Maldives Situation Report #46/2005

Situation Report
Originally published
Effects of Tsunami on 26 December 2004
Period: 9th June -21st July 2005

Prepared by UN Country Team, Male', Maldives


A cabinet reshuffle was announced on 14th July, changing 80% of ministers. This has since lead to a restructuring process of government structures.

1. Health Sector

Three islands were surveyed by a hydrologist to assess of tsunami impact on water resources. His initial conclusions were that the tsunami has had a detrimental impact on groundwater quality salinity is decreasing since the arrival of the wet season, but it may take up to 10 years for the aquifer on many islands to fully recover; and inadequate sanitation continues to pollute groundwater widely. A full report from the hydrologist will be available within 3-4 weeks.

A working group has been established by the Ministry of Health in order to develop an emergency preparedness plan. The first meeting of the group was held 18th July 2005.

The mental health training program for the nurses and community health workers now covers four regions.

2. Water and Sanitation (WES)

Mr. Clive Carpenter, WHO WES consultant, gave a presentation to the WES Co-ordination group on his findings. Four islands have been identified for construction of small bore sanitation systems.

3. Child Protection

UNICEF's Child Protection Section and the Ministry of Gender, Family Development and Social Security (presently known as Ministry of Gender and Family) held a one day planning meeting on the 13th of July. The main aim of the meeting was to draw up a strategic plan for the development and implementation of a child protection system. Members from all relevant ministries, departments and institutions participated in the one-day planning meeting. According to UNICEF, by the end of the day the groups were able to:

- Identify gaps and challenges in the system

- Identify strategies and actions to promote a protective environment for the children.

- Develop strategies, activities and a timeline to achieve the identified actions

- It was decided that these actions will be followed-up by Multi Sectoral Working Group.

4. Psychosocial and IDPs

17 Community Educators are being trained for the next 10 days on IDP issues and psychosocial support. In august they will be placed in the Tsunami-affected atolls.

On 19th July, UNFPA undertook a field visit to Meemu Muli and Kolufushi to monitor and evaluate progress of reconstruction efforts and evolving needs in relation to the reproductive and psychosocial health of displaced population. The Muli Regional Hospital is now almost fully operational and has the capacity for the safe and clean delivery of babies. The overall living conditions of displaced people on the atoll have improved significantly over the last three months.

5. Education

A 4 day workshop on school self assessment for child friendly schools was opened on 20th July 2005 with addresses made by the Minister of Education, the Minister of Gender & Family and the UNICEF Representative. The workshop is a key step in the expansion of teacher resource centres to all 20 Atolls.

6. Food and Agriculture

FAO has:

  • convened meetings with some key development partners and the government to discuss and agree on ways to better co-ordinate post-tsunami agricultural support activities;

  • finalized/validated a list of 403 boats with damaged hulls in order to compensate their owners for loss suffered during the tsunami;

  • initiated arrangements for repairs to damaged boat engines - assessment of 101 damaged engines completed;

  • In collaboration with JICS and MFAMR, modified designs for 85 foot dhonis and completed drawings and specifications for tender-ready documents.
7. Disaster Management

UNDP held a week-long Disaster Management training, on "Basic Concepts of Disaster Management", for government officials between 10-14th July.

An assessment of the Early Warning System and Disaster Risk Profile is currently being undertaken by the Asian Disaster Reduction Centre, government of Japan and Risk Management Solution, India respectively and UNDP is helping the Ministry of Tourism as it prepares the Tourism Sector Disaster Management Plan.

8. Shelter

The process of fixing damaged houses is now well underway, with agreements to reconstruct or repair tsunami damaged homes now signed with 20 Island Development Committees. Altogether, this means that over US$1.8 million worth of work can now commence - with 854 houses set for repair and 113 set for reconstruction; the shelter project will repair and reconstruct a total of over 2,700 houses on 59 islands. The project is consulting with communities in order to plan and prepare for community grant agreements to reconstruct housing on another 10 islands

9. Infrastructure rehabilitation

The reconstruction of the damaged Eydhafushi Island harbour is now more than 75 percent complete and contracts for the restoration of harbour facilities on the islands of M.Muli, M.Kolhufushi, M.Dhiggaru, and T.Madifushi, were opened for bidding on 11July 2005. Surveys in Kaafu Atoll and Raa and Baa Atolls were finished on 17 July 2005.

10. Restoration of livelihoods

Micro-finance agreements for the restoration of livelihoods for tsunami affected people have been signed with the Atoll Development Committees of Noonu, Shivayani, and Kaafu.

An agreement to begin a joint project between UNDP and the Gender Ministry was signed on 11 July 2005. The project will help women replace or repair tools and assets that they rely on to make money, such as sewing machines, handicrafts equipment, gardening equipment and fish processing equipment - which may have been lost during the tsunami. The project will also provide cash grants to women in need.

11. The Development Assistance Database (DAD)

Training and orientations sessions for the DAD have begun for key government agencies, including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Department of External Resources.

A Joint Aid Co-ordination meeting was held on Sunday 17 July which gave the government an opportunity to elaborate on its new structuring plans to donors.


United Nations Maldives Disaster Relief Taskforce:
Maldives National Disaster Management Centre:


Field office contact

Damian Kean, Communications Officer, UN Resident Coordinator System.
Tel: (960) 324228, mob: (960) 7783372; email: