to ECOCLUB Members & Friends
30 December 2004 (last update 22 January 2004)
Dear Members & Friends
The devastating earthquake in Sumatra has tragically claimed a constantly increasing and incomprehensibly high number of lives in over 10 countries. A major worldwide relief effort is under way, and will hopefully succeed.
I believe that we should all take part in this humanitarian effort as individuals and as a club, and for this purpose I am contacting you with updates of our Members in Thailand.
Golden Buddha Beach management, with the able coordination of Bodhi Garrett, launched on December 30th a Relief Fund for the local people in the neighbouring village of BakJoke that was also badly hit. We have contributed to this fund and kindly ask any of our Members and Friends who can afford to, to contribute directly, securely on-line at the Lodge's website. Part of the Lodge was spared, electricity is back and GBB management is calling for volunteers to assist with the reconstruction effort.
Elsewhere, in Sri Lanka, Ranweli Holiday Village fortunately suffered only minor damage and has reopened since 1 January 2005. Our other Members in Sri Lanka, Kerala and Kenya, were fortunately not affected.
On January 3, we have also heard from a Member in North Sumatra, Indonesia, working for the regional government, who is urgently looking for info and donations on portable toilets and water purification. Two companies have been already contacted by ECOCLUB and are in communication. If you are also able to assist/advise please contact us
Any Members living in or travelling in the affected areas please contact us or make a posting at the Members Forum, so that we know that you are safe and in case we or other Members can assist you in some way.
Our thoughts are with all those suffering at this difficult time. Apart from donations, what you can do is travel to the non-affected parts of the hit countries, so that natural devastation is not followed by economic devastation. Of course, travelers planning to visit Indian Ocean countries should exercise due caution, always read the latest news about health issues and take all appropriate health and insurance measures.
On Tuesday the 25th of January we are organising a public on-line Meeting, to discuss ways of what all or each one of us can do to bring about another type of Tourism in the Indian ocean, and prevent some of the same "mistakes" (mangrove destruction, uncontrolled development & corruption, megatourism projects, tourism monoculture, abysmal working conditions, tourism ghettoes, sleazy tourism, child abuse) and indeed those who make these 'mistakes' from repeating them, so that change towards a happier world emerges after all this suffering, suffering that could and should have been avoided.
Antonis B. Petropoulos
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