Period: 3rd to 16th September 2005
Prepared by UN Country Team, Male'
On September 8 and 9 UNICEF representatives attended UNICEF's Global Tsunami Validation workshop in Colombo. This was to validate the findings of the regional office assessment team who had conducted a rapid assessment of the first 100 days of UNICEF's tsunami response. The workshop developed recommendations for future implementation of emergency response.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) organised an orientation meeting relating to the formation of a Maldivian National Red Crescent Society. This follows the approval by Government for the formational of a society for the first time in Maldives. There was wide attendance at the meeting from both Government Ministries, local NGOs and national media. The IFRC will organize a first public meeting on 28th September this year, to invite interest from potential volunteers and management staff to launch the new national society. The Secretary General of the Cook Islands Red Cross has been assisting the IFRC during this period to assist in promoting the role and value of a new national society. The Cook Islands is a nation which shares common geographic similarities with Maldives and is also a relatively recent member to the IFRC.
181 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Society current exist in the world, with a number of additional societies currently in the process of formation.
WFP and the Government of Maldives have decided to provide some 64,000 people on tsunami affected islands a "one- off ration" for the month of Ramadan. The food distribution will commence soon.
The WHO tsunami project has been reviewed this week by a team from the regional office. The main purpose of the review is to follow up on the implementation and evaluate the capacity of implementation to ensure that the obligated funds are spend before the deadline for the donors' allotment by the end of 2005.
Another WHO team from their regional office participated in a workshop in Male' on the status and future preparedness in psychosocial and mental health aspects in disaster. Before the workshop the team paid a visit to Burunee and Kudahuvaadhoo to talk to the displaced people. The workshop is a part of the preparation for a regional workshop in Thailand in November.
On September 14, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health started a nationwide survey on infant and child feeding. This will be the most detailed and wide spread nutritional
study of children ever done in the Maldives. The results will provide essential data for UNICEF to develop and expand its work in the areas of breastfeeding and young child nutrition and create the basis for future project planning. Results of the survey will be available by the end of 2005.
Work is focused on building the capacity of the government MIDP Unit to support recently trained IDP Committees. OCHA has supported an increase in staff in the Unit to ensure that the requests of the 15 Committees are addressed within 3 weeks of receipt. Field assessment are ongoing, with committees in Thaa Buruni and Laamu Maabaidhoo showing particularly promise.
UNICEF began the distribution of portable water testing kits which test for biological and chemical contamination. The kits distributed by UNICEF are like a portable laboratory in a box; they contain all the equipment needed for quick and easy and accurate testing for water contamination. The new water testing kits will be distributed to 20 atolls within a year.
WHO-supported training in water quality testing in ongoing this week in Lhamu and a survey on rainwater will be conducted at the same time. The result of the rainwater harvesting study will be presented at the rainwater conference in Delhi. Five participants from Maldives will attend, supported by WHO. Procurement of supplies and equipment for MWSA is in process through WHO.
UNEP has started clean up operations of hazardous waste materials and in-service training of local teams in Laamu atoll. This project is funded to work on 69 islands across the country over the next 3 weeks.
UNDP's Shelter Project dispatched tools and building materials for the reconstruction of new houses to 7 islands over 3 atolls, as part of their national recovery programme targeting 58 islands. In addition, on the island of K.Guraidhoo, UNDP delivered the final installment of materials required to complete the construction of a Women's Development Committee facility on the island. This building will be looked after by the Women's Committee, and will provide short-term accommodation for around 50 internally displaced people, now living in tents, until their permanent shelter is completed.
UNDP-supported reconstruction of the damaged Eydhafushi Island harbour is now 100 percent complete. Requests for bids for the restoration of harbour facilities on 10 islands, across 8 atolls has also been issued. All pre-bid conferences were held in August, and all bids received by the 25th of that month, while detailed negotiations were held with contractors during the first two weeks of September.
UNDP's Disaster Risk Management Programme sponsored a national training workshop on Total Disaster Risk Management for high/ senior level government officials from 13 - 15 September 2005.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
FAO will be initiating their first phase of seeds and tools delivery programme this month. 18 islands will be targeted across the atolls of Shaviyani; Kaafu; Baa; Dhaalu; Thaa; Gaafu Dhaalu and Gaafu Alifu. Over 1,000 families will benefit from this distribution (approx 5000 people). The kit being distributed includes: 100 kg compost; 100 kg cow dung; 1 wheelbarrow; 52-72 grms vegetable seeds. A second phase delivery is also under preparation and is expected to cover 50 islands over 14 atolls for 4,200 Households)
In the fisheries sector, FAO concluded training for 15 boatbuilders in fibreglass reinforced plastics (FRP) technology, while an additional 15 will start by the end of this month. To complement this, FAO distributed FRP materials to 3 islands in Meemu, Dhaalu and Shaviyani atolls for tsunami-affected fishermen.
In addition, FAO is supporting the construction of 20 bokkuras (fishing boats) with the first boat being completed by the end of September.