Tue, Apr 10, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Morakot rebuilding shifts to industry

Staff writer, with CNA

The public and private sectors will continue to help survivors of Typhoon Morakot to rebuild their homes and bring new life to local industries, an official said yesterday.

Most of the permanent housing units built for victims whose homes were destroyed when the storm battered the nation in August 2009, leading to the worst flooding in 50 years, have been completed, Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council chief executive Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川) said.

Since the disaster, several non-governmental organizations (NGO) and private enterprises have worked together with the council to help 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 are complete or nearly finished nationwide, the next step is to reconstruct and revive industrial development in the affected areas, he said.

“The reconstruction work will be integrated with tourism, the ecosystem, culture, creative industry and organic farming,” Chern said.

Examples highlighted during the meeting included Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s — the world’s largest contract chipmaker — efforts to help residents in the scenic Alishan area to establish two factories: One to process bamboo and the other tea.

Alishan Township (阿里山) was inundated by a record 2,855mm of rainfall in four days during the typhoon, with the resulting floods sweeping away farmland, factories and homes. The two facilities are expected to be a boost for Aborigines living in Lijia Village (里佳).

Another example is a project initiated by Hon Hai Group, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, to set up an organic farm in Greater Kaohsiung’s Shanlin District (杉林).

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 continue with the reconstruction work.

“We’ll remain committed to collaborating with enterprises and NGOs” to usher 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.

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