For the Sake of Survivors on the Oshika Peninsula

AAR JAPAN Delivers a Washer and Dryer to the Oshika Peninsula

On April 30th, AAR JAPAN delivered a washing machine and dryer to Higashihama Elementary School and Koamikura Evacuation Center on the Oshika Peninsula, Oshika Ward, Miyagi Prefecture. Taki KATO, Deputy Chairperson of AAR JAPAN, accompanied the delivery.

The Director of Emergency Headquarters at Higashihama Elementary School, Mr. TOYOSHIMA, told us that he wants to place the washer and dryer where they will be accessible to all residents in the area, while also taking into consideration access to water and electricity. On the Oshika Peninsula, local roads have been damaged by the March 11th earthquake, and water and electricity have still not been re-established in some areas.

April 30th – A washing machine and dryer are delivered to Koamikura Evacuation Center. Ms. Taki KATO is on the right. (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

When KATO asked Mr. TOYOSHIMA about the state of recovery operations in the area, he replied, “We received a lot of supplies immediately after the earthquake, but these days the quantity is decreasing.” Although they are getting enough food to survive, today they received only water and retort foods. They have asked the Self-Defense Force to provide them with vegetables at least once every four days, but they are seldom delivered.

At the same time, school has resumed, but only milk and a piece of bread are served for school lunch each day. Students have six hours of class every day, and Mr. TOYOSHIMA wants to provide them with bento (meal boxes) or onigiri (rice balls) at least once or twice a week. I felt his deep devotion to the children, who will all play a leading role in the future of the region.

April 30th – Mr. TOYOSHIMA, Director of Emergency Headquarters at Higashihama Elementary School, talks with KATO (left), Deputy Chairwoman of AAR. (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

Hoping for the Healthy Growth of a New Life

The same day, KATO accompanied AAR JAPAN’s traveling clinic on its rounds of individual residences on the Oshika Peninsula. We looked in on a woman in Obuchi Ward who was four months pregnant. Her health had declined after the earthquake, and although she told us she was all right when we visited her last, she had looked visibly strained. This time Dr. Tomoko KANTO, an obstetrician introduced by Dr. Toshiaki YASUDA, a member of the AAR JAPAN medical team, accompanied us on our visit, and she examined the expecting mother with a portable ultrasound device. When the healthy baby was seen moving on the screen, the expecting mother, her family, and Ms. KATO all cheered for joy. The expecting mother promised us that she would do her best to give birth to a healthy baby. The wonderful moment brought a smile to everyone’s faces.

We have been visiting individual residents of the Oshika Peninsula to check on their physical condition, to listen to their stories, and to take their requests. On that day one survivor told us, “I felt totally isolated after the earthquake. But I’m truly happy that you’ve visited my home so many times to check up on my health. When I think that I have someone who is concerned about me, it gives me the strength to keep going.” I was really glad to know that someone felt that way. We will continue in our efforts to ensure that everyone can live in good health and with a smile in their hearts.

April 30th – Dr. KANTO (center) examines a woman in her fourth month of pregnancy. They cheer upon seeing the image of her healthy baby. (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

Mizuho SEKII: Emergency Relief Team (nurse and medical officer)
Worked as a hospital nurse for six years after graduation from university.
(Born in Ibaraki Prefecture.)