December 15, 2005: An Update: Tsunami Intervention in 17 Panchayats in Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu (India)

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The Hunger Project, with its local implementing partner organizations, is officially responsible for empowering the population of 74 Tsunami-affected villages in 17 panchayats to rebuild their communities and their lives. (This is more villages than originally forseen, as we discovered that some of the inland villages were also severely affected.) This is a bottom-up process - first strengthening the planning skills of the people - facilitating the community in creating their plans - and then ensuring that the government supports the implementation of the plans.

After an intensive five-month process of data collection, survey, focus group discussions, and participatory planning, detailed information on the 17 Panchayats has been collected and analysed. Photo: Capacity building for local leaders.

A workshop to share the micro planning process and its outcomes among the partners was organized on 22-23rd August at Thirukadaiyur, Nagapattinam.

Detailed discussions have also been held with each of the partners on the issues concerning the Panchayats in their areas. Two external resource persons – Mr Harigobind Singh from AAK, Allahabad, who has wide experience in micro planning, and Ms Bimla Chandrasekhar, Ekta, Madurai for inputs on gender aspects were invited.

The objectives that have emerged from the micro planning relate to livelihoods, sanitation, housing and drinking water. In this entire process, the district administration has been very supportive and has offered to facilitate linking up of the micro plan outcomes with the government. Photo: Group discussions.

As a follow up to the micro planning exercise, a three-year intervention on “Strengthening community initiatives towards micro planning for rehabilitation in 17 Panchayats in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu “ has been initiated. The following activities are planned in the coming months:

  • Capacity building Trainings for orientation and sharing of the micro plan outcomes with different community members from the 17 Panchayats is being organized. Around 200 participants would be attending these training programmes.
  • Gram Sabhas (village assembly) meetings in all the 17 Panchayats will be organized for approval of the micro plans
  • A district level-sharing workshop will be organized to facilitate the linking of the needs with the different government programmes.
  • Orientation workshop of all partner teams for common understanding on the proposed interventions
  • Study on the functioning of traditional Panchayats will be initiated
  • Training of trainers for the partner staff is also planned
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