Tsunami Survivors Plant a Tree- for Human and Ecological Recovery

A heart rending story was published today on ENN by Rajesh Mahapatra of the associated press, further illustrating the small steps everyone takes to begin anew. Idambai Duraiswamy from Suruther India waters a coconut tree she planted in memory of her 4 year old daughter Rasia. The coconut tree is planted along the coast with many others, each with name tags in a living memorial for those lost in the tragic tsunami. The government encouraged program does more then help protect Suruther from future tsunamis, but is also helping people recover from their loss.
"When I pour the water I feel as if I am feeding my daughter Rasia," said Idambai. "I feel my child is still with me."The tsunami highlighted how important coastal ecosystems are in buffering the waves of a tsunami (see After the Tsunami, a Push for Green Reconstruction). The areas which were deforested and had loss of a mangrove or coral reef were hit harder then those with natural (often fractal) barriers to the ocean. The realization of how important such green zones can be has encouraged governments in the area to begin programs like those in Suruther. The recovery also illustrates what an integral part the environment plays in our life; a protector, a provider, and something that needs attention and care. Perhaps we should take a page from Idambai, and look to see if our coastal communities are green and healthy or in need of new life.::ENN [by T. McGee]

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