The magnitude of the disaster caused in the recent floods of August 2018 was unprecedented in the history of Kerala. The disaster crippled lives and livelihoods of people. The resolve and coordination shown by the citizens of Kerala in the rescue operations drew appreciation from all quarters. The task before us is to rebuild Kerala to Nava Kerala from the unexpected August floods.
The Rebuild Kerala Initiative presents a unique approach to rebuilding the State. The Government established the Rebuild Kerala Initiative (RKI) to “bring about a perceptible change in the lives and livelihoods of its citizens by adopting higher standards of infrastructure for recovery and reconstruction, and to build ecological and technical safeguards so that the restructured assets could better withstands floods in the future”.
The RKI’s mandate is to develop, coordinate, facilitate and monitor the Rebuild Kerala Development Programme (RKDP) through a participatory and inclusive process. The RKDP constitutes the State’s strategic roadmap for a Green and Resilient Kerala. The RKDP encompasses crosscutting and sector-based policy, regulatory and institutional actions as well as priority investment programs that are critical for resilient and sustainable recovery and rebuilding of the State. It aims to catalyze rebuilding of Kerala in a way that addresses key drivers of floods and other natural disasters and climate change risks and strengthens preparedness against future disasters. Through the RKDP, the GoK aims to ensure a resilient recovery and development pathway for a Nava Keralam.
The implementation approach is to implement activities through competent agencies with a detailed project document and execution timeline. Action is being taken to prepare project documents and submit them to various funding agencies via departments such as Agriculture, Water Resources, Environment, Public Works, Local Governance, Transport, Fisheries and Disaster Management.
Nava Keralam is the government’s vision of converting the crisis into an opportunity by more explicitly embedding the idea of building a green and resilient Kerala. It aims not only to restore the glory but also make Kerala soil so strong that no further floods can cause damage to it. We are determined not to give up in every step of the way. Government of Kerala has embarked on an ambitious ‘Rebuild Kerala Initiative’ with the objective of building resilience and mitigating risk, adopting the concept of ‘building back better’. Considering the fact that the flood has destroyed livelihoods of lakhs of people, the mitigation of damage caused to the livelihood and rebuilding of lost assets cannot be prolonged.
The restoration of damaged houses, roads and other public amenities are carried out by the concerned departments. The RKI has formulated and implemented long term plans for the foreseeable future.