Asia tsunami response: New beginnings - 2006 progress report
Two years after the South Asia Tsunami hit the coastlines of 12 countries, rehabilitation efforts have gathered pace, and communities are steering their futures with new livelihood opportunities, permanent homes, improved infrastructure and reduced vulnerability to future disasters.
More than 2,200 staff have worked alongside tsunami-affected communities to implement an integrated recovery program in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Since December 2004, World Vision has expended USD213 million on reconstruction, health, education, child-focused programs, livelihood recovery, advocacy, protection and emergency-preparedness interventions.
As rehabilitation efforts have advanced, new challenges have arisen. This report examines the accomplishments and issues faced during the past year, and the innovative projects that are bringing hope to tsunami-affected communities.
REBUILDING HOMES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Rebuilding areas devastated by the tsunami remains a complex endeavour. Challenges include identifying suitable land on which to build, securing replacement land titles and inheritance rights, rising costs of construction and labour shortages. Civil unrest in the North and East of Sri Lanka has also significantly impacted the pace of rebuilding. World Vision recognizes that reconstruction efforts need to be balanced with creating communities, spaces for children, ensuring that environmental impact is minimized, whilst maintaining, quality, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness. Projects focused on rebuilding homes, and public facilities and infrastructure will be completed over the next 12 months.
World Vision has commenced construction on 10,400 homes. More than 13,000 homes will be built for tsunami-affected families. Homes are constructed by utilizing the services of both contractors and community members, and are built to both community and government stipulated designs. Community members with disabilities are also engaged in the planning process. Transitional living centers continue to be supported while permanent homes are completed.
More than 90 schools and 40 preschools are being constructed. Health clinics, community halls, child-care centers, livelihood centers, teacher accommodation, community offices and warehouses, bridges, canals and roads have all been built or rehabilitated in 2006.
Thousands of toilets, drainage systems, wells and tanks have been installed as part of efforts to create safe and sustainable access to water and sanitation infrastructure. In Sri Lanka, the Kalmunai Base Hospital Water Supply Project includes a 50,000 litre water tower, renovation of a well, construction and installation of chlorinator, pump-house and the laying of 885 metre pipelines.
Solar Power Brings Light to the Lives of Sri Lankans
More than 1,000 solar light systems have transformed the lives of communities in the north of Sri Lanka through a joint effort between World Vision and Light Up The World Foundation, with another 1,000 systems planned for installation.
In Jaffna's east, a 30-40km long strip of land running between a lagoon and the ocean was hit hard by the tsunami. The fishing community wasn't permitted to rebuild their homes here and have had to relocate inland, which has affected travel time to work, and storage of fishing equipment. World Vision built Fishermens' Restrooms and installed solar lights to ensure the storage areas can be used safely during the twilight working hours. In this same stretch of land, World Vision has installed lights in newly built permanent homes.
In Palavi, in the northwest corner of Kilinochchi, families live in relative isolation and could not access electricity before the installation of solar lights in their homes, local church and schoolhouse. A further 130 shelters in Kallaru designated for war displaced families will receive solar lighting.
The initiative is also the first instance of humanitarian aid to be brought to many of these war-displaced families. Systems were also installed with the help of beneficiaries as part of an employment program. This participatory approach enabled community members to learn new skills and supplement their income, while collectively contributing to the illumination of their villages.