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Tuesday, 19 March 2019 08:27

Government Transfers Earthquake Assistance Worth RP5.5 Billion

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Minister of Social Affairs visits earthquake  in Lombok Minister of Social Affairs visits earthquake in Lombok ANTARA

The Indonesian government vowed to further transfer Rp5.5 million to cover shortfall in the earthquake relief funding for victims whose homes incurred light to moderate damages, the Mataram city government in West Nusa Tenggara Province confirmed this week.

"The transfer of the Rp5.5 billion shortfall in aid was delivered at a technical meeting in Jakarta, led by the deputy speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives and attended by the DPR RI disaster management team," Mataram City Assistant for Governance and People's Welfare Lalu Martawang stated in Mataram on Monday.

It was confirmed that the funds will be transferred directly to the accounts of each beneficiary in accordance with a Decree of the Mayor of Mataram from 1-7, with the total number of damaged houses reaching 2,777 and lightly damaged, 8,264 units.

"Some of the victims, whose houses had incurred moderate to light damages, have been transferred (the funding assistance) in the first phase, while the funding shortfall of Rp.5.5 billion is for victims, who have not been able to get to the first stage," he explained.

He noted that with the earthquake, measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale, hitting on Sunday (Mar 17), the community members were left with no choice but to build earthquake-resistant houses by utilizing the offered funds.

"Please, for residents, they are allowed to choose whether to build earthquake-resistant houses based on the concept of Risha (simple healthy instant home) or conventional house (Riko)," he noted.

Head of the Mataram City Housing and Settlement Agency (Perkim) HM Kemal Islam had earlier remarked that the community was urged to form a group after the funding assistance was transferred according to the criteria of damage, which was Rp10 million for residents with slightly damaged houses and Rp25 million for people whose homes were moderately damaged.

After the formation of community groups, the members are required to transfer the funding aid from a personal account to a community bank account, so that its utilization can be controlled and the administration can be accounted for.

For supervision, 80 facilitators have been roped in to help the community prepare a budget plan (RAB) for each member of the community groups.

"If the victim prepares the RAB below the offered value of assistance, then the rest must be returned. Hence, the facilitator is urged to help the community to prepare the RAB in real terms and not making it up," he cautioned.

The process of building houses that had incurred light damage is currently targeted for completion on April 22, 2019, so facilitators and community beneficiaries were urged to move quickly.

Kemal pointed to two obstacles faced in the process of repairing the lightly damaged houses of the earthquake victims, with the first being that several beneficiaries had yet to conduct comprehensive repairs of their homes for various reasons.

"Secondly, the recipients of the assistance were facing difficulties in finding masons around Mataram and West Lombok, so the victims had to search for such artisans in the southern part of Central Lombok Regency that was unaffected by the earthquake despite the costs running high," he pointed out. (ANTARA)  

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