Aramco Singapore provides safe housing and clean water to residents in Batam, Indonesia

Certificate of appreciation ceremony
Marwa Al-Khuzaim (left), Aramco Singapore Managing Director, receiving a certification of appreciation from Yong Teck Meng (right), Habitat of Humanity Singapore National Director on 2 October 2020.

Joins Habitat for Humanity to mark World Habitat Day with the completion of the Batam Build project.

Aramco Singapore and Habitat for Humanity have completed the construction of 16 secure homes and 15 connections to clean water, in conjunction with World Habitat Day.

Since 2015, Aramco Singapore has partnered with Habitat Singapore and Habitat Indonesia to improve the lives of 77 families in Batam, Indonesia, through home building and providing residents with access to clean water. Aramco volunteers from Singapore have made several trips to Batam to build the houses alongside the home-owners.

Marwa Al-Khuzaim, Aramco Asia Singapore Managing Director, said, “Aramco strongly believes that the real value of energy lies in its potential to serve the needs of human progress and development. We are heartened to see our partnership with Habitat making a real difference in the lives of people in Kabil and transforming the community, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic."

According to UN-Habitat, COVID-19 has spread in areas where people lack adequate housing. In Kabil Village, with over 4,500 families and over 20,000 residents, 40% are living in substandard houses that are susceptible to structural safety issues during the monsoon season.

Mr. Susanto Samsudin, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia National Director, said, “During this pandemic, it is important for families to stay at home. Unfortunately, most villagers in Kabil, do not have safe and healthy homes to shelter in. We appreciate Aramco's commitment in partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build decent and healthy houses to strengthen the community's resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic. This partnership has not only provided these families homes, but also dignity and hope for the future.”

One of the beneficiaries of the project is Astuti. Astuti and her family of four lived in a small rental house made of scrap materials in Kabil village, on Batam island. Her husband Hajaruddin, a daily wage laborer, earns around 3 million Indonesian rupiah (US$200) monthly. After paying rent and buying necessities, saving up for a home proved impossible. Astuti’s wish finally came true in April 2020 when her family moved into their own home. "I’ve never felt this excited. We used to have a hard time allocating money between food and housing. Now that we own a house, we can afford a better life for my children,” she said.

Astuti and family
Astuti with her family in front of their new home.

As a holistic programme, Habitat for Humanity's Batam operations provide the Kabil villagers with training in basic construction and hygiene practices, and also conducts tree planting, which is beneficial to environment.

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