Empowering local communities after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake


Concepts on empowering local communities were expressed after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004. "Disasters can be mitigated if local communities and Government are adequately equipped to handle them. While appreciating the overwhelming solidarity with the victims of the Tsunami, the participants asserted that local communities must be made capable to spearhead any relief and rehabilitation operation in the wake of a disaster in a participatory manner. What is needed is the creation of "hazard-resilient bio-regional communities" with emergency reshuffle plans handled by fully-equipped and well-prepared Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Committees of village clusters it is not out of place for each Panchayat Raj to create some kind of emergency corpus funds so that people can have immediate access to relief. This would enhance their self-esteem and make them proactive in times of disaster. In addition, identifying the immediate needs to combat any further deterioration in disaster management and effective reconstruction, such as the installation of early warning systems; streamlining of relief distribution systems; launching public awareness campaigns, and issuing guidelines to relief workers all aid in effective disaster management" (Karunakaran, T. 2006).

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