In the Tsunami's Wake, Debate over Rebuilding

A girl prepares a meal on the floor of a shelter

hide captionA girl prepares a meal on the floor of a shelter. Despite food and other aid arriving in Sumatra, some 400,000 have been left homeless.

Vida Asrina
New infrastructure in Aceh includes a water system and temporary housing. Michael Sullivan, NPR

hide captionNew infrastructure in Aceh includes a water system, at left, and temporary housing.

Vida Asrina

It has been more than seven weeks since the powerful Asian tsunami. More than 100,000 people were killed in Indonesia alone. Many more are homeless. As aid efforts continue, a plan to prohibit rebuilding close to the ocean is being disputed.

The village of Peuken Bada is recovering from the tsunami's devastation in fits and starts. It's a mixed picture, much like the rest of Aceh province, on the northern end of the island of Sumatra, where an estimated 400,000 people have been left homeless.

While most displaced people are eager to go back to the sites of their homes, the government has other plans. Most of the displaced are likely to end up in the new "transitional housing" — plywood barracks — until a new plan is settled on.

As of now, the draft plan calls for creating a "green zone" that would prohibit people from building within 2 kilometers of the water. Many residents oppose the plan, and some are already erecting crude structures on their plots.



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