Beneficiaries are the tsunami survivors mainly fisher

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beneficiaries are the tsunami survivors, mainly fisher-folk communities along the west coast in 23 villages in Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar, areas worst hit by the tsunami where all buildings and houses were swept away by the high waves, leaving about 10% human survivors. Community members are involved in all aspects of the project. A complete survey was carried out of the ruined villages, including participatory land mapping and a full account of surviving families. Ownership certificates are being issued based on this work. Further involvement includes land surveying and mapping, housing design, material purchase and data collection; as well as playing crucial roles in the construction process as material suppliers, labourers, and building inspectors. The project has a target that 60 per cent of the funds for reconstructing houses and infrastructure shoulyd be retained in the village, so that the rebuilding process boosts the village economies. The project employs many community members in the construction process and in building-block making plants. Only when the reconstruction labour and resource requirements cannot be met in the village itself, are nearby villages approached. A village-based revolving economic fund providing loan capital has been established to help village members, especially women’s groups, to start small businesses. A combination of training and village based small-scale economic activities provides increased opportunities to improve long-term livelihood prospects, as well as strengthening their confidence, skills and expertise. Typical activities include acupuncture, block-making, composting, mushroom cultivation, disaster management, rice farming, earthquake-resistant construction and pedi-cab businesses. Uplink’s partners are involved in the design, planning, development, financing and in- kind contributions. They include: Abhiyan and Hunnar Sala, a network of NGOs in Gujarat, India, ILO, Misereor Germany, Development and Peace Canada, CIDA
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Canada, and Plan International. Project beneficiaries provide in-kind contributions including provision of labors, local wisdom, participation and solidarity, while Uplink provides the overall management. The lessons learned show that post-disaster reconstruction is more than physical facilities, and encompasses community participation and relationship-building. Having trust in the people’s resilience and wisdom is paramount, and with a little support even the most traumatised people can immediately work together to begin to build a better life for themselves. Community participatory housing reconstruction can deliver a large number of well-constructed quality homes within a reasonable time frame. The main achievements and outcomes have been physical, social and cultural. Physical - the construction of quake resistant and flood safe houses, village level infrastructure, restoration and implementation of organic farming, revival of the community economy.
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