Thursday, March 02, 2006

GPS devices for tsunami-affected fishermen-(Tsunami Response Update) WorldVision

GPS devices for tsunami-affected fishermen

Fishermen in India can now navigate the seas with ease and mark fishing spots thanks to Global Positioning System(GPS) devices provided by World Vision. World Vision distributed 200 instruments to fishermen from 13 Cuddalore villages as part of the tsunami livelihood recovery program's ICT- 4D (Information Communication Technology for Development) initiative. World Vision had already provided these fishermen with boats and nets. “A GPS will facilitate easy navigation for the fishermen,” said World Vision's Samuel Jesudasan. “Once they mark a fishing spot, they can easily return to the same spot the next day and save fuel, time and man power.” The GPS uses coordinates from 12 satellites to create a 3-D map of a location. It can lock on locations and calculate distances and speed of travel. Fisherman Vinayakamoorthi from Cuddalore said, “Earlier, when we had a good catch, we would find it difficult locating the exact spot the next day. This was time consuming, but now, I can locate and record all my favourable spots and get there the next day without any hassle.”

INDIA: Cuddalore agriculturists receive livelihood assistance Agriculturists in Cuddalore, whose farmlands had been inundated by the tsunami are benefiting from new livelihood recovery programs implemented by World Vision . Farming communities in Pichavaram, along the coastline of Cuddalore produce rice, groundnuts, and vegetables; but received little assistance after the tsunami devastated their land. They were also affected by floods late in 2005. World Vision has since identified the community for agricultural interventions and provided tractors, tillers and hydraulic dippers. Close to 900 sets of spades, crowbars and pickaxes, as well as paddy seeds have been provided. Earlier, World Vision helped deepen 20 kilometre-long canals, and desalinate 144 hectares of agricultural land. INDONESIA: ‘Aceh in Colour’: an opportunity for children’s expression Two hundred children’s paintings were recently exhibited in the tsunami-recovering province of Aceh, Indonesia in a collaborative effort between World Vision and an Achenese non-government organisation, ‘La Kaspia Institute’. More than 600 children and government representatives attended the "Aceh in Colour" event after 1,200 children from 21 of World Vision’s Child Friendly Spaces in Aceh participated in drawing training. There was a notable change in the content of children’s drawings exhibited. During the first months after the tsunami, the wave and its devastation featured in most drawings. Now, children preferred to draw their post-tsunami situation. At the exhibition, few drawings featured the tsunami. Sixteen-year-old Vida, noticed this: “Maybe the children don’t want to look back or think of the past. What they want to see is the future,” she said. “Hopefully by conducting the event, more attention will be given to children,” said World Vision's Elfrieda Sinaga. “Let’s create a space for the children to express their opinions and make a better future,” she said. The La Kaspia Institute, based in Banda Aceh was destroyed by the tsunami. The institute is recreating itself after losing everything: its building, staff, equipment and data. World Vision has worked with the institute since March 2005, collaborating on a series of art-focused activities for tsunami-affected children.

© Reuters Foundation.

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