Responding to devastation: Update on EFICOR's tsunami relief intervention 26 Jun 2005

From the General Director
"Tsunami...Six months later"

Dear Partners and well wishers,

I just returned from a long trip (ten days) to Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the tsunami affected districts of Tamil Nadu. I noticed that people are still living in temporary shelters and life is still far from normal.

Over the past few months a number of people have been provided livelihood assistance, but many of them are currently living in temporary shelters. The people of these affected areas are a long way off from recovery in terms of achieving sustainable livelihood and dwelling in permanent shelters.

The Government has started allotting villages to NGOs for construction of permanent houses. Let us hope that before the first anniversary of the Tsunami disaster, most of the permanent shelters would be completed enabling the tsunami affected people not only to have a proper roof above their heads but facilitating them to regain their livelihood.

Dino L. Touthang
General Director

Gearing up for Permanent Housing

Over the couple of months 971 temporary shelters were constructed and handed over to the communities in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Colachal. EFICOR is now in the process of constructing 1157* permanent houses in these villages. The main thrust at this point of time are housing design, land layouts, identifying architects and engineers. The number of houses is likely to vary from village to village depending on the allotment from the government administration. In Kanyakumari, negotiations are still going on between the community and the administration to give allotments to EFICOR for constructing permanent houses.

The number of houses allotted by the government administration till date

Cuddalore (1) MGR Thittu 64; (2) Nadumudasalodai 19; (3) Chinnavaikkal 58; (4) Kannaginagar 4; Nagapattinam (1) Pudupettai 275; (2) Vellakoil 74; (3) Manickpanga(Kuttiyandur) 155; (4) Satangudi(Kuttiyandur) 108

*757 number of houses have been allocated in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam. About 400 houses are expected to be allocated in Kanyakumari. The number of houses allotted by the government administration till date

NOTE: updates on EFICOR's Tsunami Relief Intervention are circulated once a month.

Feeding the multitude the Community Kitchen

More than a month ago, the Community Kitchens that fed about 1013 beneficiaries in four camps GREF 2 and 5, South Point and Diary Farm were closed down after four months of operation because the beneficiaries were moved into Intermediate shelters where they were provided dry rations and non- food items.

Seven Relief Camps were set up in various schools, colleges, GREF Camps and Diary farms. Later, it was merged into four camps. The Disaster Coordination Committee (DCC) comprising of Emmanuel Hospital Association, Discipleship Centre and EFICOR took care of these camps. The beneficiaries in these camps were mostly from Hutbay, Car Nicobar, Campbell Bay, Katchal, Nancowrie, Teresa, Junglihat (Port Blair) and fisher folk community.

The Community Kitchens were set up so that three meals a day could be provided to beneficiaries or the campers. Initially, some of camps had joint kitchen but once the four camps were formed, each camp had their own kitchen. Volunteers, both from the church and the community helped in preparing the meals. But in South Point camp the beneficiaries themselves prepared all three meals.

The food materials provided to the community were noted as one of the best food provided amongst the camps. This was confirmed by the people who were shifted from other camps to the camps run by DCC. Mrs. Ruth Manasa Advard from Car Nicobar Island in the South Point camp had this to say, DCC provided good quality of food. A number of letters from the community have come in, appreciating the DCC for providing a place to stay as well as food to eat.

On the road to recovery

Albis Bara, a private truck driver earns Rs.4000/- a month which is decent enough to meet the needs of the family. Ask Albis Bara, what he thinks about the intermediate shelter, he will immediately say, I am happy that I have house to start life all over again". He continues by saying, If not for the shelter, where would I keep my family? The intermediate housing has come as a big relief not only to the family of Albis Bara but also to a lot of other people in the remote isle of Hut Bay.

The houses may not be like the houses they used to live in before but the fact is, they have a roof over their heads. This time of the year being 'rainy season' the houses have come as a blessing. The government plans to do permanent housing in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. That leaves not only DCC out of the picture but also other NGOs who are interested in doing long term intervention.

For many families, it is once again a time to pick up the pieces and walk the road to recovery. Alibis' family is one of them. For the truck driver, it is not only bringing food but also giving the best education for his two daughters Poonam aged 13 and Sudah aged 7 years- old who are studying in 6th and 2nd standards respectively.

In Hut bay, electrical fitting for 350 houses has been completed and fitting of fan for the same units is still on. 150 fans have been fixed in 150 housing units. All the housing units were checked for any faulty fittings and were rectified by the builders.

Other news

From Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Colachal:

Volunteers continue to be a big help to EFICOR in distributing relief materials. 10 volunteers from Annamalai University and Community in Chidambaram helped in storing the relief materials and also distributing it in Cuddalore.

An extensive survey is underway in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari to check the impact of the relief intervention and to find the socio-economic condition of the communities. As requested by the communities in Nagapattinam and Cuddalore the type of pulses was changed from toor dal to urdh dal. In Colachal, sunflower oil was changed to coconut oil besides changing Boiled Ponnie rice to Sirumani rice.

EFICOR continues to attend NGOs network meetings. EFICOR is a part of Disaster Emergency Committee, Planning Coordination Cell, Planning Commission and USAID.

Upcoming events

On 26th June, 60 boats will be handed over to the community in Kanyakumari (Colachal).

Supporters from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) will grace the occasion.

2nd Partners Meeting will be held at Chennai on 14th July followed by Field visit.

The EFICOR Board/AGM Meetings will be held at Chennai on 15th July, followed by Field visit.

On 16th July boats and fishing nets will be handed over to the community in Nagapattinam

On 16th July, foundation stone for construction of permanent shelter will be laid in Cuddalore.

Praise points and Prayer Points


For the completion of houses and toilets in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
For the continued support of volunteers
For the good health of the staff and volunteers.
For the prayer support we have received.


For the construction of permanent houses that will begin shortly
For the ongoing distribution of relief materials in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Pray that extreme climatic conditions will not hamper in distributing the relief materials
For the survey that is going on in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Colachal on the impact of relief intervention
Discussions are going on with the community and the government regarding the housing designs.
Pray that the discussion will be fruitful
For the many families who are on the way to recovery.
Pray that they will be healed in all areas of life
For good health of the staff.

Staff responsible for various assignments:

Staff in the Headquarter

Team Coordinator - Dino Touthang : +91-9810977446
Publicity and news updates - Sheila George and Alung Gangmei: +919810986890
Donor relations - Lalbiakhlui (Kuki): +919871243061

The EFICOR Board has decided to set up a Field Base at Chennai. Mr. David Chandran, Director Operations is now based in Chennai as a Project Director. He will oversee the work in Kanyakumari, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam Districts of Tamil Nadu. To assist him a number of staff have been transferred as project in-charge.

Team Coordinator

David Chandran- 00919810798766
EFICOR, 48/72-E,
Town House105, Ethiraj Salai,
Commander in Chief Road,
Behind Shivalaya Building,
Egmore -- Chennai 600008.
Tel: 00919810798766/00919884135097

Contact details of staff in the field


Harshan KY
C/o R. Chandra Kumar
Door no 10/73/41B
Aattuvilai Neyyoor post
Nagarcoil Kanyakumri (dist)
Pin -- 629802 Mobile:09842114920


Mr. Tomy K.
EFICOR Camp Office,
323, Second Main Road North,
Mariappa Nagar,
Chidambaram - 600802.
Mob: 00919894597882
04144-239662 (PH)
04144-222656 (Fax)


No 12, Shah Garden,
Bharathiar Street,
Karaikal -- 609605


Mr. Alex Joseph (DCC)
C/o DCC office C-7, Delanipur, Near Hotel Holiday Inn, Port-Blair.
Mob: 00919434266345 / 46
Tel: 03192-245160/230276

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