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Public, private sectors continue to help Morakot survivors

2012/04/09 16:18:15

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) The public and private sectors will continue to help survivors of Typhoon Morakot -- which in 2009 led to Taiwan's worst flooding in 50 years -- to rebuild their homes and bring new life to local industries, an official said Monday.

Most of the permanent housing units built for survivors whose homes were destroyed when the storm battered Taiwan in August 2009 have now been completed, said Chern Jenn-chuan, CEO of the Cabinet's Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council.

Since the disaster, several private enterprises and non-government organizations (NGOs) have also joined efforts with the council in helping the survivors get back on their feet, Chern said at a briefing on the progress of the reconstruction work.

Now that eight permanent housing complexes around the country are complete or nearly finished, the next step is to reconstruct and revive industrial development in the affected areas, he said.

"The reconstruction work is to be integrated with tourism, the ecosystem, the culture and creative industry and organic farming," Chern added.

Examples highlighted in the meeting include an effort by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chip maker, to help residents in the scenic Alishan area of southern Taiwan to set up factories to process bamboo and tea.

Alishan Township was inundated by a record 2,855 millimeters of rainfall in four days during the typhoon, with the resulting floods sweeping away farmland, factories and homes.

The two facilities are expected to usher in a new era for the aboriginal people who live in the area's Lijia Village.

Another example is a project initiated by the Taiwan-based Hon Hai Group, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, to set up an organic farm in Shanlin District, Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.

Meanwhile, NGOs such as the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, the Taiwan branch of World Vision and the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China will also continue their efforts in the reconstruction work.

"We'll remain committed to collaborating with enterprises and NGOs" in ushering in sustainable development for the areas under reconstruction, Chern said.

Typhoon Morakot brought torrential rain that triggered flooding and massive landslides in central and southern Taiwan, leaving nearly 700 people dead or missing.

(By Elaine Hou)