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Cablegate: Indonesia Earthquake Humanitarian Update #13: Shelter And

VZCZCXRO0061
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1786/01 2991406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261406Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3662
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 8014
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1116
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8878
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 001786

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, CA
STATE FOR USAID
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA CCHAN, ACONVERY, RTHAYER, AND RMT
USAID FOR ANE KROSEN
BANGKOK FOR ADWYER
NSC FOR CPRATT
USUN FOR DMERCADO
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
PACOM POLAD/J3/J5

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV CASC ECON EAID SENV ID PHUM AEMR ASEC CASC
MARR, PREL, PINR, AMGT, EAID, AQ, LA, RP, TN, VM, WS

SUBJECT: INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE HUMANITARIAN UPDATE #13: SHELTER AND
SETTLEMENTS

REF: A) JAKARTA 01715 B) JAKARTA 01756

-------
Summary
-------

1. The combination of widespread, spontaneous shelter recovery by
households affected by the September 30 earthquake and emerging
humanitarian action in the shelter and settlements sector is
beginning to address post-earthquake shelter needs. In many
instances observed by the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team
(USAID/DART), affected families have completed, or are completing,
construction of small shelters on site, ranging from modest use of
plastic sheeting with light wood framing to more robust designs
featuring salvaged building materials. However, these temporary
shelters are generally inadequate to serve as shelter for up to two
years, owing to shortcomings that undermine Government of Indonesia
(GoI) and humanitarian community efforts to promote the creation of
safe, secure, private, healthy, habitable, and appropriate shelter.
The core challenges of the humanitarian community in the coming
weeks and months will be catching up with spontaneous shelter
activity, overcoming limited donor support of transitional shelters
that will also serve as the first phase of longer-term
reconstruction efforts, and managing transitional shelter programs
lasting up to six months when shelter cluster coordination ends in
approximately two months. End summary.

--------------------------------------------- --------
Housing Damage, Shelter Needs, and Emerging Responses
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. According to the latest GoI estimate, as reported by the U.N.
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on
October 23, the earthquake severely or moderately damaged 200,712
houses, with thousands of other homes sustaining light damage. The
GoI estimates may be overstated. For example, GoI data indicate
that 42 percent of Padang city's nearly 180,000 housing units
sustained medium to heavy damage, but an October 20 USAID/DART
reconnaissance of the city suggests that no more than 15 percent of
housing units were so damaged.

3. In addition to the GoI effort, the World Bank is currently
conducting a separate damage and loss assessment (DLA), which may
result in different figures, owing to different methodologies,
criteria, and assessment personnel. The World Bank DLA will be
released in mid-November. The World Bank and GoI may need to review
and reconcile their respective assessment figures prior to release
of the DLA. (Comment: Discrepancies in damage assessment totals
will not materially affect USAID/OFDA shelter and settlements sector
programming. End comment.)

4. According to OCHA, the GoI National Disaster Management Agency
(BNPB) reports that the earthquake severely and moderately damaged
200,712 houses, but only 50,230 families have received emergency
shelter assistance in the form of plastic sheeting and tents. In
the most earthquake-affected areas, centered in Padang Pariaman
District, roughly 95 percent of homes sustained severe and moderate
damage, leaving an estimated 82,535 households in need of shelter
assistance.

5. The earthquake-affected population itself has to a significant
extent relied on its own resources and labor to create shelter,
given widespread damage and needs. In many instances observed by
the USAID/DART, affected families have completed, or are completing,
construction of small shelters on site, ranging from modest use of
plastic sheeting with light wood framing to more robust designs
featuring largely exclusive use of salvaged building materials.
Local and international humanitarian organizations, as well as the
GoI, have supported, in part, this widespread, spontaneous shelter
recovery by earthquake-affected households.

6. Following a disaster such as an earthquake, transitional housing

JAKARTA 00001786 002 OF 003


for affected populations should remain habitable for up to two
years. However, nearly all of the spontaneous temporary housing
constructed thus far is not adequate to serve as shelter for up to
two years, owing to space, design, and risk reduction shortcomings
that undermine GoI and humanitarian community efforts to promote the
creation of safe, secure, private, healthy, habitable, and
appropriate shelter.

7. To address shelter needs consistent with humanitarian community
practice, including the incorporation of seismic-resistant
construction measures as part of shelter and settlements activities,
the humanitarian community is beginning to complement the rapid
spontaneous shelter effort with a program increasingly featuring
provision of transitional shelter assistance. Actors will assist
those still in need of shelter, retrofit shelters completed to date,
and provide the basic training and information on seismic-resistant
construction for both transitional and permanent housing.

8. Programmed responses, in contrast to the spontaneous efforts of
the affected population, are being coordinated by the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which is
serving as emergency shelter cluster lead agency. The cluster has
created four technical working groups (TWGs) on toolkits,
transitional shelter, permanent housing, and public information and
outreach. The transitional shelter TWG has agreed on the parameters
for transitional shelter. Humanitarian organizations are conducting
assessments and distributions and preparing proposals for donor
agencies in anticipation of continued programming.

------------------------------
Shelter Programming Challenges
------------------------------

9. The affected population, GoI, and humanitarian community face
numerous challenges in the construction of temporary and
transitional shelter and the reconstruction of permanent shelter.
Core challenges include the following:

-- Transitional Shelter --

10. The GoI has been slow to recognize the affected population's
spontaneous shelter effort and the humanitarian community's approach
of catching up with this effort by supporting transitional shelter
programming. The GoI initially adopted a one-step approach
featuring rapid movement into housing reconstruction once acute
emergency needs were addressed, whereas the humanitarian community
prefers to first provide transitional shelter and then support
reconstruction. Based on previous disaster responses in Indonesia
and elsewhere, this latter view reflects the facts that
reconstruction typically lasts two or more years, and affected
populations require shelter interventions that are more durable than
plastic sheeting and tents and that serve as first-phase
reconstruction. With guidance from the USAID/OFDA shelter and
settlements advisor, the shelter cluster provided input to an
October 23 GoI decision that transitional shelter assistance was an
appropriate form of first-phase reconstruction, thereby facilitating
donor funding for transitional shelter activities.

-- GoI Housing Damage Payments --

11. The GoI announced on October 24 that affected households would
receive approximately $106, $1,060, and $1,590 for houses with
slight, moderate, and severe damage, respectively. The humanitarian
community views these payment amounts as insufficient, and the World
Bank DLA will likely confirm this perspective. Issues including how
and when payments will be made remain unresolved. Experience from
other earthquakes, including the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake,
suggests that payments will not commence for several months and will
likely be in tranches, adding additional delays. (Comment:
Although important from a sector-wide perspective, payment levels
and likely delays in disbursement will not significantly affect
USAID/OFDA shelter and settlements programming. End comment.) At

JAKARTA 00001786 003.2 OF 003


present, the GoI plans to implement a flexible payment schedule
based on housing damage and site characteristics.

-- Impact of Humanitarian Assistance --

12. The provision of humanitarian assistance will likely impact the
affected population's eligibility to receive GoI payments. Although
the GoI will most likely permit affected populations to receive both
humanitarian assistance and damage payments, this issue remains
unresolved. The GoI has not yet planned how to communicate
eligibility determinations in a clear and timely manner.

-- Emergency Shelter Cluster Coordination --

13. In other disaster responses, IFRC-led cluster activities
usually phase out two to three months after activation. IFRC makes
the decision about when to phase out activities based on the
organization's capacity to support staff and the agreement with OCHA
for IFRC to coordinate the shelter response, focusing solely on
emergency shelter and not on transitional shelter. In past disaster
responses, IFRC has phased out before the completion of the
transitional shelter programming phase, which often lasts six
months. IFRC's departure after two or three months, at precisely
the time when project activities will be at a peak, will likely
result in limited cluster coordination for nearly half of the
six-month transitional shelter phase. In addition to this
intra-cluster management challenge, the humanitarian community is
voicing growing concern regarding inter-cluster coordination, noting
that U.N. Human Settlements Program (UN Habitat), the designated
early recovery cluster focal point for housing reconstruction, will
not receive resources commensurate with the task at hand, which
could undermine overall reconstruction efforts.

--------------------------------------------- ----
USAID/OFDA Shelter and Settlements Projects Begin
--------------------------------------------- ----

14. USAID/OFDA has contributed $3 million to humanitarian
organizations, including Save the Children, Catholic Relief
Services, Mercy Corps, World Vision, CARE, and Build Change, in the
Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) consortium. With this funding,
ECB members are supporting community clean-up, salvaging, emergency
shelter repairs, transitional shelter assistance, and disaster risk
reduction (DRR) promotion and training. USAID/OFDA plans to provide
additional funding to support expanded transitional shelter efforts.
Total USAID/OFDA funding will likely provide between 7,000 and
10,000 earthquake-affected households with transitional shelter over
the next six months. Follow-on DRR programming, focused on
promoting seismic-resistant construction and providing training,
will complement USAID/OFDA's disaster response funding.

--------------------------------------------
Next Steps in Shelter and Settlements Sector
--------------------------------------------

15. USAID/OFDA plans to engage in at least four follow-on
activities. With the departure of the USAID/DART from Padang on
October 25, two USAID/OFDA field officers plan to remain in Padang
until mid-November, monitoring shelter and settlements sector
activities. USAID/OFDA plans to expedite proposal reviews,
approvals, and funding to accelerate project activities, given the
need to support spontaneous efforts and complement these efforts
with new transitional shelter. USAID/OFDA plans to support DRR
promotion and training as part of shelter project activities, as
well as part of two-year DRR programs focused on both schools and
shelter. Finally, USAID/OFDA will advocate for more robust shelter
cluster management and coordination, so that shelter and settlements
actors receive support needed to assist individuals affected by the
September 30 earthquake.


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