The Great East Japan Earthquake: Fire extinguishers delivered to public housing for the disaster-affected

“Really thankful for delivering them to all households.”

Nearly seven years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake.  In Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, public housing for disaster-affected people began receiving residents in 2012, and approximately 700 residents currently live there.  AAR Japan, in consultation with Soma City, provided 410 fire extinguishers to five public housing compounds in the City.  Soma City is a windy place, and the public housing facilities are sometimes built in the form of row houses, where neighbors live side-by-side with narrow spaces between them.  Therefore it was feared that once a fire breaks out in one house, it may quickly spread in the neighborhood.  It was thus deemed necessary that not only some but all of the households are supplied with fire extinguishers.   
                             Residents of public housing for the disaster-affected. (January 10, 2018)

On January 10, 2018, a reporter visited a public housing compound for the disaster-affected in Soma City and heard from the residents in its meeting room.
According to the residents at the hearing, Soma City prior to the earthquake was a city highly conscious of disaster prevention, where the people practiced evacuation drills, cooperatively took precautions to prevent fire, and even organized a participatory group called the “women’s fire brigade,” which was engaged in supplying food and providing other services during evacuation drills.  After the earthquake, however, all these activities discontinued, and the people said they had been worried about what would happen in case of fire.  Many of the residents gathered said, “We are really thankful to AAR Japan for providing fire extinguishers to all the residential families,” “Fire extinguishers are not available in supermarkets nearby, and we did not know where to get one,” and “We ourselves are mindful of fire prevention , and yet the fire extinguishers give us an additional sense of security.”  AAR Japan is determined to continue its support activities in Northeast Japan.
    Residents of public housing for the disaster-affected received the fire extinguishers and said, 
                             “It will give us a further sense of security.” (January 10, 2018)


Yuki SAKURAI, AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters
Upon graduating from university, Sakurai worked in a civil foundation before studying Peace Studies at a graduate school in U.K.  After working for an NPO in Pakistan, he joined AAR Japan in August 2012.  Having worked for the Tajikistan program and others at the Tokyo Headquarters, he was stationed in Zambia and then in Tajikistan.  Sakurai now is at AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters, engaged in the Fukushima program and the stop-killer robot-campaign.  A father of three children, he is from Chiba Prefecture.

Japanese-English translation by Mr. Yukio KIUCHI
English editing by Ms. Laura Peters

This article has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Japan's Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.