Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chief of Nias post-tsunami body tasked to help Myanmar

The Jakarta post, , Jakarta Sat, 12/06/2008 11:33 AM Headlines

A top official at the post-tsunami reconstruction agency in Aceh and Nias has been assigned to assist in the rebuilding of cyclone-devastated Myanmar, the Foreign Ministry announced Friday.

William Sabandar, Nias regional director at the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR), was named the chief technical adviser to formulate the Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness Plan, ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told reporters.

Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in early May this year, killing more than 170,000 people and affecting 2.4 million others living in the Irrawady delta, the region's main rice-growing area.
Following the disaster, a tripartite core group was established comprising high-level representatives from the Myanmar government, the UN and ASEAN.

"I will be reporting to the ASEAN secretary-general," William said Friday after the launch of the latest BRR Nias report.

He added he would only be able to work "with the support of the leadership" of the BRR and ASEAN.

Having returned recently from a trip to Myanmar, William said refugees there had gone back to the hardest hit areas of the Irrawaddy, but he noted aid commitments were slow in coming, compared to those following the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia and other Indian Ocean countries.

Those affected by Nargis, mostly poor even before the cyclone, now live in their own homes, William said, though some still lived in tents.

The relief operation immediately after the disaster was "a success", he said, with the World Health Organization gaining access to critical areas and preventing several feared infectious outbreaks.

"We're now entering the reconstruction phase (in the cyclone-ravaged areas)," William said.
According to the UN's relief agency, a recovery plan involving the international community is needed to "complement" Myanmar's recovery and reconstruction efforts. The UN and its partners will develop medium-term recovery plans for 2009-2011, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The parties will cooperate in disaster risk reduction, education, health, livelihood (agriculture and non-agriculture), shelter and water, and sanitation, according to the agency's website, www.reliefweb.int.

The plan is scheduled to be presented at the ASEAN-UN summit, planned for mid-December

Disaster management lessens the mess

Duncan Graham , Contributor , Wellington Tue, 07/29/2008 10:03 AM Environment

How do two nations celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations? To play it safe, stage a traditional cultural event with a lushness of finger-flicking maidens swirling batik and rolling their enticing eyes.

Thirty minutes of gamelan gonging and it's all over for another half century.
That's not the way it will be next month when Indonesia and New Zealand recognize five decades of a mostly harmonious and relatively stable marriage.

Instead a clutch of Kiwis will fly to Jakarta, Aceh and Yogyakarta, eventually sharing skills on disaster risk management at a conference in Jakarta on Aug. 5 at Hotel Borobudur, which is expected to attract up to 200 participants and impact nearby nations.

This isn't a topic for fatalists who believe there's nothing mortals can do when the wrath of a vengeful deity is unleashed, punishing the faithless and tormenting the transgressors with tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Those who take a more scientific view argue that many things can be done to prepare, though not always to prevent, natural disasters. Their key word is "mitigation", not earthquake-proofing.

"We've got some real skills here in NZ, developed over the years," David Hopkins said, civil engineer and co-leader of the 21-strong Kiwi contingent.

"We have a different attitude -- we work with people, we enjoy rolling up our sleeves. Let's see if we can make a real difference here, not trying to do everything but working in specific areas of expertise because we're a small country with limited resources."

Decoded, this means New Zealand cannot compete against big-donor nations like Japan and the United States so it has to deliver quality, not quantity.

Hopkins, a specialist in earthquake risk management, looks differently at disaster photos, like those from China's Wenchuan earthquake in May. While most people gape at the damage he seeks out the constructions that have survived. Then he wonders why.

In most cases, the upright buildings have been robustly built using top materials and following best practice. These included steel reinforcement of concrete, cross-bracing walls and no heavy loads at high levels. Critical is the use of materials that can flex not fracture, sway not crumple.

Inevitably the cost is initially higher, which is why some are built to lower standards and building inspectors are bribed to ignore noncompliance with regulations.

This isn't rocket science. Hopkins knows Indonesian authorities are just as well read on the building codes that have been developed in New Zealand, Japan, California and other unsteady locations. The problem is getting the rules implemented. To make his point he employs the image of a skyhook using a chain to hold a huge weight above the people.

"Each link is critical," he said. "We're very good at strengthening the strong links but not so good at looking at the weak."

The idea of discussing disaster risk management to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations came from Amris Hassan,the Indonesian ambassador to New Zealand who lives in Wellington, one of the world's shakiest capitals.

Three faults run north and south through the harbor and city of about 500,000 people. Wellington is also the center of government and the parliament so if disaster strikes the nation's leaders would be among the victims. Managing the risks is treated seriously and the city has become a center of excellence in earthquake research.

An audit of public and private buildings recently found hundreds needed strengthening and the work is underway. A technique called "base isolation" using rubber and lead blocks between the foundations and beams of old buildings was pioneered in New Zealand.

Few Kiwis can be unaware that their land is dangerous. The government has a minister of civil defense and emergency management who will be at the conference.

"It does us a power of good to remind ourselves that we live on two volcanic rocks where two tectonic plates meet, in a somewhat lonely stretch of windswept ocean just above the Roaring Forties. If you want drama -- you've come to the right place," former New Zealand prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer said.

The last major earthquake in Wellington was in 1855, but there have been several recent disasters nearby. Gisborne on the east coast of the North Island was hit on Dec. 20, 2007, causing considerable damage. New Zealand gets about 14,000 quakes a year; like Indonesia it's part of the Pacific Rim of Fire.

Hopkins worked for almost a year in Turkey looking at apartment blocks. He expected fatalism but was "mind-bogglingly overwhelmed" by the positive response to ideas of mitigating the impact of natural disasters.

His message to public officials, builders and developers is to ask: "Do you have a defensible position?"

"This means asking if you've identified the hazards and potential damage," he said. "You must have taken all reasonable steps prior to the event to reduce its impact under the four Rs of emergency management -- Reduction, Readiness, Response and Recovery.

"You won't be doing enough to be in a defensible position until you examine these issues seriously and develop a sensible action plan that balances the risks, funding constraints and community expectations."

Geomorphologist (landforms scientist) Noel Trustrum, the other co-leader of the conference, spent time in Aceh after the 2004 tsunami identifying projects where New Zealand know-how could be of use. He focused on the Sumatran highlands where heavy clearing had threatened water supplies.

"We want to marry NZ expertise with Indonesian experience," he said. "NZ is best at doing what's absolutely necessary, not looking for Rolls-Royce solutions. For example, twisting reinforcing iron a different way can be significant.

"The Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (BRR) hands over to local and regional governments after April next year and there is still a lot of unspent money," he said.
He was referring to the agency created by the Indonesian government after the 2004 tsunami.

William Sabandar, the BRR regional director for Nias, was educated in New Zealand.

"We want to maintain relationships with Indonesia and together look beyond to helping in Southeast Asia and the Pacific," Trustrum said.

Nias begs for more world attention

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Wed, 12/07/2005 3:51 PM

Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Almost a year after two devastating natural disasters struck Nias Island in North Sumatra, some 4,000 families are still living in makeshift shelters and thousands of students are studying under tents, desperately waiting for aid from donor countries.

Most refugees have lost relatives, their houses and their jobs because of the double disasters, and are reliant on help from volunteers and activists from foreign non-governmental organizations and the Nias-Aceh Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (BRR) that have been supplying their daily needs.

Thousands of students have been attending classes in temporary camps because school buildings have yet to be rebuilt.

""It's ironic that the situation on the island is still far from normal 10 months after the earthquake. Don't compare it with the relatively better conditions in Aceh,"" William Sabandar, BRR representative in Gunung Sitoli, Nias, told The Jakarta Post after a BRR Nias Island stakeholder meeting here on Tuesday.

Nias was as devastated as Aceh following the Dec. 26 tsunami. But the island was further devastated when another major earthquake shook it three months later.

According to Sabandar, only 200 new houses have been built out of the 13,000 the BRR plans to construct. About 50,000 houses also need to be renovated.

""By April 2006, a total of 1,000 houses will be built and the construction of the remaining 12,000 will follow in accordance with the pledges of donor countries. We are in need of Rp 1.1 trillion (US$110 million) for the house construction and rehabilitation project,"" he said.

UNICEF has pledged to help finance the construction of 160 new school buildings and foreign NGOs have promised financial aid to put up 100 school buildings, while BRR has committed to constructing 60 school buildings.

A total of 770 school buildings and hundreds of churches and mosques were severely damaged during the disasters.

Subandar said that besides financial shortages, difficult access due to the devastated infrastructure had hampered BRR in supplying construction materials to the worst-hit areas.
""Some 19 projects worth Rp 431 billion to rehabilitate damaged roads, bridges, hospitals, public health centers and schools are still underway. We hope the projects can be completed within two years,"" he said.

Separately, BRR chief Kuntoro Mangkusubroto confirmed that the reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Nias was far slower than in Aceh because of a shortage of finance.

While there has been criticism, progress has been achieved in Aceh because 96 percent of donor countries' donations had been used in the province, but Nias had remained untouched, he said.

""After the tsunami devastated Aceh and Nias last year, donor countries and the government committed to providing only 4 percent of their total donations to Nias. No new commitment was given following the March 18 earthquake that left 40,000 people homeless and almost 1,000 school buildings, churches and mosques damaged,"" he said.

The government and donor countries have so far committed themselves to providing $2.1 billion of the $7.1 billion in total donations to Nias within four years.

Following the devastating quake, Kuntoro said, BRR has asked donor countries and the government to allocate between 12 percent and 17 percent of total donations for Nias because of the extensive damage and the vast amount of reconstruction needed.

Attending Tuesday's meeting were representatives of the World Bank, UN, foreign NGOs, foreign ambassadors and North Sumatra deputy governor Rudolf Pardede.

""Donor countries and BRR agree to prioritize road and bridge reconstruction projects to give easier access to the supply of construction materials to worst-hit remote areas on the island,"" Kuntoro said.

Besides the World Bank, UN and foreign NGOs, Germany, Sweden and China have expressed their commitment to providing financial aid to Nias.

Another meeting of stakeholders is scheduled for Jan. 17 in Gunung Sitoli.

BRR weeds out graft, terminates contracts

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Thu, 10/19/2006 10:38 AM

Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post, Medan

The Aceh-Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) has reported two contractors to the police and terminated the contracts of five others over graft allegations.

The agency's representative office on Nias Island reported PT Citra Ria Mumi and PT Sarana Fiberindo Marina to the police over allegations they embezzled project funds. The cases are now being investigated by the North Sumatra Police.

Citra Ria Mumi was given a contract to construct 35 houses in Lahewa district, Nias regency, while Sarana Fiberindo Marina won a contract to provide 300 fishing boats. The total value of their contracts was Rp 5.7 billion.

The BRR office in Nias also terminated the contracts of PT Uli Artha, CV Harapan Insan, CV Faisal Kontraktor, PT Wimcom Karya Utama and PT Bintang Agung. The five companies have been blacklisted and will not be eligible to receive any future contracts from the agency.

William P. Sabandar, the agency's head in Nias, said the steps were taken to ensure all BRR projects met expected quality standards.

""The BRR has declared this year 'quality year', so we will not tolerate poor quality work, especially when there are indications of corruption, collusion and nepotism,"" William said following an agency workshop in Medan on Wednesday.

Apart from the seven contractors, the agency has also terminated two managers, an assistant manager and three staff members, and replaced the heads of three working units in the Nias office.

William said the agency also planned to prosecute three staff members allegedly involved in legal violations.

Responding to problems within the body since the 2004 tsunami in Aceh and Nias, and the massive earthquake on Nias last year, he said the agency would introduce a people's empowerment program through which all housing construction projects in Nias and South Nias regencies would be overseen by residents.

""Starting next year, all projects related to housing construction will be directly taken care of by residents. This change is being made in response to widespread corruption, collusion and nepotism within the agency and contractors,"" William told The Jakarta Post.

Dozens of people from the Student and Youth Forum on Nias Development staged a protest outside the Medan venue where the workshop was being held, demanding the government launch an investigation into the alleged corruption inside the BRR's Nias office.

Forum secretary Kurniawan Harefa said many tsunami and quake victims in Nias continued to live in miserable conditions because reconstruction work was progressing slowly and money intended to build houses was being embezzled.

""Many of the BRR's reconstruction projects in Nias have been disappointing, with the quality of the construction far below the amount of money budgeted for the work,"" he said.
William said the agency was not closing its eyes to the allegations and would investigate all claims.

Asian Development Bank spokesman Pieter Smith said the bank had allocated US$30 million to help rebuild Nias.

He said the bank also planned to rebuild villages in Nias with $15 million set aside for the work. ""The program is in the planning phase and will start next year,"" he said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

BRR Nias prepares to hand over the reins

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 3:28 PM

Dian Kuswandini , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Tue, 11/25/2008 7:06 AM Headlines

The Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency on Nias Island (BRR Nias) has said more projects will continue after its tenure expires next month, including those aimed at alleviating poverty and sustaining the local economy.

BRR Nias regional director William P. Sabandar said that as Nias was among the poorest regions in the country, more work was needed to ensure the region’s future prosperity.

“In developing Nias’ economy we will focus on soft projects like improving agricultural production, such as rubber, cacao and rice, as well as expanding their market penetration,” William told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

The agency will also work at improving transportation facilities in the area, including by building more roads in villages to support the distribution of local products.

The agency also plans to complete several unfinished projects to support the local economy, including two fishing boat ports in the Teluk Dalam-Teluk Belukar area, Muzoi Bridge, Binaka airport and Teluk Dalam airstrip.

William said that during the agency’s three-and-a-half-year tenure it had met 89.66 percent of its targets — the highest level of achievement seen in the infrastructure sector.

Projects to empower the local community, develop the local economy and mitigate disasters will be the region’s priorities after the agency ends its mission in December.

The agency will also continue to train Nias locals in planting and disaster prevention, William said.

BRR Nias was established to carry out recovery programs following the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami and the strong earthquake that hit the region in March 28, 2005.

The disasters killed almost 1,000 people on the island, displaced 70,000 others and destroyed buildings and infrastructure, causing Rp 6 trillion in total damages.

Reconstruction efforts in Nias have lagged behind those in Aceh, which was hit hardest by the tsunami.

Starting next month, the agency will enter a transition period lasting until May next year, when it will finish its mission.

During the handover period, the agency will work with the central government, local governments and several donors involved in the projects, including the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

According to the agency, the total budget for recovery programs in Nias between 2005 and 2009 is estimated at almost Rp 5.8 trillion. By the end of 2008, the disbursement of the budget is estimated to have reached Rp 4.2 trillion.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Official rehab agencies in Nias to observe quake anniversary

Mar 27, 2006 21:33

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government through the Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Body (BRR) along with the United Nations Agency for Aceh and Nias Recovery UNORC will commemorate the first anniversary of the killer earthquake that jolted Nias district in North Sumatra province on March 28 last year.

"North Sumatra Governor Rudolf Pardede will lead the commemoration which will be held in Gunung Sitoli on Tuesday," BRR NAD-Nias`s communication and stakeholders relations head Mirza Keumala said here Monday.

BRR chairman Kuntoro Mangkusubroto and Nias district head Binahati Baeha; donor agencies and non-governmental organizations from Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the United States, and the Netherlands; international agencies like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, Multi Donor Fund, the European Commission, the International Organization of Migration (IOM), and the United Nations` International Children Fund (Unicef) as well as local administration officials and media will join the commemoration.

Visiting a cemetery of earthquake victims in Vodo area and a revitalized hospital in Gunungsitoli, capital of Nias district, as well as the handing of new houses to quake survivors will highlight the commemoration.

Mirza said the commemoration will be closed with an observance of a brief silence at 11.09 p.m. the time when an earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale rocked Nias and killed 140 people.

The observance of a brief silence will be followed by Nias traditional performance.

The Nias earthquake which rendered thousands of peole homeless occurred three months after a giant earthquake and a subsequent tsunami hit Aceh province on December 26, 2004.

Tsunami affected the western and southern coast of Nias but the earthquake on March 28, 2005 damaged most parts of Nias district. (*)

LKBN ANTARA Copyright © 2005

Kalimantan timber shipped to Nias

The Jakarta Post: April 06, 2006
NIAS, North Sumatra:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has starting to supply timber to help speed up reconstruction work on Nias island, which was devastated by a massive earthquake in March last year.

The first shipment of 2,000 cubic meters of timber recently arrived in Nias, carried by a World Food Programme ship. Overall, the UNHCR will supply 15 cubic meters of timber to the North Sumatra island.

"The timber was shipped from Kalimantan and the purchase was handled by the Medan office," said the head of UNHCR's Nias office, Reiko Hasegawa.

The timber will be used to build houses and other infrastructure. "The timber will be distributed for free to NGOs working in Nias to help the rebuilding process," said Rick Haughton, of the UNHCR.

He said the timber, which will be distributed to NGOs based on the quantity they requested, was legal and certified.

Slow reconstruction on the island was blamed partly on problems in obtaining legal timber as most of the timber readily available was allegedly derived from illegal logging. -- JP

Indonesian museum battles to save quake island's heritage

GUNUNG SITOLI, Indonesia : A private museum on the quake-ravaged Indonesian island of Nias is fighting a lonely battle to help preserve the unique cultural and heritage of the inhabitants here.

The seven-year-old beachfront museum plays host to a collection of more than 6,000 artefacts from the mainly Christian island, where many people still practise ancient animistic traditions.

Delicately-carved stone and wooden ancestral statues are on display along with earthenware utensils, sizeable architectural models of the different styles of traditional Nias' homes, ancient weapons, and impressive steel armory.

The museum, which emerged largely unscathed from a massive earthquake last March that killed more than 850 residents, was the brainchild of German-born Catholic priest Father Johannes Haemmerle.

He began to build his own collection in 1972, painstakingly adding individual items from across the impoverished island, which is about the size of Bali. The collection formed the centrepiece of the museum, which today lures researchers from around the world.

Haemmerle, a fluent speaker of the local language of Nias, has also compiled texts of Nias' legends and songs and published books on the island's culture.

"It has been, and continues to be, a difficult effort to preserve Nias' heritage," the 65-year-old priest told AFP, adding that the museum's work has been met with suspicion from many local officials.

Others however consider the museum to be a leading authority on Nias' culture.

"What he and his museum has done is extraordinary -- a lot of what is in his museum can longer be found on Nias," Nias district spokesman S. Yan Zebua said of Haemmerle.

Christian missionaries arrived on the island less than a century ago and convinced many eager residents to abandon links to their old beliefs, although in the south animistic traditions still very much permeate the lives of people.

And while links to the outside world have eroded some local customs, Nias' remote location -- about 100 kilometres (62 miles) off Sumatra island -- means it has been largely sidestepped by development elsewhere in Indonesia.

Huge stone monuments still dot the island along with about 1,000 of Nias' traditional, steep-roofed wooden homes constructed from massive logs, all testament to a culture that largely evolved in isolation from the modern world.

"This isolation has been beneficial to the rich culture of the island ... but it has also resulted in Nias being practically forgotten by the central or the provincial government," said Nata'alui Duha, deputy director of the museum.

None of the seven museum staff have formal education in archeology or architecture. "But we have been able to learn from the field and from the people and now even academics will come to us to get data or learn about Nias' traditional architecture," he told AFP.

The museum however has been snubbed by the agency overseeing the massive reconstruction required here after last year's 8.7-magnitude quake and the Indian Ocean tsunami three months before, which killed 140 people on the island.

The head of the agency's taskforce on culture in Nias, Ahmad Husin Ritonga, admitted that the museum was a "great contribution to the preservation of Nias' heritage" but said the museum had a different standpoint to his office. He declined to elaborate.

The museum is also directly involved in helping to preserve the living history of Nias, such as maintaining the traditional homes -- known as oma hada -- as well as megalithic sites. Funding comes only from private donations and ticket sales.

Operational costs are about 20 million rupiah (about 2,000 dollars) per month. "We are continuously facing a shortage of funds ... It is really sapping most of our energy," Haemmerle said.

Ticket sales on this island of 710,000 people clock in at around 5 million rupiah per month, with many visitors families coming to take advantage of the facilities at the museum -- including a small zoo and restaurant -- rather than to see the artefacts.

Nevertheless, Haemmerle is optimistic about the museum's fate. "We are talking about a legacy for Nias, for Indonesia. It has to continue to exist," he said. - AFP /dt


Survivors remember the dead in Nias on anniversary of quake

National News - March 29, 2006
Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Nias

Survivors prayed at mass graves for lost family members Tuesday on the first anniversary of the devastating quake that killed 850 people on Nias Island, North Sumatra.

Hendrawan, who was trapped for five days under the ruins of his home, said he still felt the pain of bereavement. He lost his wife and two children in the massive 8.7-magnitude quake that struck late at night when many people were asleep.

"I'm grateful that I survived, but now I'm on my own," he told The Jakarta Post before bursting into tears in Fodo, Gunung Sitoli.

The 41-year-old joined thousands of others who said quiet prayers in memory of their loved ones, while mass prayers were held in other areas of the predominantly Christian island.

There also were solemn remembrances at Merdeka field in Gunung Sitoli, with the main commemoration to be held at 11 p.m., the time of the quake.

As the observances were held, reminders of the struggle to rebuild were all around, with children studying inside makeshift tents erected outside their damaged school buildings.

"Many times I feel sorry for my students because it's hard to concentrate on your studies when rain and wind are coming in," Aliran Masniar Zebua, 28, a teacher in Afia village, told Reuters.
A year on, some 13,000 survivors still live in tents while only 1,448 houses have been built for displaced people.

Officials blame slow reconstruction on logistical difficulties and lack of infrastructure connecting damaged parts of the island, famed for its ancient culture and ideal surfing conditions and home to about 710,000 people.

"Nias was not particularly well-serviced by roads and good quality bridges and good quality ports even before the earthquake, so you can imagine now what the situation (is)," International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesman Paul Dillon told Reuters.

The IOM, along with the Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR), has been one of the main players in building houses in the past year.

"In one sense, there has been a lot of progress but there is a heck of a lot more to be done," Dillon added.

BRR's chief Kuntoro Mangkusubroto urged all Nias residents to support reconstruction work.
"Let's all of us build Nias, make it more developed than it used to be, especially since there is support from the international community," said Kuntoro, who presented more than 1,200 new houses to survivors Tuesday.

For some lucky individuals, the anniversary finally brought them a new roof over their heads.
"Praise the Lord, I am very blessed to have this house," Yaaro Saromatia, a 35-year-old civil servant, told Reuters outside his newly built brick home in Dahara village.

Hendrawan is still living in a home provided by the local church. "I don't receive assistance from the government," he said.

Jakarta Post - Survivors remember the dead in Nias on anniversary of quake.mht


Nias marks one year since deadly quake

AFP - Yahoo
Tuesday March 28, 03:13 PM

GUNUNG SITOLI, Indonesia (AFP) - Indonesia held emotional ceremonies to mark one year since a deadly earthquake struck Nias island, as survivors remembered lost loved ones and looked ahead to the still-huge task of rebuilding.

Survivors, officials and aid workers lay flowers and lit candles at a Christian cemetery as they prayed for the more than 850 people killed by the 8.7-magnitude quake, which injured 6,000 and left tens of thousands homeless.

The quake, the second biggest worldwide since 1964, hit three months after the Indian Ocean tsunami lashed the island's shores and killed 140 people there, but was far more devastating for Nias. Some 13,000 homes were flattened.

The head of the agency overseeing rebuilding in tsunami-hit Aceh and Nias, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, led the prayer ceremony and laid wreaths at the cemetery in Gunung Sitoli, the island's main town.

One of the survivors, 40-year-old housewife Mimi, said she had come to the cemetery to remember her mother.

"I'm very sad because I didn't have a chance to make her happy. Why did she leave us so soon?" she said, weeping as she lit a candle at her mother's grave.

Many of those buried at this cemetery were ethnic Chinese, a large minority group on Nias, which is a mainly Christian island in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
The tragedy in Nias, an island off the west coast of Sumatra, was largely overshadowed by the aftermath of the tsunami.

The walls of water on December 26, 2004 -- triggered by the biggest quake in forty years -- claimed 168,000 lives in Aceh in northern Sumatra and sparked an unprecedented global humanitarian response.

Three months after that, disaster struck Nias, with devastation strewn indiscriminately across the island where access was near impossible.

Mangkusubroto's office has said that besides the totally destroyed homes, about 58,000 suffered damage. The island's infrastructure was also badly hit, with some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) of its road network made impassable.

Physical reconstruction was only launched last December, according to the agency.
The agency handed over 1,200 ready-to-use homes to survivors on Tuesday but before that only some 200 had been rebuilt.

"Let us pray to the Almighty and remember those whose lives were lost in the earthquake last year," Mangkusubroto told survivors at a ceremony to hand over the houses.
"Going forward there are great challenges facing us. Therefore everyone should stand up to build back Nias better."

US officials dedicated two new schools and two bridges on the island to mark the day, the embassy said.

The cost of rebuilding Nias stands at one billion dollars, half of which is needed to rebuild transport infrastructure alone.

Only 235 million dollars however has been pledged by the government and international donors, Mangkusubroto's agency said in a statement Tuesday.

At another ceremony attended by thousands of schoolchildren, Nias district chief Binahati Baeha said survivors should look to the future.

"Today Nias remembers what happened one year ago. Many of our friends and relatives died. But we must not dwell on sadness. It is time for us to rebuild Nias," he said.

A moment of silence was also due to be held at 11:09 pm (1609 GMT) on the island to mark the moment the quake struck.

AFP - Indonesia's Nias marks one year since deadly quake - Yahoo! News UK.mht


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Harian Sinar Indonesia Baru » Blog Archive » Puluhan Mahasiswa Unjuk Rasa Tuntut BRR Nias Diaudit

Harian Sinar Indonesia Baru » Blog Archive » Puluhan Mahasiswa Unjuk Rasa Tuntut BRR Nias Diaudit

Gunungsitoli (SIB)Puluhan mahasiswa dari Gerakan Mahasiswa Nasional Indonesia (GMNI) berunjuk rasa di kantor BRR Perwakilan Nias, Selasa (13/5) menuntut agar dana BRR diaudit sebab selama 3 tahun pelaksanaannya dinilai tidak sesuai dengan azas manfaat.Kepala Perwakilan BRR Nias William P. Sabandar yang menerima mahasiswa meminta agar diberikan kesempatan selama dua minggu untuk menyiapkan jawaban secara tertulis mengklarifikasi tudingan mahasiswa.Adapun peryataan dari GMNI-Nias, antara lain, audit publik BRR-Nias sebab sudah tiga tahun BRR melaksanakan tugasnya di Nias secara nyata memang terlihat pembangunan fisik di mana-mana, namun tidak dapat dipungkiri pula bahwa terlalu banyak kejanggalan yang terjadi, yang memerlukan penanganan serius dari BRR-Nias itu sendiri, pemerintah, terlebih lagi pihak hukum sebab kejanggalan-kejanggalan ini terus-menerus dibiarkan dengan dalih bahwa rakyat Nias sudah menikmati hasil dari pekerjaan BRR.Menurut Pengunjukrasa, BRR di Nias sama sekali tidak profesional adalah fakta. Hal itu terlihat dari pembangunan yang sampai saat ini, BRR dinilai hanya mencoba menebak-nebak apa yang menjadi skala prioritas tanpa mengkaji faktor sosio kultural, sumber daya alam, sumber daya manusia dan faktor yang berpengaruh dalam perkembangan Nias ke depan. BRR hanya mengkambinghitamkan Bapenas tanpa ada kejelasan sudah sejauh mana dan kerjasama BRR bersama Bapenas.Lebih lanjut disebutkan, pembangunan yang tambal sulam dan tidak profesional terlihat jelas pada beberapa bukti nyata antara lain biaya operasional BRR yang nilainya sebanding bahkan hampir lebih besar daripada biaya pembangunan fisik. Ini menunjukkan anggaran BRR itu sendiri tidak direncanakan secara efektif dan efesiensi yang orientasinya menghambur-hamburkan uang rakyat. Hal ini terbukti dengan rapat-rapat BRR yang dilakukan di luar daerah dan bertempat di hotel-hotel mewah yang cukup memakan biaya besar.Dalam bulan ini saja BRR melakukan rapat koordinasi dengan berbagai elemen stakeholder di Medan bertempat di Hotel Grand Angkasa Medan dengan pembiayaan tidak realistis melihat kondisi Nias saat ini.Belum terselesaikannya jalan di Ring Rood keliling daerah Nias sebagaimana yang dijanjikan oleh William Sabandar Kepala BRR Perwakilan Nias, padahal masa tugas BRR Nias akan berakhir menjelang tahun 2009.Investasi penambahan instalasi listrik yang nilainya mencapai Rp42 miliar yang manfaatnya nihil karena tidak diimbangi dengan penambahan daya listrik. Seharusnya BRR melakukan investasi penambahan daya listrik bukan hanya pembangunan fisik saja.Pembagunan jalur evakuasi bencana alam yang belum tuntas di berbagai pelosok Nias, antara lain Gunungsitoli Desa Lasara Bahili, Desa Sisobahili belum juga kunjung direalisasikan pada hal jalur evakuasi ini sangat strategis untuk pengungsi bila terjadi gempa atau tsunami.Masih menurut pengunjukrasa, Satuan Anti Korupsi BRR Nias benar-benar mandul karena tidak berfungsi sebagaimana fungsinya sampai hari ini masyarakat tidak melihat manfaat dan terobosan yang dilakukan oleh satuan anti korupsi yang merupakan bagian dari BRR. Oleh karena itu sangat diharapkan agar Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) turun tangan membongkar berbagai kebobrokan di dalam tubuh BRR. Masalah dana sosial akhir-akhir ini di tengah-tengah masyarakat sangat rentang menimbulkan keresahan dan konflik sosial seakan-akan melempar bola panas, BRR tidak mempunya kriteria dan prosedural verifikasi yang jelas menyangkut orang-orang yang berhak menerima dana bantuan sosial Rp 2.500.000/kk.Menurut mereka, penunjukan paket kontrak tanpa melalui proses tender yang mana hal ini benar-benar melanggar ketentuan yang berlaku dan sudah menjadi bukti yang cukup kuat untuk mempidanakan BRR sendiri. Hal ini terjadi di banyak kasus BRR antara lain, PL 88 paket proyek di Nias selatan TA 2007 sampai saat ini belum diusut tuntas.GMNI-Nias menyerukan kepada seluruh rakyat untuk berani menyikapi hal ini bergerak dan beraksi agar rehabilitasi dan rekonstruksi yang diamanatkan negara untuk kemakmuran dan kesejahteraan masyarakat Nias tidak hanya memuaskan segelintir orang yang menuai rezeki di atas penderitaan bencana alam Nias.Setelah menyerahkan peryataan tersebut, GMNI meminta BRR tidak hanya janji ke janji tapi benar-benar bertindak terhadap penyelewengan dana-dana yang tidak jelas sasarannya termasuk masyarakat yang menerima bantuan perumahan tidak sesuai dengan sasaran. (T15/y)

Kompas.Com - Rumah.roboh.di.nias.baru.setahun.dibangun

Kompas.Com - Rumah.roboh.di.nias.baru.setahun.dibangun

Laporan Wartawan Persda Network, Domuara Ambarita
JAKARTA, RABU - Tiga rumah di asrama Komando Distrik Militir (Kodim) 0213/Nias yang roboh mengakibatkan seorang korban tewas merupakan bangunan baru. Bangunan itu dikerjakan tahun 2006 atas biaya dari Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi (BRR) Perwakilan Nias. Namun bangunannya rapuh karena diduga pengerjaannya menyalahi standar konstruksi.

"Rumah ini sebenarnya masih baru, dibangun tahun 2006 dari dana BRR yang dilaksanakan dan diawasi sendiri oleh Kodim Nias. Mungkin ada kesalahan konstruksi sehingga daya mudah roboh kalu kena gempa," ujar Manajer Komunikasi dan Informasi Publik Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi (BRR) Perwakilan Nias, Emanuel Migo, dihubungi dari Jakarta, Rabu (23/1).

Migo menerangkan di asrama Kodim ini dibangun 10 kopple bangunan, yang terdiri atas 20 unit rumah/pintu. Konstruksi atapnya dibuat dari kerangka besi, dan sebagai pemisah dibuat tembok dari bata.

Komandan Distrik Militer (Dandim) 0213/Nias Letkol CZI Ferry K Arubinata dihubungi via telepon seluler dari Jakarta mengakui terjadi kerusakan pada tiga rumah. Dia menyebutnya rusak ringan, tembok dalamnya dan tembok penahan kuda-kuda roboh.

Lekot Ferry mengakui, pembangunan rumah-rumah itu didanai BRR. Dia pun mengakui kemungkinan ada kesalahan konstruksi, tetapi bukan hal itu sepenuhnya penyebab utama bangunan tidak tahan gempa.

"Faktor konstruksi mungkin juga ada, tapi tidak seluruhnya. Kesalahan kontruksi mungkin terjadi, tetapi tidak sampai menyalahi tender, mungkin ada curi-curi semen. Tapi menurut saya bukan karena kesalahan konstruksi saja, mungkin karena tanahnya dekat sekali dengan tepi laut jadi tanahnya labil," ujar Letkol Ferry.

Kompas.Com - Seorang.bocah.tewas.dalam.gempa.nias

Kompas.Com - Seorang.bocah.tewas.dalam.gempa.nias

Rabu, 23 Januari 2008 11:45 WIB
Laporan Wartawan Kompas, Aufrida Wismi Warastri
MEDAN, RABU - Seorang bocah tewas dalam bencana gempa 6,2 skala richter yang mengguncang Nias, Rabu (23/1) dinihari. Sementara dua orang lainnya mengalami luka berat dan dua lagi luka ringan. Data ini diungkapkan Emanuel Migo, dari Divisi Komunikasi Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekostruksi (BRR) Nias, saat dihubungi Kompas, Rabu siang.

Emanuel menjelaskan seluruh korban ditemukan pada satu titik di lokasi gempa di asrama/perumahan Komando Daerah Militer Nias. Korban tewas dan terluka akibat tertimpa reruntuhan tembok dan kayu kuda-kuda bangunan rumah yang berbentuk kopel. Ada tiga unit rumah kopel yang mengalami kerusakan di daerah ini.

Bangunan di kompleks ini dibangun dengan dana BRR yang dilaksanakan dan diawasi sendiri oleh pihak Kodim Nias dengan peruntukan sebagai rumah tinggal dan kompleks perkantoran TNI. Sejauh ini, belum ada laporan menganai kerusakan lebih lanjut dari gempa ini.

Berdasarkan data BMG, episentrum gempa berada di pantai dekat Nias, sekitar 170 kilometer dari Kota Sibolga. Menurut keterangan ahli meteorologi dari Amerika Serikat, gempa yang terjadi pada pukul 12.14 itu berada di kedalaman 12,8 kilometer. (GLO)

Kompas.Com - Gempa.62.skala.richter.goncang.nias

Kompas.Com - Gempa.62.skala.richter.goncang.nias

Gempa 6,2 Skala Richter Goncang Nias

Rabu, 23 Januari 2008 01:47 WIB
NIAS, RABU - Gempa besar berkekuatan 6,2 skala Richter menggoncang Nias, Rabu (23/1) dini hari. Namun, sejauh ini belum ada tanda-tanda akan terjadi tsunami.

Episentrum gempa berada di pantai dekat Nias, sekitar 170 kilometer dari Kota Sibolga. Menurut keterangan ahli meteorologi dari Amerika Serikat, gempa yang terjadi pada pukul 12.14 itu berada di kedalaman 12,8 kilometer.

Belum ada laporan resmi tentang akibat gempa tersebut. Sementara menurut Pusat Tsunami Peringatan Tsunami Pasifik di Hawaii, belum terindikasi adanya tanda-tanda bakal tsunami.

Indonesia memang berada di lokasi yang disebut Ring of Fire, atau tempat bertemunya lempengan benua. Sehingga aktivitas seismik dan volkanik sangat sering terjadi.

Gempa menjadi trauma besar bagi warga Nias. Pada tahun 2005, pulau itu digoncang gempa berkekuatan 8,2 skala richter yang menewaskan 850 orang dan ribuan lainnya kehilangan tempat tinggal.

Sebelumnya, Desember 2004, gempa juga meluluhlantakkan Aceh. Bahkan, gempa itu juga disertai tsunami besar yang menewaskan sekitar 168.000 orang.

Pada 27 Mei 2006, gantian wilayah Bantul, Jogjakarta yang dihajar gempa berkekuatan 5,8 skala richter. Gempa tersebut menewaskan sekitar 5000 orang. (AFP/HPR)

Tujuh Instruksi Kepala BRR Nias

Kompas.Com -

Rabu, 23 Januari 2008 14:23 WIB
Laporan Wartawan Persda Network, Domuara Ambarita

JAKARTA, RABU - Pascagempa yang mengguncang Gunungsitoli, Pulau Nias, Sumatera Utara, Rabu (23/1) dinihari tadi, KepalaBadan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi (BRR) Perwakilan Nias William Sabandar mengeluarkan tujuh instruksi sebagai langkah-langkah prioritas penanggulangan situasi.

"Langkah-langkah ini harus kita lakukan segera dalam penanganan pascagempa Nias tadi pagi," ujar William Sabandar dalam pernyataan tertulis yang disampaikan kepada Persda Network. Instruksi ini disampaikan kepada semua staf BRR perwakilan Nias.

Ketujuh instruksi itu adalah:
1. Berikan bantuan/ucapan belasungkawa kepada keluarga korban
2. Segera turunkan tim teknis untuk memeriksa konstruksi dari seluruh unit di asrama Kodim Nias, sebab kelihatannya itu kesalahan konstruksi tembok pembatas
3. Koordinasikan dengan Dandim jika ada bangunan lain yang tidak aman, maka segera evakuasi warga asrama ke tempat aman
4. Siapkan rencana perbaikan konstruksi hari ini juga
5. Anggaran perbaikan ambil dari anggaran bantuan langsung masyarakat (BLM) perumahan kita
6. Segera setelah kondisi memungkinkan minggu ini, turunkan tim teknis untuk melakukan rehab pada rumah-rumah tersebut, termasuk rumah-rumah yang tidak layak konstruksi. Pengawasan teknis oleh kita, tenaga pelaksana dari TNI/Kodim
7. Pelaksanaan dikoordinasikan dengan Dandim Nias.

ANTARA :: Aceh-Nias BRR to hand assets worth Rp500 billion to Nias district govt

ANTARA :: Aceh-Nias BRR to hand assets worth Rp500 billion to Nias district govt

Medan, W Java (ANTARA News) - The Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) and eight donor agencies will hand reconstruction assets worth Rp500.367 billion to the Nias and South Nias district administrations in North Sumatra province and four central government institutions.

The head of the BRR office in Nias, William P. Sabandar, said in a statement made available here on Monday, the assets would be handed at a function to be held in Gunung Sitoli, Nias, on Friday.

"All the assets are in ready-to-function condition and are part of the BRR`s commitment to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Nias following the quake that hit the region three years ago," he said.

Among the BRR`s partners in the rehabilitation and reconstruction work were United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Children`s Fund (Unicef), World Vision Indonesia (WVI), The Johanniter, Mercy Malaysia and Hallcrow.

The cooperation and facilitating work carried out by BRR during the reconstruction in Nias along with 25 donor countries and more than 80 international and national donor institutions for the past three years had brought real results both in mitigatting the people`s plight following the disaster and laid a better foundation for development in Nias and South Nias," he said.

In a bid to encourage long-term commitment to sustainable development, on the handing over ceremony BRR Nias would also invite donor countries and institutions to observe directly the progress of the reconstruction and rehabilitation works.

He added the assets` handing this week would be the third, adding the total assets ready to be used had a total value of Rp1 trillion.

The total asset, he added, did not include assistance channeled directly to the people, including health, education and housing units.

Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto and Trade Minister Mari Elka Pengestu would attend the ceremony and symbolically had the building housing the Nias district chief`s office and the Ya`ahowu modern marker to the Nias district administration.

The function would be led by the head of the Aceh-Nias BRR Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, he added.(*)


PubDate: 05/12/08 22:01

BRR to focus on Nias, wind up work by 2009

ReliefWeb » Document » Indonesia: BRR to focus on Nias, wind up work by 2009

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The Aceh-Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) wants to wrap up its additional Nias earthquake plan by 2009, despite the Nias administration asserting the work should continue through to 2011.
A BRR official said Monday in Jakarta that the previous rehabilitation and reconstruction plan had not taken into consideration the damage from the May 2005 earthquake that killed almost 1,000 people.
"The action plan is designed to evaluate the two-year post-tsunami program and initiate the two-year program that will culminate in 2009, as well as accommodate an additional exit strategy," said William Sabandar, the head of BRR's Nias office.
He said reconstruction work in Nias was nearly 40 percent complete and should be finished by April 2009.
William was speaking Monday at a seminar on BRR's Nias action plan. The 2007 plan will focus more on the development of electrical and telecommunications infrastructure, housing, social institutions and on making the economy more competitive.
The BRR will begin transferring responsibility for the development plan to the local administration next year, with the expectation that Nias officials will be able to handle any future disasters.
"The transition will initiate in 2008 and must be finished by 2009," William said, adding that BRR's "exit transfer" is non-negotiable.
The Nias administration and the BRR established a joint-secretariat for the exit transfer back in May 2006. The BRR was created to function as a facilitator to coordinate planning, programming and evaluation and to manage information and data in accordance with the rehabilitation and reconstruction program. It also works to strengthen the stakeholders' relationships and promote good governance.
"The joint-secretariat is expected to take over all of BRR's programs," William said.
He said that starting this year, every plan would be derived from the secretariat.
With the livelihoods of thousands hinging on success or failure, it is hoped an efficient, successful partnership can be developed between the BRR and the local administration.
William said the BRR would begin cutting back on its personnel starting next year because of a dwindling budget, and that the agency was focused on completing its work based on the action plan program.
Meanwhile, Nias Vice Regent Temazaro Harefa said the BRR would have to extend its plan to 2011 because the rehabilitation and reconstruction program seems unlikely to be completed within the next two years.
He said the program had not been optimal and that the people of Nias are unhappy about its progress.
The head of the South Nias Development Planning Agency, Herman Laia, said the BRR needed to increase security and defense in Nias's outer islands and develop the fishery and tourism potentials around the islands.
According to 2007 data from the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), total losses in Nias are estimated at Rp 6 trillion (US$682 million).
William said the BRR had received Rp 2.5 trillion from the national budget and Rp 2 trillion from the Multi-Donor Fund, United Nation agencies, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Red Cross and Oxfam.
The BRR plans to ask the Indonesian government and donors to provide the remaining Rp 1.5 trillion.
By February 2007, the BRR had constructed 9,000 houses, relaid 200 kilometers of roads, rebuilt 70 bridges and a number of irrigation networks and also repaired about 300 fishing boats.
The island needs an additional 15,000 new houses, as well as repairs to 45,000 damaged homes and buildings. (08)

BRR appoints head of Nias and Jakarta office

ReliefWeb » Document » Indonesia: BRR appoints head of Nias and Jakarta office

Banda Aceh, Indonesia-Relief -- William Sabandar has been appointed BRR’s head of Nias office to ensure the reconstruction process on Nias Island proceeds smoothly. William is working with several other BRR staff, who set up the base in Nias a month earlier, said BRR's latest update. Last week in a seminar in Jakarta, Heru Prasety introduced himself as BRR's head of Jakarta office, as well as director for International and Donors relation.

William Sabandar is a PhD in Transport Development and Rural Economics with 10 years experience as a transport planner in eastern Indonesia. He worked as Head of the Transport Planning Section in the Public Works Bureau of Maluku province for almost 3 years and was also Project Manager of Planning and Supervision of Road Development, and Planning Assistant of the Project of Planning and Supervision of Road Development in the same province. In the 1990’s, he also lectured at the Christian University of Maluku, Indonesia.

William is also active in several professional organizations. He is a member of the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD) and the Indonesian Road Development Association (HPJI).

Speaking of his new responsibilities, William said, ''The process of setting up the base in Nias is going well. The commitment and spirit that drive this team in this humanitarian mission have balanced any technical constraints we are facing.''

The local government and several NGOs, both local and international, have assisted the BRR Nias team. The District Head of Nias, Binahati Baeha, has provided the team with temporary accommodation in his Pendopo (hall), and has allowed them to use it as a meeting room. HELP, a German NGO, has lent them a vehicle, while UN OCHA has provided them with a space for coordination with other organizations. Air Putih organization has assisted with the internet connection.

In regards to coordination, William said, ''Since the first day, I have seen that coordination is and will continue to be a central issue in the process of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Nias. The central, provincial and local governments, BRR, international agencies, and international and local NGOs are engaged in the process. BRR in Nias needs to work with all the parties mentioned above. In addition, the people of Nias, who are organized through village organizations, religious institutions, cultural entities and other forms of civil societies should not be overlooked in the coordination process.''

William commented, ''There is a need to speed up the reconstruction for strategic roads and main ports. More importantly, supply chains need to be strategically designed to avoid bottlenecks during the reconstruction and rehabilitation process.'' © nas

Thursday, July 17, 2008

BRR Minta SDM di Nias Ditingkatkan

Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi (BRR) Regional VI Nias berharap Pemerintah Provinsi Sumatera Utara mendukung penuh peningkatan kualitas sumber daya manusia (SDM) di wilayah kepulauan tersebut. ”Peningkatan SDM itu sangat diperlukan untuk bisa mengelola aset yang sudah selesai dibangun di Nias dan akan diserahkan semuanya pada April 2009,” kata Kepala BRR Regional VI Nias, William Sahbandar, Rabu (16/7) di Medan. Didampingi Direktur Transisi BRR NAD, Mirsa Kemala, seusai bertemu Gubernur Sumut H Syamsul Arifin, ia mengatakan, aset itu semakin bermanfaat untuk warga Nias dengan SDM yang memadai. William menjelaskan, sejak tahun 2005, BRR Nias telah membangun 14.000 unit rumah dari target 20.000 unit dan 700 unit sekolah yang akan dituntaskan pekerjaannya hingga April 2009. (MAR/ANTARA)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Penanganan Bencana Aceh-Nias Cocok Untuk Myanmar

Berita Detik News, (11/5, 2008). Klik judul untuk membaca berita.

BRR dan 8 Donor Serahkan Aset Rp 500 Miliar di Nias

Berita Medan Bisnis, Senin (12/5, 2008). Klik di halaman judul untuk membaca berita.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pembangunan Di Nias Mesti Didukung Transportasi Laut

Medan, WASPADA Online

Tokoh masyarakat Sumut, H. Chairuman Harahap, SH, MH menegaskan, sektor transportasi laut ke Pulau Nias merupakan sektor vital. Karena itu, transportasi laut harus lebih diperhatikan dengan meningkatkan frekuensinya.

“Nias perlu dibuka dari isolasi sehingga dapat dilakukan percepatan pembangunan. Karena itu, jalur transportasi laut yang sudah ada perlu lebih dipersering frekuensinya, ” ujar Chairuman, Selasa (8/5). Dengan semakin seringnya pelayaran laut, maka semakin terbuka peluang untuk percepatan pembangunan di Pulau Nias.

Pada awalnya, pemerintah mesti memberi rangsangan agar ferry-ferry penyeberangan ke Pulau Nias lebih sering lagi. Caranya dengan memberikan subsidi beroperasinya kapal-kapal penyeberangan. “Kalau ekonomi sudah tumbuh maka kapal-kapal tersebut dapat dioperasionalkan sendiri oleh masyarakat, pemerintah tidak perlu lagi memberikan subsidi,” ucapnya.

Sektor pariwisata salah satu sektor andalan Pulau Nias, akan lebih berkembang jika jalur transportasi laut dimaksimalkan. “Semakin banyaknya jalur transportasi laut, maka akan semakin banyak orang mengunjungi Pulau Nias. Dengan sendirinya roda perekonomian rakyat semakin terpacu.”

Perlu juga dipersiapkan berbagai fasilitas pendukung untuk lebih merangsang orang datang ke Nias. Misalnya promosi yang efektif ‘menjual’ keindahan Pulau Nias kepada masayrakat di luar Nias, baik di dalam maupun di luar negeri.

Selain itu perlu disiapkan peta pariwisata memadai. Misalnya akses menuju objek wisata seperti daerah-daerah eksotik dan tempat-tempat menarik lainnya, termasuk fasilitas pendukung pariwisata seperti hotel atau resort.

“Tak kalah pentingnya, sikap penerimaan dari masyarakat sekitar agar menciptakan suasana nyaman bagi sapa saja yang datang ke Pulau Nias sehingga menimbulkan keinginan orang untuk datang lagi.”

Maka, untuk perkembangna pembangunan di Pulau Nias di masa mendatang harus ada semacam komitmen dari masyarakat dan pemerintah daerah untuk memiliki kesadaran yang tinggi bagi terciptanya suasana yang nyaman bagi para pelancong. Bagaimana Bali yang demikian terkenalnya ke seluruh dunia karena sektor pariwisatanya, padahal Pulau Nias juga memiliki eksotisme yang tak kalah menarik dari Pulau Bali.

“Kita optimis pembangunan di Pulau Nias ke depan akan lebih cerah jika ditopang komitmen yang kuat dari masayarakat dan pemerintah,” katanya.(m12) (wns)

Sumber: Waspada, 8 Mei 2007