08 januari 2005
Dutch water companies ready for reconstruction in Aceh
Millions of people in the tsunami-ravaged province of Aceh are without potable water. Relief organisations are now bringing in bottled water in order to prevent diseases and infections. The Dutch water supply companies, thirteen in total, are combining efforts to supply water reservoirs for the villages in Aceh. These reservoirs will be filled by water trucks transporting water from the inland regions and contain enough potable water for thirty to sixty families. Karst Hoogsteen expects that by the end of February all the deprived villages will at least have some safe water supplies.
But more important, says Karst Hoogsteen, is to assist the Indonesian water companies in reconstructing the infrastructure. "We are very glad that the Indonesian government has asked us to develop a project that should bring a sustainable solution, rooted in and owned by the local community. Reconstruction is not just a matter of cleaning up the mess and repairing pumps and pipes. It means rebuilding the whole organization and training personnel in management and maintenance. Offices are destroyed, registration is lost, many employees have died. The problems are huge."
The Water Supply Company Drenthe has for some years been involved in public-private partnerships in Eastern Indonesia to improve the local water and sanitation system. Due to this experience the Indonesian government has turned to the Dutch company for assistance in the disaster-hit province of Aceh. Hoogsteen: "This week our Indonesian engineers are making an assessment of the situation in Aceh. Then we will know exactly what damage has been done. We are now organizing the project in The Netherlands and in Indonesia and will make a proposal for the Indonesian government."
P+ Webtip: Water Supply Company Drenthe