Project Overview and situation till September 2006

A&D and its partner PRAXIS are involved in rehabilitating 70 affected families that have been neglected by the government authorities in Rajakamangalamthurai village, Kanyakumari District.

 Preeti Goel Sanghi

In the village of Rajakamangalamthurai 70 houses are being planned for inhabitants who are in a precarious situation.
A number of people from the community of this village were not included on the lists of authorities before the tsunami thus they were excluded from the list of the beneficiaries established by the government after the Tsunami. Other inhabitants, living in shacks on the beach did not have proof that their house was destroyed by the wave of 2004 because the thatch leaves mostly disappeared. Thus the majority of these people then lived on the beach in temporary shelters made themselves from thatch again(leaves of coconut tree), only to be destroyed soon again in May 2005 by a strong tide. These families did not own any land to build on and the strict enforcement of the Coastal Zone Regulations forbid them from building on the beach.

The first requisite for the partners to be able to provide the needed housing was to find an suitable land for the construction of the houses. This step took quite some time. It is at the advice of the Parish priest, very influential with the community,that finally helped solve this crisis. By utilisation of funds from Red Cross France, PRAXIS (the local partner) purchased land measuring about 9000 m2 , on 24th April to construct houses for maximum 60 families. This site, divided in lots, will be ownered by the families eventually. 56 houses are to be built as a part of this resettlement project on this purchased land and currently 10 houses are under construction. The notable feature in this housing project is the concept of twin houses, which, while reducing the cost of construction, also increases the free space around the house, there by providing for future expansion. The entire layout has been adapted in such a way that no existing trees have been cut on the site. The other unique feature of this housing project is going to be the sewerage treatment where decentralized waste-water treatment system (DEWATS) is being envisaged.

In the meanwhile some families owned land so A&D and PRAXIS started the process of participative design of these houses and many disscussions with the families have been conducted. The plans have been drawn for these 14 homes, and to date 9 of these houses are under construction.