HFH Indonesia Unveils Core House Design To Rebuild Homes For Thousands Of Earthquake-Hit Families In Sumatra

In West Java, Ground-Breaking Ceremony Marks Start of HFH Indonesia’s Response To Assist 1,500 Families Affected By Earlier Earthquake

SUMATRA, 16th October 2009: Habitat for Humanity has started to meet immediate shelter needs and is seeking funding for a range of longer-term initiatives to help families rebuild their homes and lives after a spate of disasters round the Asia-Pacific region last month.

Survivors of the earthquake in Sumatra have put up temporary shelters using salvaged materials.

HFH Indonesia’s national director Tri Budiardjo talking to an earthquake survivor in Sumatra.

Tri Budiardjo (left) with head of Bandung regency, H. Obar Sobarna, at the ground-breaking ceremony to launch the first phase of HFH Indonesia’s response to the West Java earthquake in Pangalengan district.

In the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, which was struck by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in late September, Habitat has unveiled an earthquake-resilient core house design and has an initial target to rebuild for 2,500 families. HFH Indonesia has already started on rebuilding homes in West Java, which was hit by an earthquake at the beginning of September.

To help 2,500 families rebuild their homes and lives, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia is proposing to build core houses each measuring 18 square meters in size with an attached bathroom and toilet. Six concrete columns and support beams form an earthquake-resilient structure. The roof features a timber wood frame and cement fiber roofing.

Families can supplement the construction of the core houses with salvaged materials such as bricks, wood, and window and door frames. In the future, families have the option to expand their houses given the availability of time and resources.

Depending on their needs, families can choose between a basic core house design or another one with a high roof where a mezzanine can be built to provide more living space.

HFH Indonesia is aiming to raise up to US7.5 million to build the 2,500 core houses in a response that includes providing tool kits as well as cash-for-work to 1,000 families through tasks such as clearing of debris. Community water points are also expected to be established.

To date, HFH Indonesia has secured funding commitments from Singapore’s OCBC bank, AIA Insurance, Nokia Euro and DBS Indonesia, the Indonesian arm of Singapore bank DBS. Other corporations have also expressed interest in providing support. HFH Indonesia is currently discussing possible funding and resource support with USAID partners, Habitat offices in Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain.

In West Java province, south of Sumatra, HFH Indonesia is rebuilding 200 core homes in the first phase of its response to a 7.3-magnitude earthquake which struck on 2nd September. This is part of a US1.2 million effort in the first phase of HFH Indonesia’s 1,500-house project for earthquake-hit families. The core houses, each measuring 18 square meters and made of fiber cement bricks and bamboo with a wooden roof, are due to be completed in batches by December.

HFH Indonesia held a ground-breaking ceremony for the West Java earthquake response project on 5th October to mark World Habitat Day. The head of Bandung regency, H. Obar Sobarna, launched the ceremony in the badly affected Pangalengan district in Bandung. Guests attending the ceremony included local government officials and representatives from non-government organization partners, donors and other institutions.

According to HFH Indonesia’s national director Tri Budiardjo, the ground breaking reflected HFH Indonesia’s desire to start reaching the affected families promptly – one month after the 7.3-magnitude earthquake – helping them to rebuild their homes and their hope.

“With the enormous damage to housing in the area, compounded by hot days and very cold nights of this mountainous area, we must work together to support families to go back to their homes as quickly as possible,” he said.

The earthquake on 2nd September left more than 800 dead and damaging about 100,000 homes, according to official data. The Indonesian government is allocating US150 million for reconstruction and rehabilitation.