The people of the Nicobar Islands have distinct cultural and ecological values which have been seriously affected by the Tsunami. Most of the coastal area, home to the Nicobaris and settlers, has been submerged, which means that rehabilitation involves resettlement in different areas.
While interim rehabilitation needs to be done on a war footing before the monsoon sets in, it is critical that an assessment be made taking cultural and ecological aspects into primary consideration, before developing a long-term rehabilitation program.
ANET holds the view that rehabilitation should be conducted in a manner that:
1) Respects the wishes of the people of the affected villages, and hence starts with a consultative approach.
2) Holds true to past traditions and preserves community norms.
3) Is in keeping with the ecological constraints that are crucial to the security of the tribal people and the Islands.
Due to the sheer logistics of the operation, the Administration is the only body that can actively conduct rehabilitation in the Islands. ANET intends to provide material and supplementary support to the rehabilitation process, particularly in those areas that may fall outside the effort of the Administration.
ANET has worked out an approach to helping in relief and rehabilitation. Funding is required in all areas, which includes:
1) Continued procurement of relief materials, as and when required.
2) Carry out an assessment of requirements for rehabilitation.
3) Assist, monitor and document the rehabilitation process.
4) Create a distribution and feedback network using tribal populations in each village/hamlet in the project areas. This channel will be open to all NGO’s/Government agencies involved in the rehabilitation process.