January 31, 2005 -- International relief and development agency India Partners has met their goal of $100,000 to be raised for emergency assistance following the tsunami, but has increased that goal by $50,00 as well as setting an additional goal of $200,800 for village reconstruction.
"It is now five weeks after the tsunami hit, and our work in India is shifting to help seaside village communities to rebuild their homes and lives," says Brent Hample, Executive Director of India Partners. "We have helped 10,000 families in 50 villages with food, clothes and medicine but now is the time for endurance to conduct the long-term work of rebuilding homes, communities, and livelihoods."
After distributing emergency relief including over 60 tons of rice and 10,000 liters of drinking water, India Partners will now focus its relief work on community development such as rebuilding huts, fixing boats and replacing nets that were lost in the tsunami. Families in the fishing villages along the southeastern Indian coast depend on the ocean for their livelihood, but without boats and nets, they are starving and are not able to regain economic stability.
"The government of India has closed the sea to fishing for at least a month, driving coastal villages into starvation. When the ability to fish is available to them again, it is vitally important that they have the means to do so," says Hample. "Village reconstruction is being focused on 50 dalit and fisherman villages in the Krishna district, one of the hardest hit areas in India."
To rebuild a hut for one family costs $165; to repair a fishing boat costs $550 and to replace a fishing net costs $330.
The goal is to rebuild 750 homes/huts totaling $123,750; replace 50 fishing boats totaling $27,500 and 150 fishing nets, totaling $49,500 for a grand total of $200,750.
"We are hopeful that when people realize that they can replace a tsunami survivor's home for only $165, that they will reach a little deeper and contribute to the reconstruction effort even if they have given to the relief aid," says Hample. "We were contacted by a small community in Illinois that has committed to adopting a village and covering reconstruction costs. We are confident that other people will not forget about the survivors but will want to help them get their lives back as they were before December 26."
Christian faith-based India Partners has worked in India for 20 years and has been involved in past disaster relief efforts in India involving cyclones, earthquakes and fires.
How To Help :
By Internet: www.indiapartners.org
By phone: 1-888-870-9085
By mail: India Partners, Tsunami Relief, PO Box 5470, Eugene, OR 97405