Oxfam calls for appropriate land for tsunami survivors
As the UN special envoy Bill Clinton prepares to meet Governments of
Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Oxfam International urged the authorities to
provide more appropriate land for the construction of permanent shelter,
an Oxfam news release said.
The call comes on the day (Tuesday) that Clinton arrives in Sri Lanka
and the day before he goes to Indonesia to see the recovery effort.
Although thousands of permanent houses have already been built in both
countries, one of the major factors holding up progress is that
Governments have not yet got policies in place to ensure appropriate new
land is given to all those who lost theirs to the tsunami.
Oxfam is supporting UN special envoy Clinton's efforts to ensure that
appropriate land is made available for permanent housing.
"Thousands of permanent houses have already been built for tsunami
survivors but until new land is provided for those made landless, the
rebuilding process will be too slow. New land must be granted to those
who lost it," said Oxfam Director Barbara Stocking.
People lost their land to the tsunami in different ways. For many,
the land their homes stood on is now under the sea or uninhabitable.
Others find themselves banned by the Government from rebuilding on their
old land due to the creation of coastal buffer zones.
In all cases land in locations acceptable to displaced communities
must be found, before new houses can be built. Oxfam and its partners
are working closely with these Governments to encourage them to provide
appropriate land as quickly as possible. So far the Indonesian
government has not got policies in place to provide new land to the
landless, although a consultation process is now underway. This means
that in many cases the rebuilding process cannot even start.
In Sri Lanka the Government has made land available but in some cases
the land being offered is inappropriate, such as fishing communities
being offered land too far away from the sea. This means rebuilding is
delayed as it is unclear about whether the communities would move into
any new houses built in these areas.