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Report on Tsunami Damage

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  • max
    Following is a report I received from Forum Asia in Thailand. It contains quite a lot of information on the situation in countris affected by the tsunami. max
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2005
      Following is a report I received from Forum Asia in Thailand. It
      contains quite a lot of information on the situation in countris
      affected by the tsunami.



      Summary Report on the Situations relating to Tsunami Crisis
      (unedited version, as of Jan. 2, 2005)

      The summary report has been prepared by FORUM-ASIA based on the
      information received from FORUM-ASIA members and partners in affected
      countries and areas with a view to providing overview of the current
      situations for action planning.

      1. Country-specific Situations

      • India has declined foreign aid, saying it can cope on its own
      • According to a BBC report, 1st Jan, survivors in Andaman
      Islands have accused the authorities of underplaying the extent of
      devastation and failing to hand out aid. In a national appeal on
      Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked for donations to
      boost the government's $232m relief package, However in Port Blair
      there is concern whether aid will reach on time. Refugees arriving
      from Campbell Bay said that the situation was desperate in some
      areas with no food and water
      • problem of co-ordination between the different agencies
      resulting in some areas getting a lot of aid, while some areas
      getting none

      • SDPC still refusing to acknowledge that earthquake has
      affected Burma
      • UNICEF and Other UN agencies cannot move in only on SDPC
      requests. But the SDPC says it can handle the relief by themselves
      • MSF says that in Mergui, 5 villages have been badly affected
      and around 1500 people need medical care. There might be dead people
      in the Islands inhabited by the sea gypsies. But these islands are
      • Irrawaddy Division, southwest of Rangoon, was the most
      severely affected area. Forty seven people died there, 45 were
      injured and more than 700 homes were damaged. More than 3,500 people
      are affected in some way by the disaster. In southernmost Tenasserim
      Division, 27 people died and about 270 houses were destroyed. Twelve
      people died in western Arakan State. (The Irrawaddy)
      • 800 Burmese workers believed to have died in south of
      Thailand. Surapong Kongchanthuek, deputy chairman of the Law Society
      of Thailand's committee on human rights for stateless and displaced
      people, said he had obtained confirmation that around 200 Burmese
      workers, mostly fishing boat crewmen, had died in Phangnga's Takua Pa
      district and about 1,500 others were listed as missing. He had no
      exact figures of Burmese killed and missing in the five other tsunami-
      ravaged provinces. But his rough estimate was about 800 deaths, based
      on the fact there were 47,501 Burmese workers in Ranong, 36,483 in
      Phuket, 29,730 in Phangnga, 8,000 in Trang, 3,000 in Satun and 3,000
      in Krabi. However, he said only 22,504 were registered with the
      Labour Ministry.
      • Key concerns : i) SDPC be transparent about the damage and
      loss of life ii) Access be allowed to coastal areas for humanitarian
      agencies to provide emergency relief and rehabilitation assistance to
      affected people.

      • (From Hendra (could contact him online on January 1, 2005)
      • There're no coordination regarding how to distribute
      emergency relief, so a lot of aid is getting piled up in airports in
      • Problem of how distribution of aid (water, food) because of
      lack of man power resources as well as inaccessible areas
      • The Indonesian government is slow in its response to the
      situation: evacuating the dead bodies, cleaning the area, set up the
      camp for the IDPs or the homeless. Foreign volunteers and activists
      are helping out, but it is the government's duty.
      • In matter of distribution of aid:
      • People who can pay, get food easily bypassing queues
      • Families close to the army are getting preferential treatment
      • ARMY is NOT ALLOWING civilians and activists to help in the
      distribution of aid

      • Many more volunteers needed to handle and evacuate dead
      bodies – which once decomposed, will present a serious threat to
      • No proper flow of information from Indonesian government to
      people in Aceh
      • Skyrocketing prices of food in greater Medan of staple foods
      and equipment (PBHI)
      • The disaster damaged several prisons. There is a need to
      monitor the prisoner's conditions. (KONTRAS)
      • Issue of conflict with the Indonesian Army and its impact on
      relief work
      • Offices of local activists have been destroyed
      • Need of government of Indonesia to grant all international
      humanitarian agencies and persons of concern free and unconditional
      access to all affected areas in Sumatra and Aceh, and facilitate the
      granting of visas and other necessary arrangements for them to
      undertake their crucial work. Asian Human Rights Commission
      • 2 IDP camps have been started in Lhokseumawe, and there is a
      need for clothes, medicines, food, water and all items of basic
      necessity. NO DOCTOR as of now. Activists from Perampuan Medeka have
      organised some students to assist the IDPs.
      • A thai friend, who is a journalist with the Nation is going
      to be in Medan till 20th Jan
      • Acehnese in exile are returning

      • Local fishermen (Ban Nam Khem) community feels that villagers
      are being treated as second class victims and tourists are getting
      priority because of the interests of tourism

      Sri Lanka
      • Tamils have alleged that they are being discriminated against
      in the matter of distribution of aid
      • Weligama, in southern Sri Lanka, government aid has still not
      reached there
      • fishermen community – boats have been destroyed
      • Debt burden. At Weligama, itself there are some 12000
      fishermen. Many of the fishermen took out bank loans to pay for their
      boats. Now they are concerned not just about asking for a fresh loan
      but having to finish paying the old one. Bankers say they will be
      responsive and accommodating. BUT the government should create a
      rehabilitation fund for the fishermen, from aid money.

      2. Common Issues

      1) Livelihood and Food security
      • Restoration of livelihoods - fishing boats, fishing nets
      • Debt relief. As per the BBC news in Sri Lanka – most of the
      fishermen had taken loans to buy boats. They will need finance now to
      buy new boats and fishing gear. Relief towards the earlier loan.
      COMPENSATION. This would be a common problem with the fishing
      communities in India, Thailand
      • Related to Compensation – bodies are being buried without
      identification. So the question of records will arise
      • Ensuring that they are not displaced from the coastal areas
      under the garb of protection (fear expressed by groups in India)

      2) Health
      • Short term: decomposing bodies may pose a serious threat. ACEH
      • Access of displaced people to clean water and sanitation.
      Water and sanitation facilities have been extensively damaged and may
      lead to diarrhea and cholera
      • Stagnant water may lead to malaria, dengue fever
      • Restoration of clean water supplies
      • Long term: Issue of trauma

      3) Housing
      • short term need of providing adequate shelter to the people
      whose homes have been destroyed
      • Long term: reconstructing/ building the houses that have been

      4) Vulnerable Groups
      • Children
      • Widows
      • Single women
      • Elderly and the diabled

      5) Some Common Challenges
      • Lack of co-ordination between different aid giving
      organisations. As a result some areas are getting a lot of aid, while
      some are not
      • There was no warning system in place. In India – official
      created more terror by issuing a warning which turned out to be false
      • The worst hit are the poor people – and they have very few
      assets to fall back upon.

      3. Humanitarian Work done by International NGOs and UN

      1) OXFAM
      • Urged donor governments to give long-term aid for rebuilding
      homes, communities and livelihoods of the affected communities.
      • Oxfam has a team in Medan and is about to set up one in Banda
      Aceh. It aims to distribute non-food items to 10,000 families plus
      hygiene kits, water tanks and latrine plates.
      • There is still little information from the west coast. It
      seems clear - from aerial assessments - that some of the towns there
      are up to 80 per cent destroyed.

      2) Action Aid
      • working in Tamil Nadu, India
      • will be helping to recover livelihoods – long term support

      3) World Vision
      • emergency aid
      • help in rebuilding infrastructure

      4) Medair
      • disposing the dead bodies
      • restore clean water supplies
      • 188,000 displaced in 118 collective centers in Ampara
      district, Sri Lanka

      5) Care International
      • emergency Aid in India, Aceh, Sri Lanka, Thailand
      • in Aceh will be Delivering and distributing sodium
      hypochlorite solution for water purification. have placed an order
      with the Indonesian manufacturer to produce another 120,000 bottles
      by the first week of January. To accompany the purification
      materials, CARE is distributing buckets with lids and jerrycans in
      which people can store and safeguard their drinking water.

      6) Save the Children
      • working to help assist children who have been separated from
      their families."

      7) Medecine san Frantier (MSF)
      • has opened a clinic opens in Aceh, Indonesia .
      • A team of eight people, including three nurses and two
      doctors, arrived in Banda Aceh yesterday (29th Jan) and set up a
      clinic in a camp for displaced people.

      8) HIC – HLRN
      • Emergency relief
      • Rehabilitation of the displaced and restoration of livelihoods

      9) UNHCR
      • 31st Dec: More than 400 tonnes of shelter and other emergency
      supplies will soon be on their way to the tsunami-battered Indonesian
      province of Aceh as the UN refugee agency starts a series of airlifts
      from its warehouses in Copenhagen and Dubai this weekend.
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