The Great East Japan Earthquake: Providing Safe Drinking Water and Lunches for Children in Fukushima Prefecture

Following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, concerns have been expressed about the safety of children’s drinking water and food in areas where high levels of radiation have been detected.

In many of the day care centers in Fukushima Prefecture, children are drinking bottled mineral water due to the concern over radiation exposure. Local governments provide safe drinking water to some communities, but unfortunately, this is not on a regular basis and the supply is limited. There is not enough water for children to drink at lunch and at snack time; nor is there a sufficient amount of safe water to mix powdered milk with for babies. By providing mineral water and installing water servers, AAR Japan has donated 16,480 liters of drinking water to nine kindergartens and day care centers in Soma, Minami Soma and Date City.

April 22, 2013 at Tsukidate Day Care Center in Date City - The mineral water donated by AAR Japan is used for cooking lunches and making powered milk.

Lots of thank-you letters have arrived from the children in Yanagawa Chuo Day Care Center in Date City. Among them was a message from the staff member, “The water donated by AAR Japan will protect our children from heat stroke in the coming season.”

4,385 Preservable Retort Pouched Curries delivered to 16 Schools
In elementary and junior high schools in Fukushima Prefecture, the level of radioactivity of the ingredients for school lunches is always measured before they are cooked. Should the level be higher than a reference value, the menu is changed. Since June 2012, AAR Japan has supported these schools by providing preservable retort-pouched curries as an alternative in case the ingredients are contaminated. We have delivered a total of 4,385 curries to 16 institutions including elementary schools, junior high schools and day care centers.

The students from Nittaki Junior High School in Soma City greeted AAR staff member Sawako MIYAZAKI by saying, “Thank you very much!” (The principal to the left in the second row and MIYAZAKI to the left in the first row)

When Nittaki Elementary School in Soma had to depend on the provided  retort-pouched curries in March, we made sure to bring them another 135 pouched curries.
Mr. Soichiro HAYASHI, the principal of the school, thanked AAR Japan by saying, “We really appreciate AAR Japan’s support in storing our children’s favorite dish – curry.” AAR Japan purchased these pouched curries from “Hotto Yu”, a workshop facility for Persons with Disabilities, thus generating employment for such people.

*The activities above have been supported by the generous contributions from you and organizations such as Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. Ltd , Global Giving, International IC Yotsubakai, and Rolex SA.

 Sawako MIYAZAKI, AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters
MIYAZAKI, who is in charge of the projects supporting Fukushima Prefecture at Tokyo Headquarts was hired as an intern until February 2012, when she became one of the full-time staff at AAR Japan.