Five Months since the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report

A Bigger Circle of Support in Cooperation with Local Governments and Associations

August 5th – Daigo TAKAGI of AAR JAPAN delivers an electric fan to an evacuee living in temporary housing in Yabuki Town, Fukushima Prefecture.

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 repairing welfare facilities, providing vehicles, preparing soup kitchens, and setting up container housing for survivors. In addition, AAR JAPAN has started the Building Healthy Communities Project to improve survivors’ wellbeing though rehabilitation, psychological care, social events, and health and sanitation projects.

In Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures, AAR JAPAN attended coordination conferences aiming to improve coordination between government and local associations. If cohesive overall operations can be achieved, a collection of small local efforts can combine to become a comprehensive network of support for the entire affected area.

Below is a report on the activities that AAR JAPAN’s supporters have enabled us to carry out in the last 5 months:

Delivery of Relief Supplies to Affected Areas from March 14th to August 4th

Delivery Points
891 locations totaling an estimated 73,816 people
Miyagi Prefecture: Sendai City, Ishinomaki City, Kesen-numa 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: Kamiyama 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 450 kg, carrots: about 337 kg, onions: about 853 kg, spinach: about 249 units, cabbage: 476 units, Chinese radishes: 345 units, leeks: about 120 kg, bell peppers: about 4 kg, tomatoes: about 421 bags; also cucumbers, lettuce, chives, eggplants, kidney beans, ”edamame” beans, burdock roots, taro, sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, corn, and others), Fruit (Grapefruit, small watermelons: about 425 units, melons, mandarin oranges 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 (27 units), Bicycles (80 units), Carriage(1 unit), Washing machines (15 units), Dryers (21 units), Refrigerators (16 units), Telephones (3 units), Televisions (5 units), CD players (4 units), Phlegm suction devices (2 units), Care beds (14 units), Rollaway beds (2 units), Beds (1 unit), Wheelchairs (5 units), Care chairs (4 units), Walkers (15 units), Walking sticks (55 units), Power generators (1 unit), Knives (20 units), Cutting boards (20 units), Small shelving units (13 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 (54 units each), Electric fans (53 units), Vacuum cleaners (23 units), Rice cookers (4 units), Dish driers (1 unit), Futon dehumidifiers (19 units), Dehumidifiers (14 units), Microwave ovens (3 units), Thermos (13 units), Digital cameras (2 units), DVD players (1 unit), Video cameras (1 unit), Reflective heaters (5 units), Automated blood pressure meters (30 units), Scales (20 units), Rotary duplicators (2 units), Futon sets (83 units), Mattresses (50 units), Sheets (35 units), Cotton blankets (183 units), Insecticide, insect-repellant spray, fly tape and 12-roll sets of toilet paper (15 bags), Toilet-bowl cleaner, Washing baskets (50 units), Hangers (30 units), Cleaning buckets (50 units), Paper plates (1000 units), Notebooks (40 units), Copy paper (500 sheets), Tinfoil and cling wrap (60 units each), Grass cutters (10 units), Lawn mowers (1 unit), Cucumber seedlings (74 units), Tomato seedlings (82 units), Flower seedlings (10 units), Screen windows (14 units), Laundry poles, summer clothing, boots, sandals, ice packs and neck coolers (5000 units), Play pools and nutritional supplements (2000 bags), Umbrellas (4 units), Nagoya harps (3 units), Electric pianos (1 unit), Pianos (2 units), Keyboards (1 unit), Taiko drums (4 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. As the Japanese Red Cross has decided to distribute six-piece sets of home electrical appliances in earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas, AAR JAPAN has focused on providing items such as kitchenware, bathroom goods, vacuum cleaners, kotatsu (heated tables) and regular tables, kitchen cabinets, and so on, based on requests from 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 the local Commerce and Industry Associations in 11 municipalities to source as many aid goods locally as possible. As of July 31st, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 5,364 households in the target area.

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

Support for Food Service at Schools in Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

In Fukushima Prefecture’s Minami-Soma City, some elementary and junior high school children still living within a 30-km radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant (Haramachi and Odaka Wards) have been directed to take buses to school in Kashima Ward, which is outside of the 30-km radius. While the number of students in Kashima Ward has suddenly increased, the supply of local vegetables has been limited as a result of the power plant accident, and it has become difficult to supply lunch for the students. AAR JAPAN cooperated with the board of education to deliver vegetable juice and rice for the students (approximately 2800 students), providing vegetable juice twice a week and 2 tons of rice for everyday use from July 1st to July 22nd.

July 7th - AAR JAPAN delivers vegetable juice and rice for lunch at elementary and junior high schools in Fukushima (Photo: Ishigami #2 Elementary School, Minami-Soma City).

Building Healthy Communities Project

AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and health-related services, mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events for about 3,000 people, focusing on persons with disabilities, the elderly, evacuees in their own homes, and people staying in temporary housing in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures. Through these comprehensive efforts, AAR JAPAN continues to support people in the disaster-affected area as they work to maintain both their physical and mental health.

July 16th - Mr. KONO, an expert in occupational therapy, administers a massage to an exhausted man.

- Rehabilitation Services

AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation services by sending occupational therapists and physiotherapists to evacuation centers, senior care facilities, facilities for persons with disabilities, and temporary housing and individual homes in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures, offering rehabilitation visits and massages to 83 people from July 9th to July 28th.

- Mobile Clinics and Health-related Services

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 implemented health-related services such as checking up on sufferers of chronic illnesses, preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and implementing psychological support. We examined a total of 815 people between April 9th and July 31st.

- Sanitation Services

AAR JAPAN has implemented sanitation services for approximately 1,000 people in evacuation centers in Ishinomaki City and Minami-Sanriku Town in Miyagi Prefecture. As futons, blankets, and mattresses became dirty as a result of long-term use in evacuation centers, we dried them in the sun, and collected old and dirty futons while offering new summer-season bedding. We also engaged in general cleaning in evacuation centers, where the summer rise in temperature and humidity has led to the deterioration of sanitary conditions, including a huge increase in flies and mosquitoes. We also distributed futon driers, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, cleaning equipment, insect repellent and insecticides (fly tape, mite killer, etc.) with instruction on their use. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, we delivered refrigerators to evacuation centers that lacked them. We implemented these activities in 23 evacuation centers from June 14th to July 28th.

- Psychological Care

In order to mitigate stress from the earthquake and long-term evacuee life, AAR JAPAN has been sending counselors to evacuation centers, temporary housing units, and individual homes to provide psychological care.

- Community Interaction and Exchange Events

On July 23rd, AAR JAPAN participated in a festival at Wako Kindergarten in Shichiga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

Soup Kitchens

In coordination with Ingram Co., Ltd., which is responsible for the Peace Project, AAR JAPAN has been organizing soup kitchens in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. From March 31st to August 7th, we prepared soup kitchens in the following locations:

Soup Kitchen Locations (Estimated 22,191 meals served in 59 locations)

Miyagi Prefecture: Watanoha, Aikawa, Kitakami, and Ayukawa areas (Oshika Peninsula) in Ishinomaki City; Wakabayashi District in Sendai City; Tagajo City; Shizugawa and Utatsu in Minami-Sanriku Town; Niitsuki, Shishiori, and Omose areas in Kesen-numa City; Rikuzen-takata City
Iwate Prefecture: Kamaishi City, Taro Town in Miyako 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), Charcoal-broiled fish, Kakigori (shaved ice with flavored syrup), Grilled corn, Kitsune udon, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), Japanese dace, Daikon-oroshi (grated Japanese radish), Pickled vegetables, Unaju (grilled eel on rice), Vegetables pickled in sake lees, Miso soup with wakame seaweed and green onion, etc.

Institutional Reconstruction

In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN has been repairing senior care facilities and facilities for persons with disabilities in 54 locations in order to accelerate resumption of services. From April 21st to July 31st, we repaired the following 14 facilities:

- Minori-kai Rubert Social Welfare Corporation
(Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Shinwa-kai Clovers Pier Wasse Social Welfare Corporation
 (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Senshin-Kai Yume-no-mori Workshop Himawari Social Welfare Corporation
(Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Yamoto-aiiku-kai Gin-no-hoshi Social Welfare Corporation
 (Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Kurihara-shuho-kai Social Welfare Corporation
 (Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Fureai-no-mori Social Welfare Corporation
 (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Yoko-fukushi-kai Echo Ryouikuen Social Welfare Corporation
 (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Autism Peering Center Coconet
 (NPO; Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Hoshi-kai Omatsu-Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation
 (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kamaishi-kyosei-kai Group Home Kamikuri-sou
 (NPO; Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Aisei-kai Facility for People with Disabilities Yoshihama-sou Social Welfare Corporation
 (Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Special Elderly Nursing Home Kojuen
 (Rikuzen-Takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kourin-kai Lumbini-en Social Welfare Corporation
 (Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Sansan-kai Asunaro Home Social Welfare Corporation
 (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

Reconstruction Sites

Miyagi Prefecture: 37 locations (14 in Sendai City, 2 in Shiraishi City, 4 in Kesen-numa City, 1 in Tome City, 1 in Higashi-Matsushima City, 4 in Natori City, 1 in Kurihara City, 2 in Ishinomaki City, 1 in Shiogama City, 2 in Yamamoto Town, 2 in Minami-Sanriku Town, 1 in Zao Town, 1 in Marumori Town, 1 in Shibata Town)
Iwate Prefecture: 23 locations (4 in Ofunato City, 5 in Rikuzen-takata City, 6 in Kamaishi City, 1 in Hanamaki City, 2 in Otsuchi Town, 2 in Yamada Town, 1 in Miyako City, 2 in Tanohata Village)

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

Providing Vehicles

AAR JAPAN has been providing vehicles as a vital means of transportation for people who use welfare facilities. We provided a van for the Senshin-kai Nozomi Welfare Workshop Social Welfare Corporation in Minami-Sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, and a mini-vehicle for Hak’s House, an NPO in Iwate Prefecture.

August 9th - AAR provides a van for the Nozomi Welfare Workshop.

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 areas. To date, we have installed 30 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 collected 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. 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. People who received the bags were pleased not only by the bags themselves, but also by the various encouraging messages written inside.

July 23rd - “Sunny-chan” tote bags were very popular at community-building event in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

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. The six-person team includes clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers, and healthcare workers who have been providing psychological care for students and their parents at affected kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools in Soma City. During summer vacation, they visit schools on fixed dates while giving counseling at meeting places in temporary housing sites. They will prepare for the second semester by doing book-reading activities, as well as offering counseling to parents as they work to better understand the needs of each family.

“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 for those who had 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. After the roads were repaired and normal bus lines resumed operation, the shuttle bus service was concluded on June 4th.