|"AIRO Big Fish" Chapter 1, 28 July, 2005-Eddie Bloom, AIRO VP
AIRO has now established our own Indonesian non-profit foundation with the
Indonesian Government, called "AIRO Yayasan", and signed a two-year lease on the
AIRO Krueng Raya boat-building facility. We are currently working with LDS charities and
the UN-FAO to build an additional 56 fishing boats there. Under development are still
larger projects in Lhokseumawe and Mulia.
AIRO has also recently secured a two-year lease on "AIRO Big Fish" - our new office and
living quarters in Peunayong, Banda Aceh. It is located in the heart of some of the worst
tsunami-hit areas here and is adjacent to neighboring Lampulo, one of the largest
fishing centers in all of Aceh Province. Appropriately anointed "AIRO Big Fish", the
3-story flat is nestled right on the waterway leading out to the Indian Ocean, overlooking
the large fishing boats of Lampulo out back and the bazaar and fish markets out front.
After 6 weeks of major renovation, we finally moved into Big Fish a week ago. It is a
beautiful example of restoration and recovery. We have plans to beautify the entire area
surrounding Big Fish. It is a small miracle that we already have phone and Internet
AIRO projects have also grown considerably since the initial 10, 9-meter boats were
completed and provided to the village of Krueng Raya. AIRO is currently working together
with LDS Charities to build 26, 5-meter traditional Acehnese fishing boats at our Krueng
Raya site. Each boat will be provided to two families that have been certified by local
authorities to have lost a fishing boat in the tsunami.
AIRO is also working with the UN-FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) to build 30,
7.5 meter Acehnese fishing boats, also on the AIRO Krueng Rayasite. Wood will be
ordered for this project within the next week and dry on the racks for at least another 3-4
weeks before any work can be started.
Additionally, AIRO has reached agreement with a local builder to construct a 20-meter x
10meter covered boat shed, and a large wood-drying rack on the AIRO Krueng Raya
facility. The shed will shelter workers from the sun and rain and will provide electricity on
the building site. The rack will ensure that the wood dries properly and will allow us to
work multiple boat-building projects simultaneously. The rack is scheduled to be
completed within the next week or two, the shed within the next 3 to 4 weeks.
There is so much to get done here, we can hardly limit AIRO relief work to Krueng Raya -
we are sure the facility there will be kept busy building boats for at least the next two
years. But it will not be enough. AIRO is currently working with other fishing cooperatives
and Indonesian Foundations/Yayasans to establish other boat-building facilities.
I just visited the village of Lhokseumawe. It is about a 6-hour drive down the west coast
from Banda Aceh. Four different cooperatives there have formed an Indonesian
Foundation/Yayasan and are ready to go to work. Two different boat-building teams,
each headed by a local master craftsman, would work on these boats.
In Mulia, just down the road from Big Fish, still another Indonesian Yayasan has
requested fishing boats: one 23-meter and 10, 11-meter cabin-style boats. The master
boat craftsman there has a crew of 24 men but needs materials, land-clearing and a
boat-shed and wood racks to be able to work.
And next to Mulia in Lampulo we are developing proposals to fix and rig with nets 8
different large fishing vessels. These are mostly 23-25 meter boats that use 1200 meter
fishing nets and bring in 5-10 tons of fish per week!
All of these projects will have large impacts on livelihood recovery that will ripple out into
the local economy. AIRO is currently seeking supporters and partners to fund this
important tsunami reconstruction work.
Otherwise, all is well in Banda Aceh, just very busy. And busy is good.
Building Hope in Aceh,
|Journal Entries - Click to
16 April 2006 - Eddie
22 January 2006 - Eric
27 September 2005 - Eric
6 September 2005 - Eddie
1 August 2005 - Eddie
28 July 2005 - Eddie
4 July 2005 - Aaron
16 June 2005 - Aaron
19 May 2005 – Eric
18 May 2005 - Aaron
24 April 2005 – Aaron
14 April 2005 – Eric
29 March 2005 – Eric
28 March 2005 - IM-Aaron/Eric
26 March 2005 – Eric
25 March 2005 – Eric
15 March 2005 – Aaron
16 March 2005 – Eric
11 March 2005 – Eric
3 March 2005 – Eric
27 February 2005 – Eric
23 February 2005 – Aaron
23 February 2005 – Eric
20-22 February 2005 – Eric
18 February 2005 – Eddie
18 February 2005 – Eric
16 February 2005 – Eddie
10-12 February 2005 – Eric
12 February 2005 – Eddie
11 February 2005 – Aaron
10 February 2005 – Eddie
9 February 2005 – Eddie
7 February 2005 – Eddie
5 February 2005 – Eddie
5 February 2005 – Part 2 –
4 February 2005 – Eddie
2 February 2005 – Aaron
1 February 2005 – Eddie
30 January 2005 – Eric