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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Nauru Asylum Seekers May Get Permanent Housing Soon
Slow progress in construction due to design, planning process

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 15, 2012) – The President of Nauru says he hopes construction of permanent buildings to house the nearly 400 asylum seekers sent by Australia can begin next month.

The asylum seekers, who began arriving on Nauru two months ago, are living in tents and complain about cramped conditions, heat and humidity.

Sprent Dabwido says he had expected more progress to have been made by now but he says the planning and design is a complicated process.

He says it is taking up most of his government’s time working out with the Australians what to build but he says they want permanent structures that suit everyone’s needs.

"Both in Manus Island and Nauru Island the camps before were really makeshift buildings. We want to do it more properly and that’s want is taking more time. But the effort and the good gesture behind it to get this up and going to make people at the camp more comfortable is definitely there. We are really pushing for that."

Radio New Zealand International:
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