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Indonesians Frustrated by Slow Rebuilding

Impatient with the pace of government work, some in Peuken Bada have begun building modest homes on the foundations of homes destroyed by tsunami.
Michael Sullivan, NPR
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Impatient with the pace of government work, some in Peuken Bada have begun building modest homes on the foundations of homes destroyed by tsunami.
This mosque was among the only buildings left standing after the Dec. 26 tsunami.
Michael Sullivan, NPR /
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This mosque was among the only buildings left standing after the Dec. 26 tsunami.
A workshop funded by an Islamic charity in South Africa turns out boats to help local men return to their fishing jobs.
Michael Sullivan, NPR /
/
A workshop funded by an Islamic charity in South Africa turns out boats to help local men return to their fishing jobs.

Indonesia's president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is meeting with President Bush at the White House this week. As the two leaders discuss economic reform and human rights in Indonesia, the effort to rebuild areas devastated by a tsunami at the end of 2004 continue.

Five months ago, many found it hard to imagine the village of Peuken Bada, in Aceh Province, recovering. Some 10,000 people -- more than half the population -- were either dead or missing. Only the mosque and a handful of other buildings remained- amid a sea of broken concrete, splintered wood and twisted metal.

With a sizable portion of the more than $6 billion in aid promised for reconstructing Aceh, many residents have grown frustrated at the slow pace of repairs. Aid groups are also frustrated. Many reconstruction projects are on hold pending government approval. Some worry bureaucratic infighting -- and Indonesia's reputation for corruption -- will delay projects even further.

In Peuken Bada, some have given up waiting for the government. As the rain season begins, they are taking matters into their own hands, building shelters to replace the tents that many still rely on for shelter.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michael Sullivan
Michael Sullivan is NPR's Senior Asia Correspondent. He moved to Hanoi to open NPR's Southeast Asia Bureau in 2003. Before that, he spent six years as NPR's South Asia correspondent based in but seldom seen in New Delhi.
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