Caritas takes stock of tsunami reconstruction efforts
Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot has declared that one year after the tsunami, Aceh communities he visited last weel are "all in shelter and some are to be in permanent housing by the end of this month".
Mr de Groot's comments were contained in a statement issued to promote a commemorative website that Caritas has launched to mark next Monday's one-year anniversary.
"The reconstruction program is massive and faces tremendous challenges," he said. "Housing is only one part of the program response: the provision of roads to gain access to devastated areas; the re-establishment of livelihoods, trauma counselling, distribution of relief food supplies, stable and clean water sources are all being provided to people today and are part of the ongoing program that Caritas is working on for the coming years in the worst affected communities.
"Much has been achieved and much will continue to be done over the coming months and years. Caritas Australia was able to respond in a positive way to the needs of our Asian neighbours because of the generosity of ordinary Australians who were moved to help," he said.
But the ABC's The World Today reported yesterday that a report from the Australian Council for International Development has just revealed there are still many impediments to rebuilding homes, infrastructure and industries in the countries that were the worst hit.
Mr de Groot told The World Today that the level of devastation in Aceh, both from the earthquake and then the ensuing tsunamis was extraordinary, and the infrastructure challenges are "not to be underestimated".
"Some communities do need to be relocated to new land, and that has to be found," he said. "Now, the quality of some of this land does beggar belief at one level. They are swamps, some of the land, and that means a whole issue around drainage and reclamation of land to even get it to that preparedness to do building. Now, these things will mean that some communities will remain without a permanent housing solution for a couple more years, until the land is made ready."
Caritas Australia is still accepting donations online at www.caritas.org.au, by phone - 1800 024 413, or by mail to GPO Box 9830 in your capital city.
Caritas Australia Commemorates the Tsunami (Caritas Australia 19/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia | Tsunami Website
Australian Council For International Development report
Update on tsunami reconstruction efforts (ABC Radio The World Today 19/12/05)
Post-tsunami hope to be broadcast for Christmas (AsiaNews.it 19/12/05)
Caritas Renews Long-term Commitment One Year after Tsunami (Caritas Internationalis 9/12/05)
20 Dec 2005