Tsunami 2004 India: Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction - Reports from field
: "This is a small note giving basically the fundamental problems faced both by the fishing populations along the eastern and southern coasts of Sri Lanka and the fisheries administrators in rebuilding the sector. I am also a victim of Tsunami and I am unable furnish a detailed description of all what is happening around me, but would like to share some of the issues that might be of importance to all of us affected by the Tsunami of December 2004."
................ However, several deficiencies in the implementation of the said programme could be noticed, which bare enumerated below.
The Sri Lankan administration does not have the capacity and the skill to handle the present crisis.
The administration is moving at a very slow pace, where as the needs are very urgent and need fast action.
Donors need proposals (concrete project proposals) in a matter of one or two days and the administration is unable to cater to this need.
A number of donor agencies, foreign teams, NGOs are working independently, without consulting the relevant authorities. The latter too turn a blind eye, because they do not want to block the flow of foreign aid on one hand and, because they do not have concrete reconstruction plans at the village level, on the other. For example, I was recently asked to join the Minister of Fisheries for a discussion with a team of Belgians, headed by the Deputy Minister of Defense (Security). They said that they were trying to help rebuilding a village called Mirissa, in the Matara District of Sri Lanka and they told the Minister that they were going to distribute some boat engines to people of this village on the following day and invited the Minister to attend the ceremony. This is a clear example of how things happen without the knowledge of the relevant authorities. Such action, if not properly monitored, is sure to increase the level of fishing effort in the already overexploited coastal fisheries sub-sector.
There is no particular section or unit in the Ministry to guide foreign teams, who are storming into the country. It is necessary to establish such a unit with the participation of not only Ministry Officials but also some senior researchers and academics. Many of the officials hardly possess any command of diplomatically dealing with foreign teams.6. The professionals of the country are still not active in helping the country in the rebuilding and the reconstruction process. It is also true that the government has never mentioned the need to mobilize the country’s professionals.