Research in Turbulent Environments: Slums in Chennai, India and the Impact of the December 2004 Tsunami on an Ecohealth Project
On December 26, 2004, a tsunami struck coastal areas in the Bay of Bengal. Among the communities affected were Pallavan Nagar and Anju Kudasai slums in Chennai India. These communities have been collaborating, with some success, on a project to manage the urban environment for human health that employs an adaptive ecosystem approach framework, and is heavily influenced by participatory action research methodology. The tsunami resulted in loss of life, shelter, property and livelihoods in these communities. This profile presents an overview of the project, the two settlements, and the impact of the tsunami on the communities. This article also discusses the impact of the disaster on the direction and nature of the ecohealth project.