Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Trip to Aceh - Indonesia

I have been in Banda Aceh for the last few days which is the headquarters for a huge Red Cross rehabilitation operation for people affected by the Tsunami in Aceh province. Around 180,000 were killed and millions rendered homeless. With the earthquake in China and the typhoon in Myanmar hitting the headlines, rehabilitation work continues in the Tsunami affected areas of Indonesia

Two photographs below of damage caused by the Tsunami in Aceh on 26 December 2004.


To date we have built 20,000 transitional shelters and have 20,000 permanent houses in various stages of completion. We also have major livelihoods, water sanitation, disaster preparedness, health, blood, ambulance and community outreach programmes.

A house built by the German Red Cross in Calang, Aceh
 
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Family life is back to normal as people enjoy their new homes and improved coummity facilities



It is such a joy to see people rebuilding their lives and most have conditions which are better than before the Tsunami. The international community is helping the people of Aceh to build back better.
As I travel I can't help but be overwhelmed by the resilience of the people and the beauty of the country side.


I am now in Medan, the biggest seaport in Indonesia where we are having a meeting tonight and tommorw about the future of the Tsuanmi operation with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN, Government of Indonesia.

The man who gave the leadership, displayed courage and innovation and has steered this operation through the last three and a half year is an exceptional man, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Director of the Executing Agency for Rehabilitation and Recontruction of Aceh and Nias, the Tsunami affected areas. Kuntoro has been a human dynamo and visionary working 15 hours a day, at least 7 days a week in leading this mammoth reconstruction operation which I believe has been the best in the world in decades, if not ever.
The photo below shows Kuntoro on the left, and myself on the right when we travelled to the island Simeulue recently.

10 comments:

Jamie said...

Kia ora Bob,

Thanks so much for your blog it has really inspired me. For someone into humanitarian work, climbing, travel and poetry it hits the nail on the head!

I found your blog as my fiancee and I are travelling to Nias in a couple of months where she will volunteer as a doctor and I will sift around and hopefully find something useful to do.

We hope to live this sort of lifestyle as much as we can for the foreseeable future, would really appreciate any advice you might have. You could contact me at jamesbrianstewart@gmail.com if you have the time.

In any regard, thanks again and kia kaha, your blog is an inspiration

Jamie Stewart

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
I agree with Jamie. I battle with myself, and have fought many battles within myself, yet I return here to be reminded of my relative comforts in life from part of your writings, and entertained and enriched by others. Kia ora Bob, hope you had a great week.
Noho ora mai ra,
Robb

Marja said...

Congratulations You people have done a great job overthere. It is nice to see the people smiling on the picture.

Bob McKerrow said...

Hi Jamie, Robb and Marja

Was in Nias this morning with the Minister of Home Affairs and a planeload of VIPs to innuagurate a number of projects. The people of Nias love ceremonies and a chance to show their culture and their incredible monolithic culture with elements unseen anywhere in the world. Will write about it some time So it was a great day.

Jamie, Nias need people like you and your finacee. Young people with energy, talent and who care. Will drop you an email Jamie.

I need to crash but hey, thanks for your feedback. I feel I need to tell the world about some good new when we are bombarded with so much bad news.

Take care my friends

Bob

Bob McKerrow said...

Hi Jamie, Robb and Marja

Was in Nias this morning with the Minister of Home Affairs and a planeload of VIPs to innuagurate a number of projects. The people of Nias love ceremonies and a chance to show their culture and their incredible monolithic culture with elements unseen anywhere in the world. Will write about it some time So it was a great day.

Jamie, Nias need people like you and your finacee. Young people with energy, talent and who care. Will drop you an email Jamie.

I need to crash but hey, thanks for your feedback. I feel I need to tell the world about some good new when we are bombarded with so much bad news.

Take care my friends

Bob

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