Indonesia’s Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) has deployed a force of 400 “young” engineers over to Lombok to work on earthquake resistant construction.
The engineers were dispatched in several big groups, transported by Hercules military transport aircraft belonging to the Indonesian Air Force, as shown by tweets coming from PUPR.
The first batch was sent via Bandung, West Java on Thursday, while two other groups came from Jakarta Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, and the remainder traveled on commercial flights, reports Republika.
The engineers are civil servant candidates (CPNS) for the 2017 admission year and have been sent out to Lombok as a part of their assignment in the civil servant process. All are engineering-degree holders, says PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.
Their training will begin on Saturday and Sunday in quake-impacted communities to develop simple, “instant” earthquake-resistant homes, known as RISHA, says Hadimuljono. RISHA style homes use a system of interlocking blocks and are also referred to as “Lego-style” homes.
Teams of nine people, consisting of military officers, community members, students, and PUPR staff and engineers, will be formed. Each team should be able to build 100 to 150 homes, according to the minister.
It’s believed that more than 78,000 homes have been on the “severe” end of the scale for earthquake damage, Hadimuljono said on Friday, speaking from Halim Airport. However, it should be noted that estimates put the total amount of people displaced at nearly half a million with many islanders afraid to re-enter their homes, which may still be standing but are not definitively structurally sound.
The government has already pledged assistance of IDR50 million (US$3,382) per household suffering from a “severe” amount of damage, a key initiative communicated by President Jokowi (when he visited Lombok earlier in the month) in the form of Inpres (presidential instruction) no. 5/2018.
The amount is enough for RISHA homes, which typically need IDR1-1.5 million (US$67-101) per meter, says the PUPR minister.
RISHA homes can apparently repurpose brick from collapsed homes.
“So it’s not all new,” Hadimuljono explained.
Communities in West Lombok, Central Lombok, East Lombok, and the island’s capital, Mataram city, are the areas most impacted by a series of earthquakes and tremors that have amounted to almost 2,000 shakesincluding a big 7.0 on Aug. 5 and 6.9 on Aug. 19. At least 555 people have been recorded as dead.
The government’s target for completing the rehabilitation and reconstruction period post earthquake in Lombok is six months, starting from Sept. 1.
Public facilities such as markets, schools, places of worship, health centers, and hospitals are targeted to be fully functional by December 2018, Okezonereports.
Authorities are still working on the official tally of damaged public facilities, but their current count shows that 330 schools have been damaged, along with six places of worship, and 118 hospitals and health clinics. As many as 22 traditional markets were also hit.