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.
Sep 5, 2013

Update from Minamisanriku, Miyagi

Mr. Endo, Oyster Farmer in Minamisanriku
Mr. Endo, Oyster Farmer in Minamisanriku

Slow progress--long recovery

We’d like to thank you for your support to our effort to revitalize the fishing industry in tsunami affected area in Japan.  In the past two years, we have implemented various projects and helped over 1,000 people in Kesennuma and Minamisanriku (Miyagi Prefecture).  Projects included fishing co-operatives support (buildings, staff, computers and office equipment), maritime high school rehabilitation, grants to small businesses, fishing equipment subsidies to families, a wind breaker fence for the oyster processing, etc    All have really helped restart critical livelihoods within the area.   Thank You!

In early August, I met with the members of oyster processing group in Minamisanriku.  Earlier this spring, together with our sister organization Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), PWA had provided a windshield fence to improve the oyster processing facilities.   This fence protected the 23 women and oyster farmers from the freezing gusty winds while they processed the oysters.

When we met, they were also busy preparing oyster seeds for next year’s season.  They reported that last harvesting was very successful and hoped to have another good season this year.  The tsunami had cleaned the sea bottom and improved the water conditions, which helped produce high quality oysters - perhaps one of the few positive outcomes from the 3/11 disaster.   “If you are good at it, you can shell more than ten oysters in a minute,” said Fujiko Sugawara, one of the women who worked at the facility.  “If big oysters, I can fill up a 10kg bucket in no time.”  She looked proud.  “We are just happy to be able to do this work again.”  The other women nodded.  “Oyster processing is a family business.  We never did this in a team environment, but we have to work as a team for a while to get through this very tough time.  I can’t wait to go back to a more family-oriented work style, because this is been our method for many, many years.”  

They are hoping to able to work as they used to do perhaps by August 2014.  Until then, they will try to make the most out of this work situation.

The recovery of Tohoku has begun, yet slowly.  PWA will continue to monitor the recovery progress and provide timely support.   We hope that you will be able to help us. 

- Appeal to help our Fishing Shed program –

We are building fishing sheds for fishing families in Minamisanriku.  We have just identified two new districts where the families are in critical need of storage and work space.  It’s important for PWA to complete the construction before winter so more fishing families will have better working environment. We do need your help!  Please read our Fishing Shed program reports and help us reach more fishermen. Please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sheds-for-japan-tsunami-fishing-families/ and help us support more fishing families.  

Thank you.

Mari Poorman

Looking forward to the next Oyster season!
Looking forward to the next Oyster season!
PWA Mari and Oyster processing group
PWA Mari and Oyster processing group
Fun interview moment with Endo-san
Fun interview moment with Endo-san
Long way to a recovery
Long way to a recovery

Links:

Aug 19, 2013

Appeal to help Typhoon Utor affected area

CDRC Office in Manila
CDRC Office in Manila

- It’s a typhoon season in the Philippines -

On Aug. 9, the first very strong typhoon of this year - named Utor - reached northern Philippines, resulting in death and destruction.  Landslides caused by the heavy rain left many villages in mountain areas isolated.  Rockslides, flash floods and storm surge have all been reported.

Many houses and crops were destroyed by the typhoon. The government pegs the total amount of damages at PHP 1.08 billion (about USD $25M). As of now, 84,571 families or 383,540 persons were affected. There were casualties as well -- 8 dead, 7 injured, and 4 missing. The provinces of Aurora and Quirino were declared under a state of calamity.

Currently, the demand for the aid is not being met.  There are still many families without any relief support.  Please help provide support to the affected families!  Your contribution will be directed to CDRC’s ongoing relief effort in northern Luzon. 

- Building capacity for disaster preparedness -

The Philippines is vulnerable not only to typhoons and floods, but also to volcanic eruptions as well as earthquakes.  This is why PWA and CDRC also focus on disaster preparedness training when we respond to disasters in the area.  We work with local community groups and conduct workshops, work with children at emergency shelters, and talk about the importance of the preparedness. 

PWA is implementing the 2013-2015 US-Japan-Philippines Civil Military Disaster Preparedness Initiative in order to increase preparedness capabilities/connections/coordination within and among the three disaster prone nations.  While in Manila this July, CEO Chuck Aanenson and Program Officer Jon Ehrenfeld visited CDRC Headquarters meeting to discuss how to further enhance the CDRC partnership in both preparedness and response.

- More typhoons will come -

PWA knows this will not be the last typhoon in this season and want to make sure that we can respond quickly when the need arises again.  Your contributions to this program will help PWA to take immediate action to dispatch emergency relief support with CDRC and will prepare us for disasters down the road.  Generosity during Typhoon Saola last August paid off during the devastation of Typhoon Bopha in December.

Thank you for your continuous support!

Mari Poorman, Project Officer

A family lost their house by Typhoon Utor
A family lost their house by Typhoon Utor
Important livelihood lost
Important livelihood lost
A man lost his house
A man lost his house
CDRC and PWA working together
CDRC and PWA working together

Links:

Jul 31, 2013

Please help PWA to build 13 sheds in a new district

Sunrise in Minamisanriku
Sunrise in Minamisanriku

Dear Peace Winds America supporters:

PWA is very excited to let you know that since we kicked off the shed building program a year ago, PWA has completed 80 fishing sheds to fishing families in Minamisanriku.  

With your support, PWA has been able to continue providing sheds to fishing families.  THANK YOU.    We have spent a lot of time in Minamisanriku and talked to many shed recipients.  We listened to their stories about how their lives were changed by disaster in March 2011.  We learned how much the fishing sheds meant to them and their livelihood.  Spending time in a PWA fishing shed had becomes a large part of their lives, whether mending fishing nets, prepping tools for the next fishing season, or just taking a break from hard work at a sea.  We couldn’t be more proud when we drive through the area and see the sheds, full of fishing equipment.  I am proud to have worked with you all to help many fishermen together.  We played a small but important role in rebuilding the livelihood of the many fishermen and their families, helping them move forward.  

Another district identified:

While members of our local partner were building sheds in Hadenya district, they were visited by a resident from the neighboring district, asking to see how they could apply for such a shed. Turned out a district called Tsunomiya, located just east of where PWA is building sheds, most of the houses were swept away by the tsunami, leaving the small fishing community there with almost nothing.  It was apparent that this community really needed our help.

Timing is everything:

Sheds cannot be built when the ground is frozen so will need to complete construction by November.  It is also important to complete the construction soon because sheds will be needed for many fishermen preparing for the upcoming harvesting season, especially seaweed and abalone which are very important income generation opportunities for the fishermen in the area.  

Working together with a Tsunomiya district community, PWA will soon proceed with beneficiary selection and start building sheds to this district.  We hope to finish all the construction before the land freezes.  

Let’s help Tsunomiya community!

Peace Winds America would like to ask everyone to spread the word to help the Tsunomiya district. We are planning on building 13 sheds but currently we need funds for ten sheds.

Fishing Industry Rebuilding:

On my recent trip to Minamisanriku, I met with Mr. Sasaki, the executive director at Shizugawa Fishing Cooperatives in Minamisanriku.  Mr. Sasaki told me that the area fishery has recovered about 70-80% from pre-disaster time.  I knew why the recovery has been going well -- because most fishermen in Minamisanriku city love the sea, love what they do, and many want to stay and continue working at sea, even though so many fishermen lost almost everything and had to start from scratch.

So let’s help fishermen in Minamisanriku a little more!

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Mari Poorman, Project Officer

Mr. Sasaki and me at a summer festival
Mr. Sasaki and me at a summer festival
PWA Shed Project Areas
PWA Shed Project Areas
Brand new fishing boat
Brand new fishing boat

Links:

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