. The current target is to repair or renovate 3,000 houses, build 3,000 permanent houses, and provide water and sanitation services to 1,000 families.