The tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 and caused giant waves travelling at about 500 km/hr to hit the coastlines of 15 countries along the ocean generated untold, widespread devastation, the coastal area of Tamil Nadu was not spared from devastation. The governments of India and states affected by the tragedy have since embarked on a highly successful recovery effort divided into three phases: immediate relief and response; temporary rehabilitation and restoration of infrastructure; and long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction.
The Government of Tamil Nadu has classified the tsunami-affected areas into badly-affected and partly-affected: the badly-affected areas cover the six districts of Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Chennai and Kanyakumari, which together account for 464 km (of the total Tamil Nadu coastline of 1,076 km); whereas the seven coastal districts of Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Thiruvallur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Thirunelveli and Tuticori have been classified as partlyaffected. It is estimated that the livelihoods of about 174,590 fishers have been destroyed.
The goal of the programme is to enable thousands of tsunami victims living in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu to return to a stable and productive way of life. A communitydriven livelihoods approach will be adopted to build self-reliant coastal communities that are resilient to shocks and able to manage their livelihood base in a sustainable manner. Components involve: (i) coastal areas resource management; (ii) rural finance and risk-transfer instruments; (iii) employment generation and skills training; (iv) community-based sea-safety and disaster management; and (v) programme management.
Activities will be coordinated with medium-term rehabilitation work undertaken by government and other relief agencies. The target group comprises coastal dwellers, including coastal fishers, wage labour employed in the fisheries sector, farmers,
agricultural labourers and other groups. The programme will specifically target marginalized groups, including woman-headed households and scheduled castes.
The goal of the programme is to rehabilitate the livelihoods of thousands of tsunami victims along the Tamil Nadu coastal areas, thereby enabling them to return to a stable and productive way of life.