Tsunami survivors in Indonesia to be provided with 27 000 new houses

Rebuilding tsunami-devastated Aceh province has been slowed by lands rights disputes, poor coordination and unclear policies, a top U.N. official said Friday, forcing nearly 150,000 survivors to live in tents and other emergency shelters nine months after the disaster.

"For the survivors who are in the tents, the conditions are unacceptable. There is no other word for it," Eric Morris, the newly installed U.N. Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and the island of Nias, the AP informs.

"Particularly as we're into the rainy season, the conditions will deteriorate even more rapidly," he said. But Morris said the short-term needs of homeless survivors have largely been overlooked, partly because of political squabbling and government indecision.

"There seemed to be a hope that various actors here in Aceh, including the government of Indonesia, could move quickly from an emergency shelter to permanent housing," he said. "That has not been the case."

His comments came as the United Nations released a draft action plan that called for the construction of 15,000 prefabricated homes in Aceh over the next six months for families still living in tent camps. In the meantime, 27,000 new tents will be given out to survivors.

The plan, which will be implemented by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other aid groups, also says government-built barracks need water and sanitation and that families who have taken in roughly 300,000 survivors should be given additional relief supplies.

The building of 100,000 homes in Aceh has taken off in recent months, but the United Nations said aid agencies are still facing delays partly due to disputes over property, titles only exist for about 5 percent of the land.

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