Still nursing the wounds from recent devastating quakes, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is rebuilding as tens of thousands of traumatized people are still living in shelters. However, it is feared that bureaucratic procedures that go along with the badly needed relief will hamper efforts to help the survivors rise from the rubble, The Jakarta Post correspondent in Mataram Panca Nugraha reports.

by Panca Nugraha

The next six months will be a difficult time for NTB, which is trying to get back on its feet after a string of earthquakes wrought havoc on the region, killing more than 500 people, leaving more than 445,000 others homeless and destroying much of its economic infrastructure. The natural disaster inflicted a loss of no less than Rp 7 trillion (US$469.68 million), according to official estimates. The challenge is especially daunting given the series of quakes — the strongest jolt being 6.9-magnitude — have affected the whole Lombok and nearby lesser islands with varying degrees of severity. Already, wary displaced people who have spent almost two months in shelters decry the government’s promised recon-struction funds that have yet to materialize. A 2,500-strong joint task force that distributes relief aid, carries out demolition and clears sites before rebuilding ...