Four Months since the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report

Working Toward Reconstruction for Everyone

AAR JAPAN has been carrying out relief efforts for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake since immediately after the disaster. In addition to delivering emergency supplies to those who have limited access to aid, such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, and survivors living at home, AAR JAPAN is also providing medical support, implementing health and sanitation projects, repairing welfare facilities, preparing soup kitchens, and setting up container housing for survivors. Furthermore, we have had conferences with prefectures and independent groups to impress upon them the importance of assisting hard-to reach survivors while passing on information about their current situations.

June 7th – The shopping arcade waits to be opened for the first time since the earthquake. These people all cooperated in setting up the container houses.

Below is a report on the activities that AAR JAPAN’s supporters have enabled us to carry out in the last 4 months. AAR JAPAN will continue its efforts to aid all people, with a focus on hard-to-reach survivors.

Delivery of Relief Supplies to Affected Areas from March 14th to June 7th

List of supplies delivered and receiving institutions from March 14th to June 7th

Delivery Points
854 locations totaling approximately 71,100 people
Miyagi Prefecture: Sendai City, Ishinomaki 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
Diesel oil (13,600 liters), Kerosene (4,400 liters), Gasoline (2,060 liters), Water (14 tons), Rice (2.5 tons), Oranges (2 tons), Bananas (2 tons), Milk (480 packs), Sweet-bean cakes (41,000 units), Vegetables (Potatoes: about 330 kg, carrots: about 200 kg, onions: about 500 kg, spinach: about 130 units, cabbage: 276 units, chinese radishes: 270 units, leeks: about 80 kg, bell peppers: about 4 kg, tomatoes: about 220 bags; also sweet potatoes, chinese cabbage, corn, and others), Fruit (Grapefruit, small watermelons: about 425 units, and others), Other food (Retort foods, food for the elderly, canned food, miso, soy sauce, nutritional supplements, etc.), Blankets (1,000 units), Underwear, clothes and scarves (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), Cold medicine (83 packages) and other medical supplies, Toothbrushes (10,000 units), Paper diapers (60,232 units), Adult diapers (816 units), Women’s sanitary products (17,000 units), Batteries (80 cartons), Baby products (Baby food, pacifiers, feeding bottles, baby wipes, etc.), High-pressure washers (32 units), Chainsaws (30 units), Shovels (12 units), Boots (100 pairs), Books and picture books (20 boxes), Crayons (300 sets), Cell phone chargers (120 units), Computers (21 units), Bicycles (74 units), Washing machines (13 units), Dryers (21 units), Refrigerators (11 units), Phlegm suction devices (2 units) Care beds (14 units), Rollaway beds (2 units), Futons (30 sets), Wheelchairs (5 units), Power generators (1 unit), Knives (20 units), Cutting boards (20 units), Small shelving units (10 units), Book shelves (1 unit), Clothing cases (6 units), Disinfectant spray (500 units), Hand soap (168 units), Reading glasses (100 units), Stuffed toys, irons and ironing boards (50 units each), Electric fans (15 units), Vacuum cleaners (3 units), Rice cookers (1 unit), Futon driers (17 units), Reflective heaters (5 units), Automated sphygmomanometers (16 units), Scales (10 units), Printingmachines  (1 unit),Futon sets (23 sets), Mattresses (50 units), Sheets (32 units), Bed linen (100 units), Insecticide and insect repellant spray, fly tape, and 12-roll sets of toilet papers (15 bags), Toilet-bowl cleaner (20 units), Washing baskets (50 units), Hangers (30 units), Buckets for cleaning (50 units), Notebooks (40 units), Copy paper (500 pages), Tin foil and cling wrap (60 units each), Grass cutters (10 units), Lawn mowers (1 unit), Cucumber seedlings (74 units), Tomato seedlings (82 units)
And others.

Delivering Relief for Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (Approximately 35,000 families)
With a grant from Japan Platform (JPF)* and in cooperation with ADRA Japan, we have been supporting the day-to-day lives of all families living in temporary housing and leased housing in Fukushima Prefecture (approximately 35,000 households). As the Japanese Red Cross is planning to distribute six-piece sets of home electrical appliances in earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas, AAR Japan will provide items such as kitchenware, bathroom goods, vacuum cleaners, kotatsu (heated tables) or regular tables, kitchen cabinets, and so on, based on requests from the  municipal governments.

We are targeting 13 municipalities in the Hamadori and Nakadori regions of Fukushima: Soma City, Minami Soma City, Shinchi Town, Iitate Village, Tomioka Town, Kawauchi Village, Koriyama City, Sukagawa City, Kagamiishi City, Shirakawa City, Nishigo Village, Yabuki Town, and Izumisaki Village. In order to contribute to the economic recovery of the local communities, we are collaborating with local Commerce and Industry Associations in 8 municipalities to source aid goods locally as much as possible. As of June 22nd, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 3,334 households in the target area.

*Japan Platform (JPF) facilitates NGOs, governments, and corporations working together to conduct emergency assistance for natural disasters, refugees, and internally displaced people. JPF operates with governmental funding and donations from corporations and individuals.

Medical Assistance
AAR JAPAN has visited Makinohama, Takenohama, Kitsunezaki-hama, Sudachi, Fukkiura, Kozumihama, and Kobuchihama on the Oshika Peninsula, where approximately 640 survivors are taking shelter in their homes. Led by Dr. Toshiaki YASUDA, a local medical practitioner, AAR’s medical team has established a mobile clinic and engaged in health-related activities such as checking up on sufferers of chronic illnesses, preventing infectious diseases, and implementing psychological support. We examined a total of 622 people between April 9th and July 3rd.

AAR JAPAN has also implemented sanitation activities for approximately 1,000 people in evacuation centers in Ishinomaki City and Minami-Sanriku Town in Miyagi Prefecture. Futons, blankets, and mattresses that had been provided to evacuation centers after the disaster had been in constant use for an extended period without being either washed or sun dried, resulting in bedding becoming dirty and full of mites. The rise in temperature and humidity in the summer led to a further deterioration in sanitary conditions, with a huge increase in flies and mosquitoes. In response to the problem, AAR JAPAN dried and replaced bedding, engaged in general cleaning, and delivered futon driers, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, and cleaning equipment to evacuation centers, as well as offering insect repellent and insecticides (fly tape, mite killer, etc.) and instruction on their use. We also collected old and dirty futons and offered new summer-season bedding. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, we also delivered refrigerators to evacuation centers that lacked them. We implemented these activities in 16 evacuation centers from June 14th to July 6th.

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 July 3rd.

Soup kitchen locations (Approximately 19,441 meals served in 52 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, and 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,Hhand-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), Charcoal-broiled fish, Kakigori (shaved ice with flavored syrup), Grilled corn, Kitsune udon, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), Japanese dace, 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 in 54 locations in order to help them resume services. From June 1st to July 7th, we completed fixing 3 facilities: Hoshi-Kai Omatsu-Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture; Minori-Kai Rubert Social Welfare Corporation in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture; and Shinwa-Kai Clovers Pier Wasse Social Welfare Corporation in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. Other facilities where reconstruction is still continuing are listed below.

Miyagi Prefecture: 32 locations (15 in Sendai City, 2 in Shiraishi City, 2 in Kesennuma City, 1 in Tome City, 1 in Higashi-Matsushima City, 1 in Natori City, 1 in Kurihara City, 1 in Ishinomaki City, 2 in Yamamoto Town, 2 in Minami-Sanriku Town, 1 in Zao Town, 1 in Marumori Town, 1 in Shibata Town)
Iwate Prefecture: 22 locations (5 in Ofunato City, 4 in RIkuzen-Takata City, 7 in Kamaishi City, 2 in Otsuchi Town, 1 in Yamada Town, 2 in Miyako City, 1 in Tanohata Village)

In coordination with each prefecture’s welfare division, social welfare council, and other related organizations, AAR JAPAN will continue reconstructing facilities for persons with disabilities and the elderly in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

Container Housing Project
At the recommendation of international journalist Izuru SUGAWARA, AAR JAPAN has been providing easy-to-build prefabricated container housing units in the disaster-affected areas. To date, we have installed 26 units in the town of Onagawa in Oshika County, Miyagi Prefecture. These container housing units are being used as private residences and small shops by evacuees.

Hand-made Tote Bag Project
AAR JAPAN made a concerted effort to collect hand-made tote bags in response to requests from people at evacuation centers and senior care facilities for bags to carry their personal belongings. By May 20th, AAR JAPAN had received 5,000 bags from inside and outside of Japan. AAR JAPAN volunteers helped to attach AAR JAPAN’s “Sunny-chan” mascot straps to the bags and deliver them to evacuees, with a special focus on the elderly.

Psychological Care for Children (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)
AAR JAPAN supports the SOMA Follower Team, a nonprofit organization formed by Soma City to provide psychological care for children at kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools. A professional team of clinical psychologists and health care workers carries out activities in each school, as well as holding community-building events for children in the city.

“Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project (Concluded)
In coordination with Manyo Club Co., Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Ascendia Inc. (Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) and other companies, AAR JAPAN implemented 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, AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water to four evacuation centers in Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: Yamoto Icchu Junior High School, Akai City Center, Ushiami Community Center, and Asai Civic Center.

After April 12th, in partnership with Miyagi Prefecture’s Onikobe Onsen (hot spring), AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water to 6 evacuation centers: Yamoto Icchu (later divided into 2 locations), Ushiami Community Center, Akai City Center, Asai Civic Center, and Miyato Elementary School in Higashi Matsushima City, as well as Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Social Welfare Corporation in Ishinomaki City, every day except Sundays. These 6 delivery points enabled 500-600 evacuees to bathe every day. AAR JAPAN provided the service until the end of May.

Shuttle Buses (Concluded)
In Miyagi Prefecture, AAR JAPAN aided in the operation of a shuttle bus service on Ishinomaki City’s Oshika Peninsula, providing mobility to those who lost their regular means of transportation. The shuttle bus circulated twice a day in the Ogihama area and once a day in the Ayukawa area. Beginning April 10th, approximately 530 people in the Ogihama area and 220 people in the Ayukawa area used the buses. The shuttle bus service was concluded on June 4th, after the roads were repaired and normal bus lines that had been running prior to the earthquake resumed service.