Sleman, Yogyakarta -- Although three months have passed since the recentdevastating eruptions of Indonesia's Mount Merapi, most of the temporaryshelters the government promised to build for displaced victims are not yet ready for occupation, according to a local official.
"Many of the shelters that have been built cannot yet be occupied due toproblems related to the supporting infrastructure," Sleman District ChiefSri Purnomo told reporters when he accompanied Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubowono X on a visit to shelters at Banjarsari, Glagaharjoand Cangkringan, on Saturday. Through Feb. 15, the official said, 1,651 shelter units had been built, or65 percent of the total of 2,613 units to be built. Only 657 shelters areoccupied.
Purnomo said that the problems with the shelters include lack ofelectricity and clean water facilities. The electric grid has not reachedthe areas where the shelters are built due to a lack of power lines, hesaid.
In addition, many shelters do not have clean water because they are at ahigh elevation, making the digging of deep wells problematic. They arealso far from existing water supplies.
Sanitation facilities and drainage pipes also have not yet beenconstructed and rain water floods many areas where the shelters arelocated.
Besides those technical problems, Purnomo said, there has been resistancefrom some villagers who only want to move with their neighbors fromdestroyed villages.
Mount Merapi, among the world's most active volcanoes, erupted violentlyfrom Oct. 26 through mid November 2010, killing 354 people and displacinghundreds of thousands from the slopes of the mountain.