Theme pack: Ten years on from the tsunami

GIZ provided assistance in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Eschborn. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH provided extensive support to the countries affected by the tsunami that hit South-East Asia on 26 December 2004, advising on disaster assistance measures, setting up an early warning system and helping with rebuilding. The fruits of these labours are still visible today. We would be pleased to make arrangements for you to visit our project locations and to put you in touch with relevant experts and contacts.

Working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), GIZ helped to set up a modern tsunami early-warning system in Indonesia between 2005 and 2014. GIZ experts carried out emergency drills with local communities and answered questions such as: ‘What should you do when you receive a tsunami warning?’, ‘Who makes the decisions?’, and ‘What is the evacuation procedure?’. GIZ was also involved in the rebuilding process. There was already a lack of specialists in Indonesia, but the tsunami worsened the situation by destroying many vocational schools and creating a shortage of suitably qualified teachers. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ provided support for initial teacher training, with positive results. In Banda Aceh for example, which was one of the areas worst affected by the tsunami, there are now three vocational schools educating 2,300 students in 23 trades and professions, including car mechanics, hotel management and operations specialists, and graphic designers.

GIZ also worked on behalf of BMZ in Thailand between 2005 and 2006, advising the country's disaster assistance office on setting up a disaster management system. A range of resources, including evacuation and emergency care plans, were put together in close cooperation with the local population. Teaching materials prepared by GIZ were used to train trainers who then went out into the provinces to pass on their knowledge. In 2014 alone, the disaster assistance office has trained the populations of 780 villages.

Since 2004, GIZ worked on behalf of BMZ to provide micro-loans to assist small businesses in Sri Lanka, including those that had lost everything as a result of the tsunami. This enabled Kathiravel Thavayohanathan, a farmer from the Point Pedro area, to set up a new welding business after his land was swept away by the tsunami. His family business has now grown into a firm employing six people and manufacturing a range of products including grilles, gates and roof trusses.

If you are interested in visiting one of the projects and/or getting in touch with experts and contacts locally, please do not hesitate to contact the GIZ Press Office.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions.