Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

India: Water, malaria and nutrition are key issues in Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ recovery



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Concentrated Vitamin A is just one of the nutritional supplements that have helped keep children healthy in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India.
UNICEF did not have an office in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands when the tsunami struck in December 2004, killing 3,500 people here. UNICEF established a presence within days of the disaster and was the only humanitarian agency allowed to operate across the 572-island archipelago. It remains the Indian administration’s main partner in tsunami recovery.

UNICEF Programme Coordinator Subash Misra discusses some aspects of the work in the Islands over the past twelve months.

CAR NICOBAR ISLAND, India, December 2005 – “UNICEF came to Andaman and Nicobar right after the tsunami, extremely anxious that no disease epidemic should strike the islands. So we started a prevention measles programme along with vitamin A supplementation.

“Our visits to relief camps showed that the sanitation and drinking water facilities were extremely poor in these areas. Drinking water became a critical issue.”

Malaria and nutrition

“We felt that on this island, which gets more than 1,000 millimetres of rain, and where it rains for almost about 140-150 days in a year, rain water harvesting would be a good idea. So we started our rain water harvesting programme.

“We’ve been dealing with malaria. We have provided bednets. Because of the impregnated bednets, because of the repellents and because of de-fogging and several such interventions, we can happily say that we have controlled malaria to a large extent.

“Nutrition of children has become another issue. Their coconut trees have gone, their livestock has died so therefore we are making interventions right at the early stages here to ensure that there is not a single malnourished child in these islands.”


Priyanka Khanna contributed to this story.

 

 

 


 

 

Video

UNICEF Programme Coordinator for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Subash Misra, explains how the organization has supported the recovery process since the tsunami struck in December 2004.

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