Tsunami, India - Three years after

Situation Report
Originally published
View original



This 'Tsunami, India - Three Years After' report critically reflects on the progressachieved in the United Nations Tsunami recovery efforts in India over the last three years. It provides a comprehensive overview of the cumulative achieve- ments in relief and recovery efforts as part of the UN Tsunami Recovery Framework, which is a joint Programme of UNICEF, UNDP, ILO, FAO, WHO, UNFPA and UNESCO. The report is intended for all those who are interested in the support provided by the UN agencies for Tsunami in India and for our donors, partners and all stakeholders involved. The report can be divided into three sections.

The first section provides the general background of the disaster, its impact and an overview of the response and recovery programmes of the UN. The section starts with recalling the disaster and the social and economic impacts on the lives of those living along the southern coasts of mainland India as well as of those living in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is followed by a brief introduction to the relief and recovery efforts undertaken in India - which are led by the government and supported by multi-lateral organisations. Next, there is a description of the UN Tsunami recovery effort that explains the joint projects, expected outcomes, strategies, guidelines and financial contributions of the UN system. It gives a brief focus on the UN coordination mechanisms as well as its principles and instruments. The second and main section of the report is devoted for making an appraisal of the progress achieved in the three years in each of the programme areas supported by UN. Each section aims to provide a snapshot view of the achievements in each of the sectors where UN has been active, namely Shelter, Water and Sanitation, Livelihoods, Environment, Disaster Risk Management, Information and Communication Technology, Psychosocial Care and Support & Child Protection, HIV/AIDS and Trafficking, Education, Health and Nutrition.

The report ends with a brief section that focuses on the year ahead. More information on the work of the UN in Tsunami Recovery can be found in the following website:

The Impact of Tsunami in India

On th December 2004 , the destructive force of Tsunami hit approximately 2260 km of the Indian coastline and the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Thousands of people lost their lives, houses were destroyed, stock was killed, water resources were polluted and productive assets and property were lost. Many people residing in villages along the coastline lost their livelihoods. In the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and the Union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Pondicherry, about . million people were estimated to be affected by Tsunami.

The reports from the Indian Government indicate that 12,405 people lost their lives and , 6,913 people were injured. Around 647,599 people were displaced from their domicile and about 100,000 houses were estimated to be damaged or destroyed. Women and children suffered the most. Seventy-five percent of the people who died in the Tsunami were women and children. About 787 women became widows and 530 children lost both their parents. The highest death toll was reported in the State of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The estimated total financial losses in India - as reported by the Government of India - exceeded US$ 1.2 billion. This includes damages to infrastructure such as roads, bridges, ports and around 154 ,000 houses. Public buildings such as schools, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and health centres were equally affected.

The majority of those affected on the coast were fishermen. They suffered the brunt of the disaster, lost houses, livelihoods, household goods and assets like boats and nets. However, the Tsunami has had a significant impact on the livelihoods of other vulnerable groups as well as on those living below the poverty line. It is estimated that about one-third of the people who were affected are poor and from socially disadvantaged groups.

Tsunami while causing damage to coastal environment also accentuated the degradation of the coastal ecosystems and aquaculture. The impact on agriculture land along the coast was significant. Land was salinated, which led to a considerable loss of crops.

One of the least measurable impact though is the effect that the catastrophe has had on the human mind and soul. The disaster took away lives, caused injuries and destroyed families, homes, and livelihoods. There are long-lasting effects on families due to death and injuries, for widows, single parents and their children, orphans, children separated from their families, the elderly, and the disabled. It is essential that recovery and rehabilitation work also focus on the long-term needs of the affected population in a holistic way.