Friday, January 9, 2015

Dec 28, 2004; a post on; revisiting December 2004

Dec 28, 2014

Dear Friends,
There have been regular postings on this group on what different people have been able to put together about what is happening on the islands. As is evident there is also a lot many queries about what needs to be done and what can be done.
I have been in touch with Samir through the day and now power and communications at least in Port Blair is much better. The situation in the Nicobars is rather bad and we still do not have any information either from the Central Nicobars and Great Nicobar.
The islands are continuosly experiencing tremors and this is compounding the problem. Samir mentioned that last night following one of these aftershocks, for example, the passenger jetty in Little Andaman too is reported to have collapsed.
I have also asked Samir what is it that is needed and what is it that we can do. His first reactions were that probably money and such resources are not needed, but that volunteers would certainly be of help. But this is still very initial suggestions.
In the meanwhile, ActionAid and Oxfam have been in touch, and in fact, an initial small joint team of the two organisations will be going to Port Blair in a couple of days, most likely day after tomorrow. They will be in touch with Samir, and hopefully will also be able to meet senior government officials. Following this, I assume they will work out their plan of action, and also figure out what is most urgently needed, what can be done and what is the kind of inputs and help that is needed. I would believe that these organisations with their expertise would be best placed to decide what it is that needs to be done. We will be constantly in touch with them, and based on what they say is required, we can try and garner our resources and energies towards that. In the present situation that does seem to be the best way forward. It will be a couple of days more before we get an idea of what is needed, but it might be worth the wait.
In the meanwhile, if we do hear from the islands or directly from Samir that particular kinds of inputs are needed, we can certainly try and take that up as well.

Pankaj Sekhsaria

No comments: