the December 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia, Islamic Relief has been
building enough homes to accommodate an average of five families every
week in Aceh, Indonesia.*
Two years after the disaster, housing remains a serious problem for the 1.5 million people who were made homeless.
In Aceh, one of the worst affected areas, over half a million people
lost their homes. Islamic Relief has been working closely with local
communities to help meet their needs.
Over 550 new earthquake-resistant homes have been built and another 500
are being constructed – most of them will be fully habitable by
February 2007. In addition, over 200 new homes are near-completion in
the Ampara district of Sri Lanka, which was also seriously affected by
Islamic Relief’s work has been highly successful because of the close
and constant involvement of communities at every stage of the
reconstruction process. From planning the layout of new villages to the
design of houses, community involvement has been essential.
Michael Eccles, Indonesia desk officer at Islamic Relief headquarters
said, “We have been careful to ensure that communities are absolutely
happy with the houses that we are giving them.
“We have been listening to them carefully and designed homes that are
culturally appropriate for their needs as well as being safe and
“However, we still have a lot more work to do as there are many
families in need of shelter. Currently 48,000 new homes have been built
in total in Aceh but the region needs three times as many.”
As well as the massive need for permanent housing, many people are still in need of jobs.
Unemployment in both Aceh and Sri Lanka remains high because of the
destruction of traditional industries such as fishing. Islamic Relief
has been helping people get back into work in Indonesia and Sri Lanka
by reconstructing markets, helping people to start their own businesses
and providing them with skills-training.
* Houses are not necessarily completed on a weekly basis. Figures based on total number of houses completed since 2004.