A River of Sewage Threatens the Children
With the support of C.A.R.E. and Asia Miles, Dr. Martin Bunch from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University led a team of seven to recover and rebuild residences destroyed by the Tsunami.
The first stage of the project was to improve the environmental and health conditions in the slums of Anju Kudasai and Kargil Vetri Nagar. The tsunami caused flooding near the river banks and washed the community with "black water" or sewage. Sanitary services and equipment were destroyed. Dr. Bunch and his team immediately initiated the rebuilding of toilets and drainage in Anju Kudasai. A few weeks after their arrival, childrens' flushable toilets had been built and this was a great step forward for improved sanitary conditions.
The people of Kargil Vetri Nagar faced an immediate threat to their health as the area was subject to the spread of malaria, dengue fever and cholera. Dr. Bunch's team operated with a local hospital and arranged a 7-day health camp in the community and set a goal to facilitate a partnership to construct new and better housing for about 10,000 people.
Before they left at the end of the summer, the team members undertook to make improvements in the drainage system, build womens' bathing facilities and install new standpipes. The team also worked to develop a community-based organization to give the local residents the capability to improve their previously substandard living accommodation.