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When a series of powerful earthquakes shook the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on 28 September 2018 and triggered a tsunami, more than 170 000 people lost their homes. Around 16 months later, the great majority of the families affected continue to live in tents or temporary shelters. The government lacks the resources to cope with the impact of the disaster on its own. It has asked aid organisations to support it in the reconstruction of houses.
Jointly with its local partner organisation Bumi Tangguh and with the support of Swiss Solidarity, Caritas Switzerland is embarking on the reconstruction in three remote villages. A project which started at the beginning of 2020 is helping around 200 families to rebuild their houses, make them earthquake-proof and install well-functioning sanitary facilities. Caritas is thus continuing its aid for the earthquake and tsunami victims, which it has provided since 2018 in the rural Sigi district in Central Sulawesi. Around 800 persons will get a new house by June 2021.
More than just reconstruction
The house owners manage the building process themselves. They procure the building materials and hire the building workers. In this way, they can not only be directly involved in designing their houses, they also gain valuable knowledge, which will be useful in the labour market. A building method that is widespread in Indonesia will be used, which is cost-effective and uses local building materials. In training courses, the families learn more about building techniques, building management and financial administration. They will have support from the engineers of Bumi Tangguh throughout the entire building process. This ensures good construction quality.
In addition, the local government representatives and the building workers will be trained in earthquake-resistant construction. They can then use the methods learned in other projects in the future - and thus create a safe home for even more people in the disaster-prone country.