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In the aftermath of the 26 December tsunami in the Indian Ocean, many more lives are at risk from disease due to contaminated water supplies. Aid agencies are therefore sending water purification and sanitation kits to the region in efforts to prevent more deaths.

In this article, Anuradha Vittachi, director of OneWorld UK says that governments and citizens can both do more to help. He identifies international aid groups and organisations in the region affected, whose efforts can be supported with donations and other forms of assistance.

Vittachi also describes how lives were saved when the tsunami struck Pondicherry, India, because of an alert raised by a former volunteer 'knowledge worker' trained by the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation to monitor wave heights along the coast.

When the tsunami hit Singapore, Vijayakumar telephoned his native village of Nallavadu in Pondicherry to warn inhabitants, who moved away from the coast.

This, says Vittachi, highlights the importance of an early warning system for the oceans of the global South — another initiative urgently needing resources to set up.

Link to full OneWorld UK article

Link to SciDev.Net's news focus 'Tsunami update'