President orders relocation of Sinabung victims before 2015 end

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed that efforts to relocate the victims of the Mount Sinabung volcanic eruption be completed before the end of 2015.

"I have assigned the commander of the Bukit Barisan military command to expedite and supervise the efforts to relocate the Sinabung refugees," he said in a limited cabinet meeting here on Monday.

The president has signed a presidential decree, No. 21 Year 2015, on The Task Force for Acceleration of Relocation of Victims affected by Mount Sinabung eruption.

The construction of new houses for refugees must be undertaken with their involvement so that they also have a sense of belonging, he stated.

The limited cabinet meeting was attended by, among others, the Coordinating Minister for the Development of Humans and Culture, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the Education Minister, the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister, the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister/State Secretary, the Social Affairs Minister, and the National Police Chief, the Military Chief, and the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Every element of the government must act fast in order to expedite the relocation of those affected by the volcano in Karo District, North Sumatra Province, he remarked.

"Dont let the inhabitants stay too long in the refugee camps. I hope the relocation efforts will be completed by the end of this year," he said.

Commander of the Bukit Barisan Military Command Major General Lodewyk Pusung is expected to ensure that the work is completed within the deadline.

The government is building 122 houses for the inhabitants of the Bekerah village, 128 for Sumakeriah villagers, and 103 for residents of Simacem village.(*)