BANGALORE: A group of the world's leading charities have launched the India chapter of an information initiative that is expected to benefit millions of people affected by disasters and wars.
Tsunami, South Asia earthquake, conflicts in Africa and other humanitarian emergencies have demonstrated that one of the blocks in ensuring appropriate humanitarian response is improper flow of information.
Smoothening this flow is NetHope (www.nethope.org), an alliance of 19 of the world's largest aid agencies …
Hundreds of families are still living in decaying tar sheet sheds, worn out with severe monsoons, strong summers and perennial humidity...
Déjà vu. Not a word or sentiment or experience one would associate with resettlement sites. Definitely not with rehabilitation. But as I walk into the Akkaraipettai temporary shelter for tsunami survivors in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, I feel I have seen it all before. Because I have. Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed for the better, I should say.
By Pankaj Sekhsaria
Two years down the line Andaman and Nicobar islands have once again gone back to being a blip on the radar that they always were
It's a question that is in many minds, a question that is being repeatedly asked. What is the situation in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands on the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of December 2004. Not surprisingly there is no one answer. The voices are diverse and so are the answers; it would all depend on where you are located and whom you are listening too.
The success of the reconstruction goes beyond economic recovery and it is important for consolidating the peace agreement of August 2005 between the Indonesian government and Acehnese rebels.
Aceh, the northern-most province of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, suffered terribly in the tsunami of December 2004. The water washed over 800 km of coastline, killing 169,000 people and leaving 600,000 homeless. In several areas, no buildings, roads, or trees were left standing. Large areas of land were permanently lost.
By Max Martin
CHENNAI, (indiadisasters.org): During the last rainy season when her temporary shelter was flooded Elanji had to spend the night standing up, holding her baby, in ankle-deep water.
This year again Elanji and her neighbours in this tsunami shelter cluster in Puthukuppam, Nagapattinam - seven hours drive from Chennai - are awaiting the rains with fear.
Most of the people living in 178 temporary shelter sites still left in Tamil Nadu live in such fear of rain, notes a study by the prestigious Loyola College in Chennai.
People line their leaky roofs with …
By Our Correspondent
By Paul Newman (With reports from Mannar, Vavuniya and Trincomallee )
By Paul Newman
By Thomas Seibert
By L Ajith
RAMESHWARAM: The two-hour speedboat journey across the shallow but pretty waters of the Palk Straits that divides India and Sri Lanka could very well pass off as a joy ride. Twenty five years ago people secretively crossed the international border - to watch movies of the Tamil star M G Ramachandran on the Indian side and to celebrate the feast of St Anthony on the Sri Lankan side.
For the steady stream of Tamil refugees riding across the straits in recent days, the trip is essentially to save one's life, freedom and dignity.
By L Ajith
RAMESHWARAM: Even as Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan government finally agreed to resume peace talks in Switzerland next month another large group of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees has landed on the Indian coast.
On 26th January, the Indian Republic Day, 20 families comprising 51 people from Triconamalai and Pesalai, both from the rebel dominated Sri Lankan north, reached Tamil Nadu. "This the largest group we have received since the first group arrived on 12th January," said a police official of the Tamil Nadu government.
By L Ajith
RAMESHWARAM: As peace talks continue in Sri Lanka, fresh violence and fear of repression after three years of ceasefire drive new groups of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to the shores of Tamil Nadu once again.
So far 143 people have sought refuge in the southern state of India since the first group of eight families - seven men, six women and three children from Thannithalai, a military controlled area in northern Sri Lanka - reached the pilgrim centre of Rameshwaram at the tip of Indian land adjacent to Sri Lanka across the Palk Straits on January 12.
Silhouetted against …
By Andre Vltchek
JAKARTA: Only those who made the effort to wake up early and go to pray at the local mosque survived. For dozens of other men and women in the Central Javan town of Cijeruk it was a ghastly burial on the morning of January 5 under mud and rocks which destroyed more than 100 houses.
"The local government feared that at least 300 persons were buried and killed by the mud," a UN statement said.
By Christoph Fleischmann
A splash of aid means diffused focus, misplaced priorities and wastage
"There was a hurry to spend money," says Venkatesh Salagrama, director of the Andhra Pradesh consulting firm Integrated Coastal Management. "There was not much time between relief and rehabilitation. And the single-most expensive thing with relation to fishing livelihood is the boat: it is expensive, it looks good on the sea and it looks good on TV.
By L Ajith
India: NGOs compete to give boats and fisherfolk struggle to find balanced ways of fishing
Nagapattinam town is abuzz with trucks carrying building material and cranes meant to help fishermen build huge steel boats. The post-tsunami rebuilding work progresses in a hurry.
A few kilometers towards the sea, in the rebuilt Akkarepettai village, Aniyappan, a fisherman, stands outside his temporary shelter amid small pieces of wet wood left to dry in the sun.
By Nipin Gangadharan
It may require huge concerted efforts to tide over the habitat problems post tsunami
G. Radha, 44-year-old fisherwoman, sits outside herbattered home in Nagapattinam, hoping in the comingmonths her husband can earn enough to tide over thelosses they incurred during the tsunami. "We live intemporary shelters and for the last two months withthe help of some of the organisations we have beentrying to rebuild this house," says Radha. "Itrequires a lot more work and the government has given up on us.
By John Swamy
Fishing is very hazardous and rehabilitation should address safety issues
Every monsoon carries the potential of a disaster out at sea -- usually nobody bothers about it. Now the tsunami has brought the vulnerability of the fisherman into sharp focus. Still precious little is being done to safeguard the lives of the fishermen, despite the post-tsunami wave of compassion sweeping through our fishing villages.
Fishing is a very hazardous occupation associated with risk-taking.
By Ajith Lawrence
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: False claims and non-cooperation by the local people affected by the December tsunami in the Alappat and Azhickal areas of Kerala were the main reasons behind the delay in rehabilitation work in Kerala, according to the state Chief Minister.
"All maximum possible things have been done to rehabilitate and satisfy the tsunami survivors in Kerala, by the state government.