Fri, 09 May 2003

Govt readies Rp 10b for Ambon

AMBON, Maluku: The provincial government of Maluku has allotted just Rp 10 billion (about US$1.14 million) to rebuild infrastructure in the provincial capital Ambon after three years of sectarian clashes.

Head of the Maluku public works agency, Pieter Mustamu, said on Thursday that the funds were drawn from this year's provincial budget.

He said his office planned to repair the city's drinking water facilities, remove garbage piled in the gutters and dredge the rivers which run through Ambon.

The funds would also be used to build garbage dump sites and repair a number of damaged roads in the city.

Pieter said he hoped to complete the project within two months with the help of the public and the Indonesian Military (TNI).

Life in Ambon is slowly returning to normal after last year's signing of a peace accord to end a three-year war between the Christian and Muslim communities in Maluku.

The province remains under a civil emergency status as sporadic violence continues. -- Antara