The Sarvodaya Report on six months of post-tsunami activities is available at http://www.sarvodaya.org/wp-content/Tsunami6monthsreport.pdf.
Sarvodaya is Sri Lanka’s largest most broadly embedded people’s organization, with a network covering 15,000 villages, 34 district offices, over 100,000 youth. Sarvodaya has been working at the grassroots for almost fifty years. It has earned the trust and respect of communities and individuals across the country. Sarvodaya led one of the largest relief efforts after the December 2004 Tsunami that took almost 35,000 lives along Sri Lanka’s coastline.
‘One of the biggest lessons we learned from the Tsunami was how lacking Sri Lanka was in terms of an emergency warning system. The most tragic aspect of the events of 26th December 2004 was the needless loss of life.’ (p.73)
Prior to the 2004 Tsunami, Sarvodaya was an organization that focused its disaster-related work on recovery and relief. LIRNEasia’s disaster warning research in early 2005 (National Early Warning System: Sri Lanka (NEWS:SL), a participatory concept paper for the design of an effective all-hazard public warning system, version 2.1 warning system) has had a significant impact on Sarvodaya’s mandate, bringing to light the importance of preparedness and early warning in effective disaster management, resulting in Sarvodaya bringing these aspects under its ambit.
The efficacy of LIRNEasia’s work can be judged by the impact that it has on the policy process, not only of government, but also of such large organizations that have the support of the people, as well as can wield significant pressure on government.
Sarvodaya has joined with LIRNEasia in a project to make the 226 tsunami-affected Sarvodaya villages disaster resilient through a combination of training and technology, reinforcing its commitment to effective early warning.
Sarvodaya has also initiated a disaster reduction and management program, with longer term goals that include increasing the capability of Sarvodaya to predict various kinds of disasters as well as respond effectively to them.