Tsunami in South Asia
On 26 December 2004, a tsunami that is not soon to be forgotten, devastated the shores of the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, all of the Swiss-funded reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes implemented by the SDC have been wound up. The Confederation’s Humanitarian Aid, which committed a total of CHF 35 million to these operations, focused its efforts primarily on three countries, i.e., Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.
Review of the SDC tsunami programmes in Thailand
At the end of 2007, the SDC decided to commission an external audit of its programme called “Fishing Communities in Thailand”. The audit was conducted in March 2008, and enabled an inventory of the programme to be taken, the opinions of two external experts (one international and one local national) to be solicited and, in particular, certain measures to be launched, if required, before the SDC’s pullout. The recommendations ensuing from the audit began to be implemented in the summer of 2008. Furthermore, ever since the programme was terminated in August 2008, the SDC has been ensuring regular follow-up through its regional Country Director based in Bangkok. So far, the latter visited the programme sites in November 2008 and in April 2009, with the next visit being planned for mid-December 2009.
After the tsunami, there was never any intention - moreover, at the Thai government's explicit insistence - of launching a longer-term development programme in Thailand. The aim was to give priority to reconstruction. Under the head of "Livelihood" activities, quickly implemented, effective projects in favour of fishing families (building of fishing boots, supply of fishing nets) were followed, with a view to pullout, by plans for flanking measures towards the end of physical reconstruction proper.
Thailand post-Tsunami project poster (en, 1.2 MB)
Audit du programme de la DDC après le tsunami en Thaïlande
Management response on External Review: Emergency and Rehabilitation assistance
for fishing communities of Ko Phra Thong and Ko Kho Khao (Thailand) (en, 52 KB)
Report on External Review: Emergency and Rehabilitation assistance for fishing communities of Ko Phra Thong and Ko Kho Khao (Thailand) (en, 160 KB)
Tsunami - Sri Lanka programme to rebuild schools
The SDC’s own individual programme in Sri Lanka has been completed.
Since October 2008, however, the SDC’s Humanitarian Aid Department has placed two experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) at the disposal of the children’s relief fund of the United Nations (UNICEF) for their post-tsunami school reconstruction programme. The two members of the Unit are responsible for managing the reconstruction programme, and will remain deployed in Sri Lanka until the end of march 2010 and December 2010, respectively. Out of a total of 11 schools, work has already been completed on 7. In addition, 3 healthcare centers were built.
The “Cash for Repair and Reconstruction Programme” (CfRR) – the cash payment approach successfully pursued in the aftermath of the tsunami for the rebuilding of destroyed housing, is also being implemented by the SDC for the construction of living quarters for the returning, internally displaced Tamils in returning home to Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka.
With respect to the SDC schoolhouse-reconstruction project in Matara, independent reports confirm good progress and a high standard of quality. Further to certain individual press reports levelling criticism against SDC projects in Sri Lanka, an external audit was commissioned. PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC) report confirmed the irreproachable accounting records kept by the SDC Office in Matara, responsible for project implementation. In addition, the reputable Sri Lankan construction company Surath Wickramasinghe Associates gave only good evaluation marks in its assessment report on the technical aspects and the progress of the construction works in a second audit that was conducted.
- Financial Statements (en, 263 KB)
31 August 2007
- Independent Evaluation of the Construction Works of four Schools in the Matara
Part 1 (en, 3.69 MB) - Part 2 (en, 3.82 MB) 13th November 2007
by Surath Wickramasinghe Associates
SDC comment on Point 4: Safety and Security at Site
Building site safety indeed leaves much to be desired and is therefore an ongoing source of concern for us. Safety rules are in place but are continually flouted, especially as the result of constant changes to plans for construction work on existing school sites. Site management, i.e the SDC, has to step in on a regular basis to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, any measures that are subsequently taken offer only a short-term solution to the problem. Should the audit committee so wish, the SDC can provide construction protocols from the last few months as well as extracts from the relevant correspondence.
Review by local lawyer:
Review of Documents submitted on the Post-Tsunami, Rehabilitation/Reconstructions Project in Matara (en, 95 KB)
23 November 2007
by Arun Tampoe, Attorney at Law
- Status of Swiss School Programm in Matara (en, 798 KB)
End of November 2007
Cash for Repair and Reconstruction (CfRR) of the swiss consortium (Swiss Solidarity, Swiss Red Cross, HEKS, SDC)
An external evaluation conducted in November 2006 investigated the Swiss consortium’s commitment and reported positively on the CfRR programme’s efficiency, impact and relevance. This evaluation was deliberately scheduled early to ensure the independent experts’ findings and recommendations could still be taken into account in programme implementation.
A financial audit, commissioned in parallel with programme implementation and carried out by two independent international audit companies, scrutinised fund flows from Switzerland to the recipients.
The CfRR programme in Sri Lanka, which came to an end in April 2008, was subject to a further external, and final, evaluation in the latter part of the year.
- Project Summary: Factsheet [de] [en] (53 KB)
- External Evaluation (Nov. 2006):
- Audit - Management Summary, Status as of 31 January 2008
Download (PDF, 73 KB): [de] [en] [fr]
- External Final Evaluation (Dec. 2008):
- Further details about the cash programmes in Sri Lanka and elsewhere: www.sdc-cashprojects.ch
- Website of the Country Office Sri Lanka:
SDC tsunami programmes in Indonesia
Following the 26 December 2004 earthquake that caused more than 150,000 deaths and left some 400,000 homeless, the SDC conducted emergency relief operations immediately in the wake of the disaster (distribution of supplies and medicines, assistance to host families, etc.), concentrating its efforts in the subsequent reconstruction phase on restoring the production and ensuring the distribution of drinking water in Banda Aceh and in the region of Meulaboh.
Reconstruction work was completed at the beginning of 2007. The only remaining activity is a 5-year technical follow up of the waterworks in Banda Aceh.