Monday, October 02, 2006

Achieving Sustainability of Tsunami Rehabilitation & Reconstruction

Sulari Anthony

On 26th December 2004, the coast of Sri Lanka was hit by a series of Tsunami waves generated by an earthquake centered off Sumatra island in the Indian ocean. The waves initially lashed the Eastern coast and subsequently hit many areas of the Southern, Western and Northern provinces, causing extensive loss of life and damage to property. There were an estimated 31000 deaths, 6000 persons missing and almost total destruction of the built environment within the zone of wave impact. The natural coastal structure and environment suffered significant changes up to one kilometer from the shore. The Tsunami also triggered the displacement of up to 426000 persons, with the total affected population exceeding 80000.

The government of Sri Lanka, civil society groups, International donor community is now in a period where the need for long term recovery and rehabilitation, aiming at the sustainable development of Sri Lanka, is becoming increasingly apparent.

In a world where one billion people live on less than a dollar a day, and over 2.5 billion lack access two adequate sanitation and specially in a country at developing state, economic development, technological advance and reconstructions should be promoted in a sustainable way, a way which meets the needs of the present without compromising future generation.

Sustainable development is crucial for ecological stability as well as the peace of the country.