Saga Prefecture's Affected Areas: Difficulties Continue After Two Months: Heavy Rainfall in August 2021

 More than two months after the torrential rains of August 2021, which caused extensive damage, mainly in Saga Prefecture, many people in the affected areas are still evacuating from their homes on the second floor of their flooded houses. AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) started its emergency relief activities immediately after the disaster and is currently providing "outreach" support to evacuees at home by delivering boxed lunches and consulting on their problems, as well as providing supplies to local welfare facilities and homes of people with disabilities.

AAR's Shinichiro Ohara delivers a boxed lunch to a woman in the Kitagata-Cho, Takeo City.

This summer's torrential rains in Saga prefecture have been characterized by the fact that many victims of the spread of the new coronavirus have not gone to evacuation centers but continued to live as evacuees on the second floor of their flooded homes, unable to use the kitchen on the first floor and forced to live in inconvenient conditions with tatami mats and floorboards removed.

In the Kutsugu area of Takeo City, where 47 out of 64 houses were flooded above floor level, AAR is continuing to serve food to the people based at Mitsuwa, a non-profit organization (Representative: Chiyomi Arakawa) that operates the "Ebisu" home for the aged, and has delivered 1,843 lunch boxes by October 15. The soup kitchens are run in cooperation with the NPO Peace Project (Representative: Mr. Ben Kato), the local community association in the area, Green Coop Saga, and the private volunteer center Omoyai.

AAR Director Kato (Representative of NPO Peace Project) serving rice cooked in a rice cooker.

One evacuee in the Kutsugu area said, "Although water and electricity have been restored, the first floor is still without floorboards, so I don't feel like cooking meals there.

In addition to delivering lunch boxes, another critical role of the outreach support is to go door-to-door to ask about problems and gather information about homes of people with disabilities that have become isolated due to lack of support. Based on the interviews and surveys, AAR provides daily necessities to the homes of elderly people who live alone and households of people with disabilities (seven households in Takeo City, Omachi Town, and Kurume City). A father of a single-parent family with a disabled person in Kurume City said, "Our house on the first floor of our apartment building was flooded above floor level, and we were at a loss because we could hardly use our daily necessities. We were barely able to make ends meet, so we are very grateful for the support we received.

In addition, AAR has provided office equipment, farming equipment, and health equipment to four community centers where people with disabilities work to support the restoration and reopening of welfare facilities. A staff member of Kibagon, a community workshop in Omachi run by the NPO Egarite, said, "We were feeling hopeless after the disaster, but with AAR's support, a light of hope has been lit, and smiles have returned to the faces of the users and staff.”

AAR's support activities focus on people with disabilities and the elderly who are placed in the most challenging position during disasters. The situation in the affected areas of Saga is still challenging. We would like to ask for your continued warm understanding and cooperation.

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*If the amount of your donation exceeds the amount needed for the designated emergency relief activities, it will be used for the following emergency relief. Please understand in advance.

*AAR Japan is taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of coronary infections during its relief activities in the affected areas. AAR Japan has formulated its own "Guidelines for Emergency Assistance in Japan under the Influence of New Coronaviruses," referring to the guidelines of related organizations. When staff from the Tokyo Office visit facilities, they wear masks and disinfect their hands after confirming negative PCR results.