India presented an overview of the impact of the tsunami and subsequent relief and rehabilitation efforts. The tsunami had a major impact on coastal communities and the fisheries sector with losses to craft and gear, housing and lives. Immediately following the tsunami, all agencies (including NGOs, government and private sector) pulled together with the communities to support the emergency and rehabilitation efforts.
The most heavily impacted state was Tamil Nadu but Kerala, Andra Pradesh, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands also suffered significant damage. In total 635 776 people were moved to safe areas. In the fisheries sector, 83 788 vessels were affected. Fish production was impacted by the tsunami and was lower than in previous years (for example, marine production during January to March in tsunami affected states 2004-2005 was 199 000 tonnes whilst for the same period in 2003-2004 it was 342 000 tonnes.
The relief operation and institutional arrangements at national and state level were described (including the creation of emergency committees). In the fisheries sector, special packages for relief for small scale fishers were developed. In addition, replacement of gear, vessels and infrastructure (such as ice plants, harbours and landing facilities) and support to entrepreneurs have also been undertaken. The total value of the government rehabilitation programme for the special package was US$ 277 million, comprising grants and loans.
Support for livelihood rehabilitation has five aspects which include provision of working capital, assistance for fresh water fish farmers, compensation for loss of special projects (such as pearl oyster and crabs), repair of ice plants and compensation for aquaculture losses.
Constraints to rehabilitation efforts were outlined. These included: organization of communities, the large scale of the damage, the disproportionately large impact on subsistence fishers, lack of availability of materials, weak capacity of implementing agencies, inadequate infrastructure, lack of understanding of socio-economic and traditional practices, lack of alternative technologies, lack of awareness and a time lag in gearing up the response.
The lessons learned during rehabilitation were outlined and included: the importance of transparency (the right to information), constitution of committees and accountability, use of local materials, gender sensitization, use of a holistic approach which emphasizes horizontal and vertical as well as a "forward backward" linking.
The workshop discussion covered clarifications on the responses described and whether it had included the NGO sector. India explained that whilst many NGOs cooperated well and provided information, many others did not, which has resulted in coordination problems. The number of NGOs had proliferated hugely since the tsunami and there was concern that many may not be there for the longer term and would not be sustainable. Issues related to beneficiary selection were discussed and India explained that whilst this was a difficult area, assessments had been made at state level with village communities to identify beneficiaries and agree a master plan (developed with the agreement of beneficiaries). Overall, few complaints have been received by the government.
India - future strategy
India outlined the development and contents of their national tsunami rehabilitation strategy. India has a tsunami rehabilitation programme which was developed very quickly after the tsunami struck. A planning commission was set up involving all concerned departments. The programme coverage was described which included finances (US$ 2 220 million), time frame (four years) and budget. The budget for this is from the finance ministry. The key components of the plan included housing, infrastructure, livelihoods and social development. Total funding for the plan was described with US$ 235 million allocated to fisheries and livelihoods. The funds were sourced from the government of India and donors such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Funds would be allocated to both state and national governments.
The components of the fisheries plan included: activities relating to boats and gear (repair and replacement), infrastructure improvements (upgrading, repair and building of landing centres) and value adding to fishery products (improved handling, processing and strengthening of cooperative groups).
Guiding principles had been developed for sector rehabilitation and included issues such as good environmental management, adoption of participatory approaches, involvement of privates sector and gender sensitivity.
The institutional mechanisms and roles and responsibilities for delivery of the rehabilitation plan were described. These included the use of a core planning group, empowerment group (at Ministry level) and the Nodal agency concept. Monitoring of the programme would be carried out by state governments and reporting to the core groups on a quarterly basis. The programme monitoring mechanisms were outlined with civil society and NGOs to play a major role.
Other broad issues considered important to implementation included: commitment to implementation in a time bound manner; coordination, need based approaches, environmental issues, sustainability, information on boat builders, gender, value adding, transparency and accountability, credit, quality assurance and sea safety.
A question was asked concerning the way environmental issues would be incorporated into the infrastructure rehabilitation components of the plan. India responded that they would be taken care of.
The Indonesian presentation began by describing the efforts immediately after the tsunami. The first action was to establish a taskforce. This taskforce was very effective in coordination between Government and NGOs, since, within the taskforce, there were no requirements for formal agreements.
The importance of fisheries and aquaculture in Aceh was emphasized. On the east coast coastal brackish water aquaculture of shrimp and milkfish are important. Aceh is an important source of good quality broodstock of shrimp and is third in volume of aquaculture production of shrimp in Indonesia. In marine fisheries, nets are more commonly used along the east coast whilst along the west coast, long lining is more common. The damage was described in the numbers of casualties, length of coastline affected, and the number of villages and towns damaged. Ten percent of the fishers died. These were mainly the fishers who were on land during the tsunami. Around 10 000 boats of various sizes and types were destroyed. The main organizations involved in rehabilitation were described; with the local fisher communities being typically represented by the traditional structure in Aceh, the Panglima Laut.
The main intervention methods: Cash for work at a daily wage of US$ 4/day. Replacement of tools, repair and replacement of fishing craft and rehabilitation of fish ponds. Major efforts were also made in the reconstruction of infrastructure, housing and roads. Livelihoods were recovered by assistance with the rehabilitation of fish processing tools for the drying and salting of fish. The replacement of small fishing vessels was a popular activity of donors since this gave a quick result (easy, fast, cheap and visible).
Key issues: It was difficult to maintain quality, and sometimes the wrong approach was used. Lack of coordination on working areas resulted in the tendency to work in areas most easily reached. Oversupply of support caused conflicts in the community, while some difficult to reach areas received less support. Implementation of assistance was slower than expected.
Looking forward: Future improvements in fisheries can be achieved through increased training efforts especially in improved aquaculture methods. Fisheries stock assessment can be improved by the service of a fisheries research vessel. More construction effort is needed for rehabilitation of landing centres, irrigation systems for coastal ponds and the replacement of cold storage facilities.
Some examples of best practice: FAO produced guidelines of rehabilitation of coastal ponds and on good boat-building standards. Emphasis on rehabilitation through working through cooperatives and communities ensured greater chances of success. Value adding to livelihoods through rehabilitation of fish processing through fish processing groups was also encouraged.
During plenary discussions it was queried whether support to entry to deep sea fishing is a request by the fisher community and whether the required infrastructure is in place. It was replied that deep sea fishing should be promoted, specifically on the island of Sabang, where the needed infrastructure is already available. It is suggested that it is actually the donor community who prefers to replace the small boats, while the fisher community also requests them to supply larger vessels.
Strengthened disaster preparedness: the workshop was informed how better preparations are in place, with better networking, a large storage of rice and establishment of a cash fund available for emergencies through the Ministry of Social Affairs. An early warning system has also now been developed in each province.
The workshop noted that is commendable that in Indonesia, after a detailed assessment, a maximum was set to the number of boats to be replaced. This will avoid oversupply and resultant over fishing.
Indonesia - Future strategy
The overall goal is to alleviate poverty and within this three approaches were identified:
1. Restore private goods such as fishing boats, restart aquaculture and introduce new technologies;
2. Restore public goods, fisheries infrastructure and support services;
3. Strengthen the communities with training and working capital.
From 2005 to 2009 two phases are identified, which are characterized by different activities related to short-term rehabilitation and medium-term reconstruction. The amounts of funding were presented as well as the main sources of funds. Diagrams were presented in which the operational implementation and the mechanism of donor coordination were shown.
A map and graph were presented which showed distribution of funds over the districts of Aceh, by sector portfolio. These also showed the gap between funds available and those needed. It is clear that some sectors are receiving more funds than needed, while others receive less than required. The fisheries sector has a positive gap. The plans for the future were similar to the points already discussed in the previous session. Recommendations for the future were given that emphasized the need for sustainability, coordination and participation by local institutions.
The states most affected by the tsunami, were Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor, impacting more than 7 500 fishermen and around 300 aquaculturists. The estimated losses were estimated to be US$ 15.4 million. Both fisheries and the aquaculture sector were affected by the tsunami. The Malaysian Government, international organizations, donors, and NGOs have been doing a lot of work to get things back to normal. Data collection has been undertaken by the government coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry.
A number of initiatives have been started:
Cleaning and recovery of fishing communities;
Establishment of a national disaster fund which is used to compensate the fishermen;
Rebuilding of infrastructure related to fisheries and aquaculture;
Motivation program for the affected fishermen/families. There was a need to rebuild the confidence and "heart" of many communities;
Surveys and research have been done by Fisheries Research Institute In Malaysia;
Financial assistance has been provided through Government, Bank of Malaysia, Fishermen Fund, Japanese grant, group projects.
The Malaysian government report that much progress has been made during the past year and that things are on the right track. However there have been constraints for implementing some of the initiatives due to mainly the educational level of fishermen, severe trauma suffered by the fishermen and families, shortage of local inputs and financial inputs. There has been good support from The Malaysian government. It was noted in the discussion that it was interesting that work was being done with the fishermen and their families to recover from the trauma experienced after the tsunami.
Regarding the determination of levels of vessel distribution/replacement it was replied that the target is to achieve the same distribution as before the tsunami with small adjustments where suitable.
Malaysia - future strategy
Financial assistance for tsunami rehabilitation came from the Tsunami National Disaster Fund. A task force was formed at three levels, under the Prime Minister's Office, at ministry level and at ground level, with the following goals:
Financial support to aquaculture: with promotion of industrial ventures in aquaculture and working with the Agriculture Bank of Malaysia (BPM).
Government Policy on mangroves: Land management is controlled by the state governments. Mangroves will be protected by strict regulation of mangrove exploitation. The first 200 meters from the sea will not be utilized.
Relocation of coastal communities: New housing areas for fishers communities are set up.
Tsunami Early warning system: An early warning system is being developed. Two buoy units have been installed.
Awareness program: The confidence of fishers is to be built up so they will be able to restart fisheries activities.
Development of traditional fishers: The fishers groups are giving training which will lead to restructuring of the groups into viable economic entities. Fisheries related businesses will be developed which will lead to alternative income generating activities and diversification of income, for example in fish processing and boat building.
Through training, motivation and technical support, the fishers group will establish itself as a company in future with support in kind based on the group's business plan.
The constraints in tsunami rehabilitation were listed. In particular these covered issues relating to beneficiary identification, information validation and needs assessment.
Limitations on validation of damage assessment and beneficiary identification due to logistical difficulties;
High cost of participatory needs assessment, lack of agreement within communities leading to delays in delivery;
Disproportionately negative impact of such delays on most needy people;
Defined methodologies need to developed and used consistently by all partners;
Tough policy decisions needed to be taken immediately after disaster with regard to level of assistance and period of assistance;
Need to ensure equity between affected communities and other communities in order to avoid social conflicts;
Increased funding requirement than first estimated. High funding gap in all areas of livelihood rehabilitation.
There have been delays in finalizing implementation arrangements for donor funded programs, this has been due to:
Different donors dictating different implementation requirements;
Limited co-ordination and data sharing between donor agencies;
Subsequent delays in delivery resulting in loss of trust of beneficiaries towards government/donor agencies;
Need to have quick disbursement arrangements, but very few donor agencies use such arrangements;
Limited staff and capacities of GOM agencies, especially at atoll and island level to effectively manage, coordinate and deliver relief and rehabilitation assistance.
There are large numbers of internally displaced persons in temporary shelters, living in difficult conditions. The livelihoods of IDP's are difficult to revitalize because basic needs have not been met. Critical difficulties are also faced in reaching agreement between some IDP communities and GOM/donors on relocation to safe islands.
These difficulties lead to a loss of trust by IDPs in GOM and this negatively impacts livelihoods revitalization efforts. The working unit is the fisher family unit and the dispersal of family members to different temporary shelters poses obstacles to restarting livelihoods activities. There is a need to coordinate with other livelihoods and shelter programs, to improve effectiveness. High numbers of young people who are not in school and unemployed/underemployed youths in IDP communities, will constrain livelihoods rehabilitation. Women in temporary shelters have few options for their traditional livelihoods activities due to extremely difficult living conditions and the relocation from their home islands.
Maldives future strategy
Need to shift programs from simple asset replacement to programs that target whole community, with a focus on vulnerable groups such as women and the elderly;
Need to incorporate social welfare and community partnership policies and approaches to post tsunami livelihoods rehabilitation activities.
The Maldives emphasized that their economy is narrowly based on the tourism and fishing industries and the impact of the tsunami was significant in both sectors. Maldives described their tsunami recovery strategy as having two phases: the short term strategy coving the first six months and the medium term strategy extending to December 2007.
In the short term the Maldives has focused on replacing and reconstructing basic assets and infrastructure as well as providing quick access to finance and carrying out some initial resource assessments.
In the second phase the Maldives has expanded its program to cover a diverse range of activities summarized as follows:
1. Continuing repair work;
2. Provision of shelter for displaced persons;
3. Filling financial gaps estimated at about US$ 10 million for the fisheries sector;
4. Strengthening financial mechanisms;
5. Empowering fishing communities;
6. Fleet capacity management;
7. Post harvest supply chain development; and
8. Strengthening of resource management including legal frameworks, planning and resource assessment.
Myanmar provided a background history of the impact of the tsunami across the four states (Divisions) affected and within key townships. The key areas impacted in Myanmar are Pyinsalu sub-township, Laputta Township, Myaung Mya District, in Ayeyarwaddy Division. Impacts included the death of 25 people, the destruction of 289 homes and 123 fishing boats.
A range of bio-geological characteristics were identified as important factors in determining the extent of impacts from the tsunami. These included the geographic location of particular islands chains and the presence of natural barriers around some island areas (principally coral reefs and mangrove plantations) that helped mitigate impacts.
Myanmar identified valuable lessons for the future which include mangrove reconstruction, appropriate location and construction of buildings, improved communication systems, the development of effective early warning and response systems and the need for relief planning.
Myanmar - future strategy
Myanmar described two key tsunami rehabilitation objectives. They are to provide support to fishing communities in replacing fishing gear and boats and supporting the replacement of equipment for agriculture. Myanmar detailed rehabilitation activities so far undertaken and key contributors to these efforts.
Immediately after the tsunami, the Myanmar Government took very prompt relief action through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and local authorities. The relief teams provided aids to the victims such as, cash, rice, edible oils, cloths, blanket, etc. Donations of cash and kind were also received and they were being sent to the affected region.
Myanmar did not request any aid or help for tsunami victims. However it receives voluntary contributions and donations. The state Peace and Development Council have formed a Committee to provide assistance to the victims and to distribute donated relief items to the victims. Myanmar's strategy for the future has five target areas:
1. Mobilization of aid and diverse intervention towards relief and rehabilitation of tsunami-affected populations, including fishing communities;
2. Ongoing and future interventions by government agencies and NGOs, towards strengthening short-term and long-term rehabilitation;
3. Replacing, repairing and reconstructing lost or damaged fishermen's houses, boats and fishing gears in the shortest time possible;
4. Healthcare facilities provided by international, state and local agencies with baseline data for current and future capacity. This will provide medical services in affected areas after tsunami period;
5. The coordination and efficient utilization of relief and rehabilitation assistance for the fisheries sector (offered from private and public domestic sources and the international community, including governments, UN agencies, international financial institutions and civil society and NGOs) and the development and implementation of a strategy and program for short-term and long-term reconstruction and development of the fisheries communities.
The presentation covered the status of tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka, one year on. The principal damage was to the marine capture fisheries sector, whilst aquaculture was marginally affected. Civil unrest in north and eastern areas have had an impact on slowing down rehabilitation.
The presentation stated that there has been much progress over the past year in the recovery of the fishing fleet, supporting infrastructure, marketing, post harvest facilities and coastal structures and ecosystem rehabilitation. A joint working committee with FAO has assisted the MFAR in its coordination with donors and NGOs. The Secretary of MFAR has now taken the lead role in the joint working committee further emphasizing the importance of this work.
Vessel replacements: Some 78 percent of destroyed boats have been replaced. However, there have been some inequities in replacement of boats (e.g., some districts have received more boats than were destroyed whilst several genuine fishers have not received any boats). Furthermore, 18.9 percent new boats and 8.4 percent of repaired boats were found to be sub-standard or notseaworthy. Only 28 percent of lost fishing gear has been replaced to date. Data on progress of tsunami rehabilitation has to be considered against the backdrop of lack of pre-tsunami data and the reliability of damage assessment data, shortcomings in beneficiary selection and the opportunistic behaviour of fishers.
Key challenges: Those identified included: containment of the fishing fleet for sustainability, addressing gaps in assets replacement, and mitigation of current problems in over supply of assets. Some options considered include; a "buy back" scheme, limited registration of boats, limiting asset replacement, etc. A committee has been appointed to pilot an initiative to "buy back" excess and poor quality boats and other related equipment. This will be tried in one district, and if successful, can be expanded.
Gaps and constraints: These include: the replacement of larger boats, safety and construction of fishing vessels (small and larger/multi-day boats); infrastructure rehabilitation funding; coastal ecosystem rehabilitation; rehabilitation of fishery institutions; strengthening of institutional and community based organizations, and improved coordination mechanisms. Lack of funding, lack of a reliable data base on the industry and the depletion of experienced and skilled manpower are all areas that still need to be addressed, and the government has recognized these gaps and is trying to address them through government and donor assistance.
The workshop noted that Sri Lanka and Indonesia were the two countries most affected by tsunami; in Indonesia there is the Panglima Laut system for community and fishers organization, In Sri Lanka, involving communities was achieved through fishery cooperatives. These are being mobilized and their capacity is being enhanced. MFAR is working with the NGO Coordinating Committee. Recovery assessment indicated a higher percentage of genuine beneficiaries were accommodated in districts where strong and active cooperatives were involved in the rehabilitation process.
In answer to a question on the identification or classification of non-seaworthy vessels, Sri Lanka replied that the reports of this are generally coming from fishers themselves by physical inspection. Further, a recent survey by a Norwegian mission indicated more than 25 percent of FRP boats are poor quality as lamination thickness is too low. There are concerns that after 1-2 years such boats will break or become unusable and there will be no funds available for their replacement.
Sri Lanka - future strategy
Sri Lanka has developed a strategy and programme for post-tsunami reconstruction and development of the marine fisheries sector in collaboration with FAO, donors and other stakeholders. The strategy includes the marine sub-sector which was the most affected by the tsunami. It creates a consistent strategic framework and overall programme guide for the reconstruction and development of the fisheries sector as a basis for planning and coordination at all levels of government. The goals are to rehabilitate and improve the fishing communities and the fishing industry beyond the pre-tsunami conditions of living and wealth generation respectively. Finally the Strategy in its intent to "build back better" has two distinct phases: Short term Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of up to two years, 2005-2006: and a Medium and Long - term Development phase from 2005-2009.
Objectives over the short term: While building on the ongoing humanitarian recovery work it seeks to:
be community focused;
complete repairs and replacement of fishing assets;
re-establish the post harvest sector and market chain;
strengthen capacities for reconstruction and development.
Medium and long-term objectives: In parallel with the above, this phase seeks to:
ensure communities sustain their livelihoods, increase incomes and have alternative employment opportunities outside the sector;
strengthen the community capacity for input and involvement into the management processes with government;
implement post harvest modernization and value addition to fish products;
strengthen capacity of support services (government, NGOs and the private sector) at all levels for fisheries management and coordination.
Guiding principles for post tsunami rehabilitation. The presentation listed the following:
1. provide a basis for sustainable management and development of fisheries and aquaculture;
2. enhance the role of local communities;
3. adopt a livelihood approach;
4. adopt a coordinated and transparent approach;
5. introduce integrated and participatory management in coastal areas;
6. ensure compliance with national and regional agreements and guidelines.
Challenges facing the rehabilitation process. These included:
1. containment of fleet size;
2. enhanced landing sites and facilities;
3. management of anchorages and fish landing sites;
4. early warning systems and improved beach access for evacuation;
5. strengthening of construction for shore support infrastructure;
6. enhanced facilities and maintenance of higher fish quality;
7. better designs of vessels for safety;
8. implementation of minimum construction standards for fishing boats.
The workshop questioned the issue of tourism versus fisheries, and how the government was addressing this. It responded that the Government agreed to leave hotels on the beach as it was difficult to remove them, but that fisher's safety was the concern of the government and it is trying to convince fishers to remain away for the seashore area. It was further commented that the Government changed its decision regarding the 100/200 m zone, to allow for lower elevation and higher elevation areas which have differing vulnerability. A disaster area map is being used to determine the whether fishers have to relocate or not. There is currently no enforcement.
The workshop enquired whether there was an intention to improve the MCS scheme. Sri Lanka responded that the Government is considering implementation of a better MCS system using the Coast Guard under guidance of MOFAR. This will need training and equipment. Observers are not being considered due to the size of the vessels.
Six provinces on the Andaman coast were affected by the tsunami, and total estimated damage to fisheries and aquaculture is valued at US$ 440 million. The relief activities were summarised, focusing on livelihoods and rehabilitation of fisheries and other resources. A total of 68 organizations have provided assistance to communities, which included humanitarian as well as fisheries and alternative livelihoods aspects. Close to 4 500 boats have been repaired or replaced. The figures for actual replacement of lost vessels is difficult to ascertain, but is assumed that there has been an overall increase above pre-tsunami levels.
The Andaman Forum was initially set up for coordination and cooperation in the provision of assistance to communities in the aftermath of the tsunami. More recently a DOF-FAO post-tsunami rehabilitation coordination unit was established at the Thai DOF. The objective is to strengthen coordination in the delivery of rehabilitation assistance to fishing communities.
Lessons learned include:
Disaster preparedness was not in place;
Benefits of donor contributions could have been increased with more donor cooperation and better guidance for donor inputs;
There was a lack of strategy and it should have been needs based and have had more involvement by communities;
Coordination between government agencies, donors and other players was insufficient;
There was a lack of facilitation for responsible decisions on the provision of fisheries inputs;
Community leadership is essential in the planning and implementation of relief and rehabilitation;
There should have been more focus on self-help;
To the extent possible, rehabilitation efforts should work with/through local institutions.
During the plenary discussion it was stated that, initially, donors did not support projects aimed at coordination of relief efforts, and focussed more on relief and input provision. The presentation described how many agencies collected data and information, but that these efforts were generally limited in scope and the results were not available to other agencies. Communities were in some cases "fed up" with answering questions; information gathering should be coordinated. Maldives pointed out that there is a need to develop disaster impact and needs assessment approaches/guidelines. In response it was commented that community participation in needs assessment is needed, but will only work well if the framework is made clear (i.e. what help can be expected and who will/should benefit).
Thailand - future strategy
Thailand identified seven areas that need to be addressed:
1. Better Coordination
The DOF-FAO coordination unit will maintain a directory of organizations, a website and other activities.
Stakeholder meetings will be arranged.
2. Capacity building
There is need to build capacity for monitoring and quality assurance of current and future assistance efforts.
Community based management needs are to be developed to support local communities and local government organizations.
3. Early warning system
A pilot early warning system will be set up in selected villages.
4. Revolving fund, micro credit, soft loans
There is a need for a simple and standardized credit system, available to fishers.
5. Strengthen community groups
Post-tsunami experience has showed that well managed and organised communities are more resilient and can recover faster after an emergency situation.
Women and youth need to be specifically targeted.
6. Coastal and fisheries resources rehabilitation
There is a need for work towards restoring fishing grounds and other fisheries habitats. This may be achieved to a large extent through enhancement of co-management institution.
7. Coastal infrastructure
Fish landing sites, markets.
Finally, Thailand emphasised that there is continued need for regional sharing of experiences in the post-tsunami rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture. The workshop enquired whether there were any programmes directed at larger fishing vessels. The reply was that they have not received much attention. Although some relief funds were provided these had been rather limited. Some large vessels were seriously affected, e.g. a medium sized vessel that lost communication systems and gear valued at US$ 50 000 to 75 000, but had only received US$ 2 500 in compensation. The result is that larger vessels must rely, mainly, on commercial loans.