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Issue No:79
  • :0973–1121
  • :August
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.79, August 2018


Building Back Better

A workshop on Cyclone Ockhi, which swept through parts of south India, discussed ways to make coastal fishing communities more resilient to natural disasters

This article is by Ahana Lakshmi (, Independent Researcher, Chennai, India

On 29 November 2017, a deep depression, detected in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka, rapidly intensified into a cyclonic storm off the coast of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Union Territory of Lakshadweep Islands in India. Cyclone Ockhi, as it was named, took the life of over 350 people – nearly all fishers from the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala – injured many others and damaged fishing vessels and gear. Unlike previous cyclones, Ockhi’s impact was felt almost entirely at sea.

Supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) Trust conducted a study on the impacts of the cyclone on small-scale fisheries and the policies and plans in place to manage disasters and disaster risks, at all levels. The study employed a human-rights-based approach to evaluate vulnerabilities, specifically of small-scale fishermen, and recommended improvements in safety of fishers;...

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