Responding to the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched several programs to initiate post-disaster mitigation and pre-event preparedness.

Tetra Tech completed two projects to help rehabilitate the region and establish early warning system capacity within the Indian Ocean region. The two projects were awarded to the IRG-Tetra Tech joint venture as prime contractor under the USAID-funded global Integrated Water and Coastal Resources Management indefinite quantity contract.

A Tetra Tech-led team conducted a needs assessment for Aceh Province, Indonesia, to identify opportunities for rehabilitating environmental damage, restoring coastal ecosystems, restoring livelihoods of coastal communities, and building local planning capacity. Recommendations included planning and constructing feeder roads and other infrastructure with the dual purpose of supporting coastal livelihood development and creating a comprehensive framework for rehabilitating coastal resources.

The team detailed specific opportunities grouped into the following recommendation themes:

  • Coastal infrastructure linked to the road
  • Sustainable coastal livelihoods
  • Rationalized coastal land use
  • Accessible information
  • Education and communication
  • Integrated coastal management
  • Strong local institutions

For a second task order with a much broader scope, the team was selected to serve as USAID’s program integrator to provide technical assistance, coordination, training, and administrative support for developing and implementing the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System. Under the U.S. Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System Program, an end-to-end warning system was implemented, including hazard assessment, forecasting, communications, and community preparedness.

The team analyzed and consolidated the results of national assessments of the capacity of 16 countries to implement an effective tsunami warning system.

The team also worked with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support the Coastal Community Resilience initiative. The initiative helps coastal communities enhance community development by adopting common benchmarks and best practices designed to build resilience to tsunamis and other natural and man-made hazards.