» 02/12/2008, 00.00
A new community is born from the tsunami
The story of how fishermen who have lost their homes have invented a new way of building houses, and rediscovered human solidarity.
Phang-Nga (AsiaNews) - After the tsunami in 2004 in Ban Nam Khem, in the province of Phang-Nga, the Thai government, with international aid, has built new homes for only 700 of the 2,000 families of the fisherman. But many have rejected them because they are far away from the sea, their only source of income.
"So those who have lost their homes", recounts Jira Chummalee, the wife of a fisherman, "and did not want one of the new ones because it was far away from the sea have proposed to the government the purchase, with international aid, of a bit of land near the sea". There, 50 families have built new homes by themselves. Prachuck Krichongreug, the group's leader, recounts that "the government has provided us a volunteer architect to guide us with the construction process".
"We built up our own community according to our own plan, with a central area for parking, a playground and a ‘recreation centre’ where everyone comes to join together". The new community is called 'Suktawesapmangkong', "from 'suktawe', meaning 'happier', and 'sapmangkong', which signifies the security from saving something of what you earn", explains Sakda Pornrangsri . "We were able to build the houses", he continues, "without having to take out a loan with high interest. Someone does the cooking for all, and even the children participate during the weekend". "Still today, at the group home, we take turns doing the cooking for each other. When we return from the sea, we distribute what we did not sell to our neighbour". "Some", Prachuck says, "say we are stupid not to stay in the houses provided by the government. But we are very proud that we have not only built our own homes, but we are building a close-knit community".
The Church will rise stronger from the ashes of Orissa
The president of the Indian bishops' conference tells AsiaNews about his recent visit to the zone of Bubhaneshwar, at the centre of the violence at Christmas against the local Christian community. Here the extremist fury has claimed six lives and destroyed dozens of homes and churches. Thousands of refugees are afraid to return home. "In spite of the suffering, hope shines in the eyes of Christians".
UN and United States decry new homes in east Jerusalem
The Israeli government has announced the building of 884 new residences in an area that it considers part of the Holy City, but is in Transjordan and is viewed by the Palestinians as the capital of their future state.
23/12/2005 SRI LANKA
Tsunami emergency over but housing remains priority
The work of Caritas and other NGOs has yielded satisfying results. All have shelter but many people are still living in centres for displaced. The government has forbidden reconstruction along the coast but it has yet to identify land for new homes.
Tsunami survivors ditch aid agency
Oxfam is under fire from survivors of the tragedy, who claim the agency has not yet started construction works on homes promised a year ago.
Aceh: Reconstruction in highly polluted areas allowed
Local authorities, behind schedule in building houses for those left homeless by the tsunami, have allowed displaced people to build homes in banned areas. The WWF says around 1,600 such homes have been built "in areas prone to natural disasters and contaminated by toxic substances."
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
15/10/2016 INDIA - VATICAN
15/10/2016 BANGLADESH - CHINA
14/10/2016 SYRIA - VATICAN
14/10/2016 UNITED NATIONS
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.