Peace Winds America

Our core belief is that disaster response begins with preparedness, and that both disaster preparedness and response should integrate the efforts of governments, militaries, NGOs and the private sector. By strengthening disaster preparedness and response in the Asia Pacific, PWA seeks to reduce the high human, political and economic costs of natural disasters in the Pacific Rim.
Jan 30, 2014

Sheds Program Continues Through Winter

Fishing Shed Site Inspection
Fishing Shed Site Inspection

With Third 3/11 Anniversary Approaching, Sheds Program Continues

Winter is typically a quiet time in the coastal regions of Tohoku.  The fishing industry consolidates and prepares for next year while harvesting winter fish catches, wakame seaweed and oysters. In these cold northerly regions, the hard-frozen ground poses a challenge for fishing, farming and construction alike. 

March 11 will mark the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.  The region has made impressive strides in recovery, yet in November 2013 the Reconstruction Agency of Japan still listed 267,000 people as evacuees, most living in temporary housing. Clearly the need for housing and economic revitalization support continues and will remain needed beyond the three year mark of the disaster.

Our partners at Grace Mission Tohoku are progressing with fishing family sheds slated for Mitobe and Zaigo districts. In spite of the harsh winter weather they are working with us to select recipients and sites for the sheds. In our next report we hope to present yet another group of completed sheds and grateful fishing famlies. Alongside our other fishing industry revitalization programs, Peace Winds America is standing solidly by Tohoku fishing families, determined to remain active so long as the need for recovery persists.

As always, Peace Winds America thanks you for your support. Together, we can continue to tell the fishing community of Tohoku, "You are not forgotten."

Dec 11, 2013

Winter Update - Oysters and Port Lighting

Oyster Fishermen Behind the New Fence (Photo: PWJ)
Oyster Fishermen Behind the New Fence (Photo: PWJ)

Update from Minamisanriku

From our partners in Peace Winds Japan comes the heartening news that the wind-break fence Peace Winds America helped construct is built and doing its job admirably.  Earlier this year we heard from our partners that workers processing oysters – a job done in the cold Tohoku winter – required a fence to stay warm while they worked. The oyster fishermen and processers alike requested this facility be built to aid them as they continued on the path to economic recovery.

We are happy to report that the 45-meter fence is working as advertised and earning high marks from the fishing families in Minamisanriku.  One worker told us, “Thanks to the fence, when there is a strong windy day like today, we can work without any big obstacles! Thank you very much for your support!” We’d like to pass that message of thanks on to our donors and supporters, without whom none of this would be possible.

Next Steps and Future Projects

Peace Winds America remains committed to ongoing economic recovery for the fishing industry in Tohoku.  PWA is presently exploring a proposal to provide LED lighting for fishermen of the Utatsu fishing cooperative of Minamisanriku. Many of the ports have been rebuilt since the tsunami, but they are dark and unlit at night.  This presents difficulties for the fishermen, who worry about security and about having to work in the dark.  Working with Peace Winds Japan, PWA will help fund solar LEDs at several ports.  The solar panels on the lights will collect power during the day and keep the ports safe and brightly lit at night.

With the third anniversary of the tsunami in sight, PWA thanks our supporters again and reaffirms our commitment to the people of Tohoku.

At Work Processing the Oyster Catch
At Work Processing the Oyster Catch
Dec 2, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan Update - Relief in Palawan

Hope and Destruction (CDRC/Marie-Charlotte Peze)
Hope and Destruction (CDRC/Marie-Charlotte Peze)

Relief Continues in Hard-Hit Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan has dropped off the front pages, but Peace Winds America and its partners are going strong. More than 3.3 million people are displaced, and the need for food, water, medicine, sanitation supplies, bedding, and shelter is greater than ever.  The Citizens’ Disaster Response Center and the Southern Tagalog People’s Response Center are distributing relief items.  They contain relief packs with 10 kilograms of rice, dried fish, tinned sardines, 500 mls of cooking oil, a sleeping mat, blanket, and utensils. At the same time they are providing disaster risk reduction education for future emergencies.  Throughout, we are assessing needs on the ground and planning for recovery.

 A Focus on Marginal Areas

The media for this typhoon has been centered in the populous areas in the east, around Tacloban and Leyte.  Yet the devastation of the storm was enormous, and communities outside the media spotlight are at risk.  PWA and CDRC are partnering to bring relief goods to 1,000 families in Busuanga Island, northeast of Palawan, where 85% of properties were damaged or destroyed.  There the communities of Salvacion, Cheey, and Buluang are in critical need and far from the center of activity to the east.

Thinking Ahead to Recovery

Relief is still ongoing, yet now is the time to begin preparing a recovery strategy.  PWA is drawing on its successful recovery strategy after the 3/11 tsunami in Japan.  First, we are setting aside funds now, and committing to our partners that we will remain engaged throughout the disaster.  Second, we are assessing relief needs, and evaluating likely areas for recovery.  Presently PWA expects to provide recovery assistance for shelter and for fishing communities in coastal areas (boat/net repair, distribution of fishing supplies). Many relief organizations withdraw after the response phase – PWA stays on. 

 Your Support Has Made a Difference

PWA acknowledges and thanks its many donors in this catastrophe.  Thanks to you, we were quickly able to commit to our partners on the ground, and ensure long-term help for the need in the Philippines. We couldn’t do it without you.

(CDRC / Marie-Charlotte Peze)
(CDRC / Marie-Charlotte Peze)
Destruction in Busuanga (CDRC)
Destruction in Busuanga (CDRC)
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