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Building new homes for tsunami survivors

An Indonesian house built by the Red Cross© InfoThe British Red Cross built thousands of homes for survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia and the Maldives.

Our tsunami recovery programme in Indonesia finished mid 2008 with the completion of 2,200 earthquake-resistant houses.

People were offered a choice of three house types: a traditional timber frame, a concrete frame with concrete block walls and a composite concrete block and timber frame. In areas prone to seasonal flooding the housing designs were modified to include concrete stilts to raise the house above flood water levels. Most people chose the concrete block house.

In the Maldives recovery programme, which finished in May 2009, we built 216 houses across four islands. On a fifth island, Vilufushi, which was completely flattened by the tsunami, we built a further 250 homes, complete with power and sewerage system, as well as a secondary school.

We took a holistic approach to rebuilding homes, including preparing for future disasters through activities like planning emergency evacuation routes and providing training in the principles of safe construction, and helping survivors get land titles

These are stories about the new homes.

Families moving into new homes have been trained in domestic skills, such as rewiring electric power points and fixing hinges and window catches.

The British Red Cross has helped over 1,440 households to secure land titles from the government, for the new homes that have been built for them.

The British Red Cross has completed two community rainwater projects on the islands of Madifushi and Isdhoo.

Ahumad Ali (49) and his family are among 44 families that moved into their new homes on Fonadhoo island in April 2008.

When the Boxing Day tsunami swept away her family’s house on the island of Pulo Breuh, Mulinda was seven months pregnant. Now the Red Cross has given her a new home.

When Zainal Abidin received a new house from the Red Cross, he was given a choice: a modern brick one or a traditional Indonesian style on stilts. He chose the second and is thrilled with his house.

The Sabri family was one of the first families to move into a new house, thanks to the joint effort of the British and Indonesian Red Cross Societies.