The tsunami battered the southeast coast of India, killing some 10,000 people and ravaging the lives of 2.5 million survivors. CARE, which has worked in India since 1950, is helping some
100,000 people in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands rebuild their lives. We are reaching the most socially and economically marginalized
communities (including households headed by women and the lower caste groups) and ensuring their participation in the rehabilitation process. In fact, CARE was cited in a major impact study
of nongovernmental organizations commissioned by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, for our efforts to examine the processes of social exclusion and discrimination in the tsunami recovery process in India. CARE was the first international organization to initiate this “social equity audit.”
Our efforts are meeting a variety of needs, including shelter, income opportunities, clean water and trauma counseling. We have improved access to clean water and sanitation conditions for some 20,000 families by repairing or constructing latrines and showers, desalinating wells, installing pumps and new water systems, and forming community committees to manage these
improvements. We built more than 500 transitional shelters and are mid-way through construction of 2,000 permanent disaster-resistant homes. CARE is ensuring that the new communities are
equipped with electricity, drainage systems, roads, parks, health clinics, schools and community centers. CARE also carried out an extensive training program that equipped 3,000 people –
including teachers, village health workers and other community members – with the skills to provide counseling to traumatized survivors. To help people get back to work, CARE provided skills training and supplies (such as boats, seeds, agricultural tools, sewing machines, etc.) benefiting some 23,000 people (44 percent women). CARE is also establishing a livelihood advancement center to offer trainings in boat repair, mechanics, seafood production and masonry.
Other initiatives include partnering with financial institutions to provide insurance to 5,500 coastal families. In terms of environmental restoration, CARE is promoting forest replanting, desalination
of land and wells, and the development of an eco-friendly vehicle to be used by youth to earn an income in place of traditional rickshaws. CARE is partnering with the government on a disaster
risk reduction program, which entails organizing disaster drills, stocking emergency rescue and floating kits, training for community members on disaster response, and developing contingency and mitigation plans.
As one of the few international agencies working in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, CARE is leading discussions there around village-level disaster management planning and exploring
alternative solutions such as disaster-proof communications systems and using angawadi centers and schools as evacuation centers. To help restore education services, CARE provided 1,000
benches and desks and constructed platforms where classes and play activities are being conducted for 15,000 children. Given that the livelihoods of more than one-third of the population living on these islands were affected by the tsunami – primarily fishermen – CARE is forming fishing cooperatives, replacing boats and training 1,500 unemployed youth in trades such as plumbing, tailoring and carpentry.
Please read the complete report below for more information about CARE's tsunami response in India and other affected countries. Attachments: