Three Months Since the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report

AAR JAPAN Keeps Delivering Relief to Mainly Persons with Disabilities, the Elderly and Survivors in Their Homes

Ms. Hiratsuka (left), an evacuee who stays at Fukiura Civic Center (Oshika Peninsula) in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. When the medical team visited her the second time, she said “Thank you very much for coming here again. I am so relieved to see you.” On the right is Mizuho SEKII, the nurse of the medical team. Photo by Yoshifumi KAWABATA on May 6th.

Since March 13th, AAR JAPAN has been carrying out relief activities for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. In addition to delivering emergency supplies, AAR JAPAN is also providing medical support and soup kitchens, operating regular buses, and engaging in efforts to rebuild local institutions.

Here we report on the progress of activities that have been made possible thanks to the efforts of our supporters. AAR JAPAN will continue to deliver relief to hard-to reach survivors such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, and survivors in their homes.

Delivery Report from March 14th to June 9th

Receiving Institutions: approximately 65,000 people in 600 institutions

Miyagi Prefecture: Sendai City, Ishinomaki City, Kesennuma City, Natori City, Tome City, Higashi-Matsushima City, Onagawa Town, Tagajo City, Iwanuma City, Minami-Sanriku Town, Yamamoto Town, Shiogama City

Iwate Prefecture: Otsuchi Town, Ofunato City, Rikuzen-Takata City, Kamaishi City, Yamada Town

Fukushima Prefecture: Soma City, Minami-Soma City

Yamagata Prefecture: Kami-Yamagata City

And others.

Relief Supplies Delivered to Affected Areas

Diesel oil (13,600 liters)

Kerosene (4,400 liters)

Gasoline (2,060 liters)

Potable water (14 tonnes)

Rice (2.5 tonnes)

Oranges (2 tonnes)

Bananas (2 tonnes)

Milk (480 packs)

Sweet-bean cakes (41,000 units)

Vegetables (Potatoes, carrots, onions, spinach, etc. – 100 kg each)

Other food (Retort foods, food for the elderly, canned food, miso, soy sauce, nutritional supplements, etc.)

Blankets (1,000 units)

Underwear, scarves and clothes (25,000 units)

Towels and hand cloths (50,000 units)

“Furoshiki” wrapping cloths (3,000 units)

Face masks  (70,280 units)

Hand warmers (5,000 units)

Sleeping bags (3,400 units)

Medicine (60 packages)

Toothbrushes (10,000 units)

Paper diapers (60,232 units)

Women’s sanitary products (17,000 units)

Batteries (80 cartons)

Baby products (Baby food, pacifiers, etc.)

High-pressure washers (32 units)

Chainsaws (30 units)

Shovels (12 units)

Boots (100 pairs)

Books and picture books (20 boxes)

Crayon sets (200 units)

Cell phone chargers (120 units)

Computers (10 units)

Bicycles (70 units)

Washing machines (11 units)

Dryers (21 units)

Refrigerators (9 units)

Phlegm suction (2 units)

Care beds (1 unit)

Rollaway beds (2 units)

Futon (30 sets)

Wheelchairs (4 units)

Power generators (1 unit)

Knives (20 units)

Cutting boards (20 units)

Small shelving units (10 units)

Book shelves (1 unit)

Clothing cases (2 units)

Disinfectant spray (500 units)

Hand soap (168 units)

Reading glasses (100 units)

Plus other miscellaneous items

Delivery of Relief Supplies for the Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing (approximately 35,000 families) in Fukushima Prefecture

In cooperation with a nonprofit organization, ADRA JAPAN, AAR JAPAN has delivered relief supplies to families (approximately 35,000 families) in the temporary housing and the leased housing. In this area, Japanese Red Cross Society has decided to deliver 6 home electric appliances, so AAR JAPAN will distribute other daily necessities such as kitchenware, bath products, vacuum cleaner, table or Kotatsu table, cupboard and other supplies based on the requests from the local government. AAR JAPAN intends to help the families in Soma Area in Fukushima Prefecture (Soma City, Minami-Soma City, Shinchi Town, and Iitate Village) and Tomioka Town and Kawauchi Village in Futaba County. To contribute to regional economic recovery, Minami-Soma City and Soma City Chamber of Commerce have collaborated with local stores to procure the supplies, and the delivery has already started.  

Medical Assistance

On the Oshika Peninsula, we visited the areas of Makinohama, Takenohama, Kitsunezaki-hama, Sudachi, Fukkiura, Kozumihama and Kobuchihama, where approximately 640 survivors are taking shelter in their homes. Led by Dr. Toshiaki YASUDA, a local medical practitioner, AAR JAPAN’s medical team has established a traveling clinic that works to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, checks up on sufferers of chronic illnesses, and offers psychological support, among other health-related activities. We examined 481 people between April 9th and May 31th.

Regular Buses

To guarantee the mobility of those who have lost their regular means of transportation on the Oshika Peninsula, in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, AAR JAPAN prepared a microbus that circulates twice a day in the Ogihama area and once a day in the Ayukawa area. From April 10th to June 4th, approximately 530 people in the Ogihama area and 220 people in Ayukawa made use of bus services. Because the road was mended and the bus can travel as usual, AAR JAPAN terminated this service.

Soup Kitchens

In coordination with Ingram Co., Ltd., which is responsible for the Peace Project, AAR JAPAN organized soup kitchens in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures from March 31st to May 31st.

Soup Kitchen Locations: approximately 16,650 meals in 48 locations

Miyagi Prefecture: Watanoha, Aikawa, Kitakami and Ayukawa (Oshika Peninsula) in Ishinomaki City; Wakabayashi District in Sendai City; Tagajo City; Shizugawa and Utatsu in Minami-Sanriku Town; Niitsuki, Shishiori and Omose in Kesennuma City

Iwate Prefecture: Kamaishi City, Otsuchi Town, Yamada Town

Fukushima Prefecture: Hara Town in Minami-Soma City

Soup Kitchen Menu

Tokushima ramen, oden, beef stew, yakisoba (fried noodles), fried chicken, vegetable sticks, chukadon (Chinese-style stir-fried meat and vegetables on rice), beef steak, onion soup, tuna sashimi on rice, chanko-nabe (hot pot), apple pie, onion sauté, minestrone, ground chicken with egg and vegetables on rice, fish miso soup, hijiki seaweed mix, fried sweet potato, cabbage rolls, mixed bean-curd lees and vegetables, autumn rice, pork miso soup, stewed fish, cabbage and spinach side dishes, somen noodles, minced-fish soup, hand-made sweet potato pies, hand-made langue du chats, samgyetang (Korean chicken ginseng soup), yakitori (grilled chicken), miso soup with tofu and shimeji mushrooms, stewed meat and potatoes, boiled komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), pasta with meat sauce, potato salad, miso soup with Chinese cabbage and shiitake mushrooms, boiled field mustard, inarizushi (fried tofu stuffed with vinegared rice), cooked radish and minced meat, kashiwa mochi (rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), fried whitefish, miso soup with radish, root salad, fruit Jell-O, udon noodles, almond Jell-O, stir-fried meat with vegetables, gyoza (Chinese dumplings), borscht, miso soup with clams, marinated octopus, miso soup with cabbage and Japanese mustard spinach, squid with wasabi, seafood curry and rice (with scallops, clams and shrimp), Japanese sweets and amazake (sweet mild sake), etc

Institutional Reconstruction

In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN is repairing cracks in the walls and on the grounds of senior care facilities and facilities for persons with disabilities to enable these people to return to their lives as soon as possible. On April 21st, AAR JAPAN finished fixing cracks in the parking lot of the Asunaro Home, care facility for persons with disabilities located in Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture. In coordination with the welfare division of each prefecture, Council of Social Welfare and other related organizations, AAR JAPAN will continue reconstructing the facilities for persons with disabilities and the elderly people in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

Container Housing Project

AAR JAPAN installed 10 container housing units in the town of Onagawa in Oshika County, Miyagi Prefecture, to enable evacuees who have been enduring long-term life in evacuation centers.

“Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project

In coordination with Manyo Club Co., Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Ascendia Inc. (Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) and other companies, AAR JAPAN is carrying out the “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project.

With the cooperation of Kanagawa Prefecture’s Yugawara Onsen (hot spring), on the first day of the project, April 9th, hot spring water was delivered to four evacuation centers in Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: Yamoto Dai-ichi Junior High School, Akai City Center, Ushiami Community Center, and Asai Civic Center.

Since April 12th, with the cooperation of Miyagi Prefecture’s Onikobe Onsen (hot spring), hot water has been delivered to facilities in two different locations every day except Sunday. Delivery points include the four locations listed above, plus Miyato Elementary School in Higashi-Matsushima City and Ishinomaki Shoshinkai Social Welfare Corporation in Ishinomaki City. These 6 delivery points enable 500-600 evacuees to bathe every day, and AAR JAPAN provided the service until the end of May.

Tote Bag Project

Responding to requests from evacuation centers and senior care facilities, AAR JAPAN is collecting hand-made tote bags to be delivered to the survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake. By the May 20th deadline, approximately 5,000 bags were collected. AAR JAPAN volunteers will attach a strap of our mascot “Sunny-chan” to the bags and deliver them to evacuees, with precedence going to the elderly.

Mental Care for Elementary and Junior High School Students in the Affected Area (Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture)

AAR JAPAN supports a nonprofit organization, “Soma Follower Team” which was formed by the attention of Soma City for the purpose of psychological care of the children at elementary, junior high schools and kindergarten. Professional team of clinical psychologists and health care workers carry out the activities for children for the purpose of interacting with others in the city.