Nias island with its population of 700 000 in Indonesia is going through an accelerated process of modernization after it was hit by an earthquake.
Hundreds were killed while thousands became homeless after an 8.7 magnitude quake hit on 28 March 2005.
US$2.7 billion has since gone into the reconstructing these quake areas, especially Aceh and Nias.
This effort was spearheaded at the highest level by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) since May 2005.
BRR stopped functioning on 16 April 2009 as it had completed its mission of coordinating reconstruction effort.
Some of BRR’s funded program will still continue to its fruition.
11 Indonesian doctors are trained at the University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta and will be serving the hospitals at the quake affected area in 2012.
44 healthcare workers have also gone on regional trips to study and improve their skills.
The affected areas now enjoy brand new infrastructure while many makeshift buildings and homes built after the quake have since been reconstructed to make them safer.
New infrastructures include bridges and roads.
Other agencies and NGOs like the Red Cross have also set up facilities for orphaned children and agricultural programs.
A new US$14 million hospital Gunung Sitoli General Hospital has also been constructed.
There remains a need for more funding and help as health problems continue to surface in Nias.
For example, paper gowns and gloves donated as part of the quake relief efforts have run out.
Ng, Sor Luan, “Quake-hit areas vastly improved” dated 2 May 2009 in the Straits Times (Singapore: SPH), 2009, p. C8.