Subject: Houses for Timor Leste refugees

The Jakarta Post Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Houses for Timor Leste refugees

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The Indonesian Social Services Ministry has set aside Rp 72 billion (US$7.57 million) for the construction of 5,000 houses to accommodate Timor Leste refugees living in West Timor, East Nusa Tenggara.

"The construction of the houses will be completed by the end of this year" the head of the East Nusa Tenggara Social Services Office, Frans Salem said, adding that the houses would be built in three regencies -- Belu, Timor Tengah Utara and Timor Tengah Selatan.

"The houses are being provided specifically for refugees who already have their own plots of land. The government prepares the funds and the building materials, while they are constructed by soldiers from the Wirasakti Military Command in Kupang," he said.

The involvement of soldiers in the construction of the houses is in line with an agreement between the Social Services Ministry and Indonesian Military Headquarters in Jakarta, Frans said.

Each house, costing Rp 14 million, will measure 30 square meters and will be equipped with two bedrooms, a bathroom, toilet and kitchen.

According to data from the East Nusa Tenggara provincial administration, up to 21,000 families consisting of about 100,000 people are still being accommodated in temporary shelters in a number of regencies in the province.

------------------------------------------ Joyo Indonesia News Service