Sustainable Reconstruction Initiative in Tsunami affected villages of Karaikal, Pondicherry, India

The Swiss Red Cross and Swiss Solidarity, in collaboration with the lndian NGO Development Alternatives, took the initiative to reconstruct permanent houses in the Karaikal region, Pondicherry state. Skat provided professional support in its design and planning, including training and capacity building.  The project was designed to provide an appropriate response to the reconstruction and rehabilitation needs of 908 families in three villages Karaikalmedu, Kottucherrymedu and Kilinjalmedu.



Project Period:

2005 – 2008

Name of Staff involved and functions performed:

Project Manager: Daniel Schwitter

Name of Client(s):

Swiss Red Cross

Description of the Project:

The project responded to identified priority needs of families in the affected villages, these being: i) Redevelopment of village settlements with community facilities and infrastructure; ii) Reconstruction of houses with basic amenities; iii) Economic opportunities and incomes; iv) Knowledge and skills safe and sustainable building construction practices.

The main achievements of the project are:

  1. i) Three village settlements have been designed following cultural requirements.
  2. ii) Houses have been designed in response to people’s needs and cultural requirements incorporating structurally safe features, use of environmentally friendly construction materials and technologies

iii) 150 houses were handed over to the beneficiaries in October 2007,  758 were completed by March 2008.

  1. iv) Community facilities such as health care centers and community halls were designed.
  2. v) Over 70 artisans were trained in safe and sustainable construction techniques and setting up five enterprises producing fly-ash blocks was supported.
  3. vi) Other activities included the greening of new settlements, eco-friendly street construction, as well as capacity building of families on hygiene issues.

Skat as professional backstopper/supervisor was in charge of quality assurance and capacity building through:

  • desk support by reviewing designs, concepts and implementation
  • an inception mission and participation in a planning workshop with all key stakeholders
  • progress review missions with tailored inputs according to need
  • a final mission before commissioning of the project