Four years after a horrific tsunami tore through parts of Southeast Asia you can still hear the pounding! Houses are being rebuilt, livelihoods rehabilitated, and communities restored.
The people in Indonesia, the country closest to the earthquake’s epicenter, suffered both earthquake and tsunami damage. In the province of Aceh entire cities were leveled and villages wiped out. More than 130,000 people died in Indonesia alone, leaving behind many orphans.
But communities have come together to rebuild their lives and take care of the most vulnerable among them. In February, the community of Blang Mee celebrated that rice had been planted in all the fields that were affected by the tsunami. In addition to restoring their fields and rebuilding their lives, the community members have also cared for 47 children who were orphaned by the storm. At the February celebration, the community committed to use the income generated through the rice harvest to continue supporting these children.
Thanks to your generous donations and funds from CIDA, Tearfund, and the Mennonite Central Committee, CRWRC continues to walk alongside these communities restoring livelihoods and rebuilding homes. In 2008 CRWRC received US$1.5 million in additional funds from Tearfund UK to continue rebuilding homes in Aceh.
This past summer Ida Mutoigo, CRWRCs Co-Director, visited Aceh.
In Sri Lanka, CRWRC established a variety of programs, each offering relief to those who needed it most. After emergency aid responses, temporary shelters were built, educational programs established, and health concerns met. While this happened CRWRC worked to find permanent shelters for displaced families.
From December 2004 to April 2008, 864 homes were built with the help of community owners and government funding. Families were empowered to locate property, purchase land, and build their own houses. As a result, over 4,000 people now have a safe place to call home.
Occurring at the same time were livelihood programs that helped 2,000 people find work, establish small businesses, or renew farming opportunities. By enabling tsunami survivors to become financially independent CRWRC helped restore security to their lives.
Working with our long-term partner in India, EFICOR, CRWRC responded to the needs of nearly 50,000 tsunami affected people in Tamil Nadu. In two years over 1,000 homes were repaired and livelihood restored to nearly 700 families. The broad program encompassed several elements including food, non-food items, shelter and infrastructure, water and sanitation, livelihood restoration, trauma counseling, and training and capacity building in mitigation and preparedness.
Thanks to your generous support in the past four years a total of US $14.5 million has been programmed. Ongoing projects in Indonesia will be completed June 2009, bringing the total tsunami program CRWRC implemented to US $16 million.