Maldives Libraries and the Tsunami


The Tsunami of December 26, 2004 caused tremendous damages to life and property throughout the Maldives.

“The impact of the tsunami on Maldives was a disaster that affected the entire nation,” said Alastair McKechnie, Maldives Country Director for the World Bank. “Although the loss of life in the Maldives was mercifully less compared to other countries affected by the tsunami, the damage to the economy makes it one of the worst-affected countries. Twenty islands—nearly one tenth of the 198 inhabited islands in the Maldives—were largely devastated, and 14 islands evacuated. Almost one third of the country’s 300,000 people were directly affected by the tsunami, with nearly 12,000 people displaced and another 8,500 temporarily relocated within their own islands.”

It is heartwarming to note that the International Community is extending financial and other recovery aid need for the Maldives to reconstruct its livelihood. However, these contributions are used for basic needs like establishing relief shelter, electricity, water, food and other basic necessities.

The Maldives Library Association seeks assistance from the International community to reconstruct and repair the damage caused by the Tsunami to the libraries. It is not very clear the exact level of damage caused to the libraries as all libraries in the country were not registered. Moreover, a physical survey of all damaged areas is not very feasible due to the geographical distribution of the islands.

An assessment of the destruction to private libraries was undertaken over the phone. This assessment was not comprehensive as there are difficulties in reaching some libraries due to many reasons including un-notified changes in the contact details and the total destruction of the building and the resulting relocation. The damage assessment to school libraries is much clearer as; the Ministry of Education had the data collected from the respective schools. A summary of the available data on the level of destruction caused to libraries is attached with this document. Letters have been sent to the respective departments requesting more information and this will be made available as it is received.

According to the estimates, the damage to building and resources are huge. Some libraries have lost all of their material including the building itself, while other libraries have major damages and yet others with little to no damages at all. The Maldives Library Association is doing what it can to help the reconstruction, however, the loss and damage is far beyond what we can recover on our own resources. Therefore we request for International donations to overcome the devastating hurdle we have encountered.

Donations in the form of either library material (including reading material, furniture, machinery & equipment) or financial assistance would be a great help. Help is also needed in surveying the libraries in the outer Islands for assessment of damage caused.

Contact information:
Habeba Hussain Habeeb
President, Maldives Library Association
Email: national-library@avasmail.com.mv
Tel: +(960) 338858

Aminath Riyaz
Vice President
Maldives Library Association
Email: a.riyaz.01@mche.edu.mv
Tel: +(960) 331090, (960) 765181
Fax: +(960) 316498

The table below lists damages by region useing data dervied from the Ministry of Education:

Destruction to School Libraries due to Tsunami
Atoll Island Sum of Fiction Sum of Magzines Sum of Periodicals Sum of Reference Degree of Destruction
Alifu Alifu Bodufulhadhoo 300 20 40 124 C+
Alifu Alifu Mathiveri 566 -- 80 110 C+
Baa Kihaadhoo 195 95 95 200 C+
Dhaalu Ban'didhoo 257 10 131 227 C+
Dhaalu Gemendhoo 140 78 75 80 D
Dhaalu Meedhoo 1,171 360 263 794 C+
Dhaalu Rin'budhoo 330 20 40 124 C+
Dhaalu Vaanee 361 611 592 26 C+
Gaafu Alifu Nilandhoo 134 86 22 26 C
Gaafu Alifu Villingilli 618 244 175 521 C
Gaafu Dhaalu Gadhdhoo 402 -- 65 113 C+
Haa Alifu Filladhoo 340 110 120 152 C+
Haa Alifu Filladhoo 130 -- -- 35 D
Haa Alifu Vashafaru 206 76 25 28 C
Haa Dhaalu Kulhudhufushi 4,033 192 98 1,348 C
Haa Dhaalu Nolhivaranfaru 195 300 98 200 C+
Kaafu Himmafushi 375 70 50 125 C+
Kaafu Dhiffushi 280 4 7 90 C
Kaafu Guraidhoo 1,104 125 204 231 C
Kaafu Maafushi 753 625 103 347 C
Kaafu Huraa 745 275 150 150 C+
Kaafu Maafushi 100 -- -- -- D
Laamu Dhan'bidhoo 438 275 150 152 C+
Laamu Gan 150 -- -- 50 C
Laamu Gan 410 70 120 260 C+
Laamu Isdhoo 539 70 132 360 C+
Laamu Kalhaidhoo 344 20 20 193 C+
Laamu Mahibadhoo 439 -- -- 490 C
Laamu Mundoo 305 201 49 192 C+
Lhaviyani Hinnavaru 2,046 1,358 288 178 C
Meemu Dhiggaru 664 180 90 150 C
Meemu Kolhufushi 368 112 56 219 C
Meemu Madifushi 130 -- -- -- D
Meemu Muli 1,016 60 60 100 C+
Meemu Naalaafushi 160 60 60 100 C+
Noonu Kudafaree 320 39 35 94 C+
Noonu Maafaru 1,073 219 72 243 C+
Raa Kandukolhudhoo 2,141 1,646 80 444 D
Shaviyani Komandoo 2,121 2,147 491 585 C+
Shaviyani Maroshi 1,075 2,960 -- 175 C+
Thaa Gaadhifushi 240 65 65 130 D
Thaa Kin'bidhoo 651 256 42 197 C
Thaa Madifushi 364 -- -- 85 D
Thaa Omadhoo 218 44 52 35 C
Thaa Vilufushi 1,164 367 190 92 C+
Thaa Vilufushi 199 -- -- 30 D

Basis of Categorization of School after Tsunami 

Category D Total replacement of school including equipment and furniture, rebuilding      
Category C+ Flooding of ground floor, boundary wall destroyed (100 - 50 %) structural      
Category C Partial damage (30%) to furniture, equipment and teaching materials on ground 

References and Links

Maldives - Tsunami: Impact and Recovery 

The World Bank Group-Recovery and Reconstruction

 

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