Survivors of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia recently had a reason to smile after UN-HABITAT handed over more than 600 houses built through Dutch funding on the island of Simeulue.
In a joyful ceremony in Sambai village on Simeulue Island UN-HABITAT, UNDP and the Aceh Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency officials joined the villagers in celebrations marking the handing over.
Mr. Daniel Biau of UN-HABITAT hailed the two year collaboration bringing together the agency, UNDP, the Aceh Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) and the people of Simeulue and their local authorities.
The Aceh Nias Settlements Support Programme (ANSSP) has so far completed reconstruction of 3,500 houses and more than 1,000 are currently under construction in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The Dutch delegation was led by Ms Hagar Ligtvoet, from the Netherlands Embassy who said: “the energy of the people themselves has made this project what you see today. It is their sweat and their commitment which build these houses. We only delivered the finance, the UN provided assistance, but you built the houses.”
The ceremony was also graced by the presence of by Jan de Vletter the director of Dutch NGO SGHI and Mark van der Hiel, an adviser to AEDES.
UN-HABITAT in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already started the next phase of recovery on Simeulue Island with the reconstruction of more than 600 houses.