Friday, June 24, 2005

Meulaboh, six months on

Continuing from here: from ST (June 24), "Meulaboh makeover". Two main points.

Stronger concrete pier:
The 195m pier, to be completed by next February at a cost of $6.4 million, is a joint project between the Singapore Government, investment giant Temasek Holdings and the Singapore Red Cross. It will play an important role in reconstruction efforts.

'A ship can carry more goods than a truck so it will be a more economical mode of transport,' said Mr Jimmy Koh, managing director of Antara Koh, the project contractor. The pier will help significantly in reconstruction efforts, as it will be a key entry point for essential materials and supplies to Meulaboh.'

Located 100m to the south of the old Dermaga Ferry Jetty, now demolished, the new pier will be able to withstand earthquakes measuring up to 7 on the Richter scale, winds of up to 100kmh, and waves of up to 2.15m in height.
Nice--and needed too. I think the pier will--even after reconstruction actitivites die down, contribute something to the economy of the area. The Indonesians seem to think so:
One Acehnese, Mr Khalidin, 45, said the pier will make travel easier. The policeman, who lost his wife and two children in the tsunami, said: 'The roads are bad, and the damaged jetty has cut off Meulaboh from other parts of Aceh. So, I really hope that it will be built as quickly as possible so that our lives will go back to normal.'
Bigger, better-equipped hospital:
Work on the 80-bed Meulaboh General Hospital also got under way with yesterday's signing of the memo of understanding.

Mr Lim Theam Poh, manager of the international services division of the Singapore Red Cross, said: 'We are seriously looking at streamlining the workflow system, improving the X-ray rooms and relocating the intensive care wards. There will also be a dispensary, administrative unit and outpatient clinics.' Training programmes will also be offered to doctors and nurses.
As previously posted, the SRC has been rotating medical teams through the area. The hospital idea goes back all the way to mid Jan (see this and this) and it's good to read that it is going somewhere.

Activities of Ordinary Singaporeans:
Ordinary Singaporeans are also continuing to help.

More than 50 staff of KK Women's and Children's Hospital volunteered for stints in the outskirts of Aceh.

The Singapore Red Cross will help the Indonesian authorities build a kindergarten and a maternity clinic in Meulaboh, said Mr Yeo.

Mercy Relief has also been involved with several schools, orphanage and housing projects. That includes the upgrading of facilities in the Muhammadiyah Secondary School and the Panti Asuhan orphanage.
It's been six months since the Tsunami and by the looks of it, though much has improved, much else remains to be done.

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