| CEE has initiated a programme Rebuilding Lives – a tsunami response that seeks to implement an integrated multisectoral rehabilitation programme leading to sustainable livelihoods and disaster-preparedness for the affected people of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The programme is supported by Intermón Oxfam since its inception in 2005. It covers 20 fishing and agriculture villages in Karaikal (Puducherry U.T.) and Nagapattinam district (Tamil Nadu State).
Karaikal Activities includes:
Livelihood Restoration: As a continuation of the livelihood restoration activity the main activities implemented were Programme on cropland restoration, Planning the implementation of watershed approach, Seed Bank, Trial & Demonstration Plots, Training & Capacity building; Designing & deployment of Artificial Fish Habitats (AFH)s and Designing & construction of net shelter.
Programmes on Alternative Livelihoods: This programme seeks to facilitate and promote alternative livelihood options leading to economic stability and quality of life. Main activities undertaken were Crab culture cum fattening unit and Incense stick production.
Shelter Related Activities included Construction of Permanent Shelters. The people adapted themselves as per their lifestyle and traditional customs. An intensive toilet education program was also implemented to make people aware and ensure the use of toilets.
Disaster Preparedness and Eco-restoration Programmes: Awareness program on disaster risk reduction, concepts of disaster management, resource mapping, vulnerability assessments, emergency preparedness, life saving skills and community response has been undertaken through street plays, discussion and exhibits in fishing villages of Karaikal and Nagapattinam. This involved school students, teachers, adolescent group, family heads, panchayat members, SHG women members, youths, handicaps and elderly community members. A mobile exhibit bus on disaster management – “Waves on Wheels” has also been designed and launched. A training manual on disaster risk reduction for teacher training has also been prepared.
CEE’s ecorestoration program raised over 5 lakh casuarina and other associated saplings in two nurseries in Karaikal and Nagapattinam. A mangrove nursery has also been raised in Melamoovarakarai fishing village. The ecorestoration program has sequestered about 320000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. It helped in coastal sand erosion and also will serve as a bioshield in vulnerable areas.
Programme on HIV/AIDS: Mass awareness on HIV/AIDS through street plays, folk songs, focused group discussion and mimicry were initiated in fishing villages in Karaikal and Tamil Nadu. The information included that on the science of HIV, mode of infection, hygienic practices, safe sex, alcoholism abuse, treatment measures and psychological counseling. CEE created 10 master families per village to serve as the future information and knowledge resource on HIV/AIDS for the community members. They have been given a kit comprising of HIV/AIDS educational materials, communication material and expert contacts for further follow up support. A workshop was also organized to involve the local health department officials, doctors and counseling experts in the community level awareness programs. Following this, the health department has also started blood testing and awareness camps in the fishing villages.