In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.
Executive Summary: Four years after the devastating tsunami ripped through the peaceful archipelago of the Maldives, Red Cross Red Crescent tsunami recovery programmes have contributed immensely to restoring lives. During the reporting period, implementation of outstanding programme activities by the American Red Cross, British Red Cross, French Red Cross and the International Federation Secretariat progressed at a slow pace due to the onset of the wet season, the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan and the prevailing political climate.
American Red Cross: The psychosocial support programme (PSP) was formally closed on 26 June 2008. Prior to the official closing ceremony, final meetings were held on each of the 76 target islands. The programme reached a total of 66,136 beneficiaries.
Installation of household septic tanks in the central islands of Dhaalu Kudahuvadhoo, Kaafu Maafushi and Kaafu Guraidhoo was delayed because septic tanks on the islands did not meet the required durability and quality standards. These works were halted for some time to allow the contractor address the quality issues. A solution has since been found and installation resumed in September 2008; at least 360 of 700 household septic tanks have already been installed, with household and street pipe connections ongoing. Related to this, the two sewer infrastructure systems on the southern islands of Villingili and Dhaandhoo in Gaafu Alifu atoll were tendered during the period under review and the engineering contract awarded. Additionally, the American Red Cross held water conservation workshops in Dhaalu Kudahuvadhoo, Kaafu Maafushi and Kaafu Guraidhoo. The workshops provided information on the islands' water tables or groundwater lens, safe collection and storage ofort rainwater and water conservation.
British Red Cross: As projected in the previous report, livelihoods and disaster management programmes on all Phase 1 islands [Laamu Maabaidhoo, Laamu Fonadhoo, Laamu Isdhoo, Laamu Isdhoo-Kalaidhoo and Thaa Madifushi] were completed and formally closed in June 2008. The focus has since been on construction of 250 houses in Thaa Vilufushi and preparing for the relocation of the Vilufushi community back to their island once the programme is completed. The housing programme has so far attained a completion rate of 94.2 per cent and is on track to be fully completed by December 2008.
French Red Cross: The monitoring of the grants distributed to 120 households in Laamu Gan continued. An additional nine houses were completed in Laamu, bringing the total completed and handed over to 91. At the same time, the electricity network on the new settlement was completed and construction of the road network began. Meanwhile, the French Red Cross consulted the community on three community projects - a youth centre, a guest house, and sport facilities; construction of these community projects has begun and is expected to continue into 2009.
International Federation Secretariat: The inspection of the 562 houses in the island of Raa Dhuvaafaru has been completed, and the identified defects - which are minor and mainly to do with aesthetic aspects - are currently being rectified. Community and school buildings have been fully completed and were officially handed over to the relevant government ministries at the end of August 2008. This will enable the ministry of education to fit the schools out to be ready for the new school year in 2009. The administration building, on its part, needs to be fully functional before the process of relocating beneficiary families to their new island begins as it will be the focal point for information and administration of the new community. Likewise, works on waste water collection and disposal system on Raa Dhuvaafaru have been completed, with commissioning of the pump stations and training of community operators already done. To optimize household and community rainwater harvesting on the island, every house is fitted with one 2,500-litre household rainwater tank and in-ground water well. In addition, 14 community tanks, each of 10,000-litre capacity, have been installed in the school and community buildings.
Community consultation, participation and equity challenges continued to be addressed in order to prevent tensions created by perceived or real imbalances in recovery assistance. In this regard, new methods of getting information to the community were initiated during the reporting period, with International Federation Secretariat staff appearing on live radio shows to answer call-in questions from the community. It has been communicated that following completion of the houses and community buildings, the transfer of over 4,000 beneficiaries from internally displaced persons (IDP) camps on five islands to their new community on Raa Dhuvaafaru will begin in early December 2008.
Meanwhile enhancement of risk reduction approaches to promote the resilience of communities against potential future disasters continues to be a priority. This is being done through construction of hazard resistant housing, provision of rainwater storage capacity to ensure availability of safe drinking water during dry seasons, and raising awareness in community-based risk identification. Training of island disaster management committee and disaster management task force members continued. Please refer to Programme Update no. 1 and Programme Update no. 3 (to be issued in December) for the progress made during the first and second semesters of 2008.