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.
Feb 28, 2013

Fishery Support Project Completion Report - Thank You!

Thank You from Shizugawa Fishing Co-op Staff
Thank You from Shizugawa Fishing Co-op Staff

Peace Winds America (PWA) thanks all the donors who have supported our Fishery Recovery Project.  This is our last project report, and we wanted to share our latest accomplishments and how you helped fishing communities in Tohoku region.

Abalone fishing traditional way:
Abalone fishing begins at dawn.  Fishermen navigate their boats to the harvest area, and catch abalone that are tightly stuck to the sea floor using water glasses and a specialized rod and hook.  Great skill is required to handle the rod while controlling the boat in order to have a good catch.  Abalone fishing is mostly done individually, and fishermen enjoy the friendly competition of the abalone harvest.

Bad weather, no boat, low market price, and harmful rumors – Nothing will keep Minamisanriku fishermen from going back to sea!
The Abalone season officially opened in November 2012.  During a normal season, there are five to six harvest days.   However each abalone harvest region only had three harvest days in 2012 due to bad weather.  

This season the abalone trading price was down 30% from previous fishing seasons.  No abalone was harvested last year due to the disaster, so abalone from other areas have taken Minamisanriku’s market share.   Moreover harmful rumors caused by the Fukushima nuclear crisis must have had an influence.

Additionally many fishermen still have not been able to replace their fishing boats damaged or lost during the tsunami.  Some fishermen were willing to share their surviving or newly-acquired vessels with those without, but demand for boats overwhelmed the supply during the harvest.     

Despite fewer harvesting days and fewer boats, the two fishing cooperatives were able to harvest almost as much as in 2010 (before the tsunami)!  What a great success!

Over 600 fishermen participated in the PWA subsidy program!
A total of 571 fishermen purchased abalone equipment through the PWA subsidy program.  PWA also extended support for sea urchin equipment since it only required replacing one component of the abalone equipment.  An additional 118 fishermen took advantage of our sea urchin equipment program. 

Ultimately  the PWA equipment subsidy program played important role in this year’s harvest.   Reduced equipment costs allowed more fishermen to participate resulting in additional income from the abalone harvest.

PWA continues supporting fishermen in Minamisanriku:
Though this project is finished, Peace Winds America will continue helping fishermen in Minamisanriku.   

PWA’s successful fishing shed program is now expanding to new districts!   This project helps fishing families who lost their homes, work spaces and fishing equipment.  By providing these families with a fishing shed (their base of operations), the families are able focus their resources on livelihood recovery and stabilization.

You can support fishing families who lost everything in the disaster.  Please  visit our new project site: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sheds-for-japan-tsunami-fishing-families

Thank You for Supporting Fishing Communities in Tsunami Affected Areas!!

Why help fishermen?
Peace Winds America has helped Minamisanriku since the immediate aftermath of the disaster.  This created a strong bond between the people in this town and PWA.  We immediately recognized the importance of supporting the fishing industry as it is the economic backbone and the livelihood for the majority of Minamisanriku’s citizens.   It was natural for PWA to continue working with them to transition from emergency relief to recovery of the area.   For two years we have been working closely with two fishing cooperatives in Minamisanriku:  Utatsu and Shizugawa.   With a good understanding of the history and culture of the fishing industry, we have been able to identify rapidly changing local needs and provide effective recovery projects.

Links:

Feb 26, 2013

Thank You from PWA Philippines Relief Team

Emergency package distribution
Emergency package distribution

THANK YOU!!   We have completed our Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) emergency response.   Your contribution provided emergency relief to 500 families and counseling and care to 100 children.

Peace Winds America, together with our Philippine local partner, Citizen’s Disaster Response Center (CDRC), Philippines, distributed relief supplies in Typhoon Pablo-affected communities in Bukidnon Province on Mindanao Island.  Our response helped families cope with the immediate impacts of the disaster and helped families struggling to recover.

Community-wide effort to help five Communities

Many organizations focused relief operations in the Compostela Valley region.  Our local partner, CDRC, initially concentrated our relief efforts in the Compostela Valley and the Davao Oriental region.  We soon recognized that five communities in Bukidnon province received very little assistance.    We identified 500 families in two cities needing immediate attention.  CDRC coordinated the relief with community members and volunteers from a local NGO and the farmer’s organization,KASAMA, packaging and distributing relief goods.   Your donations supported people in the five cities of Cabangahan, Bangcud, Campuhan, Batangan and Poblacion.

Reaching out to over 100 children with psycho-social support

CDRC provided psycho-social support for children staying at evacuation shelters.  These children had witnessed their houses being swept away by the flood and had no idea where they might be relocated.  Through counseling, including expressing their feelings through discussions and art, the children could better understand their current situation and be less anxious. 

What’s a relief package?

The PWA relief package contained basic foods items which could sustain an average family for one week at the evacuation centers.  The package included: Rice- 10kg; mongo beans--500g; dried fish--500g; sardines--four cans; cooking oil--250ml; one laundry soap bar; one blanket; and, one mattress. 

For the first three weeks after the disaster, evacuees from these five communities received only three (3) kilos of rice and noodles, and three (3) cans of sardines from the government and other groups. “Christmas was so lonely, we just slept the night away,” said one of the beneficiaries. The mattress and blanket PWA provided were much appreciated, as most of the beneficiaries were forced to sleep on the cold cement floor or on the benches of the gym.

The serious situation continues

Many families who lost houses lived by the river.  They cannot go return to their home because erosion from the flood took away their property.  “We cannot go back to the area because our community is still submerged,” one of the beneficiaries said.  “We badly needed shelter and food,” another one added.

Peace Winds America is concluding emergency relief operations for Typhoon Pablo, and yet we and our local partners will continue monitoring the situation in the typhoon-affected areas.

PWA would like to send most sincere appreciation to your generosity.  With your help, we were able to provide critical supplies to 500 families!

Thank you for helping us!
Thank you for helping us!
Psychosocial support for children
Psychosocial support for children
Relief package helps feed my family!
Relief package helps feed my family!
Beneficiary is confirmed with a ticket
Beneficiary is confirmed with a ticket

Links:

Jan 30, 2013

42 Fishing Sheds Completed! 40 more to start!

Where Sheds are provided
Where Sheds are provided

Thank you for your support!!

Peace Winds America and our local partner are very excited to tell you that we have completed building 42 sheds in five districts in Minamisanriku.  Your contribution played a critical part supporting over 100 fishing family members who have benefited from this project.

Fishing sheds binds family:

Before fishing sheds were swept away by 3/11 tsunami along with their houses, fishermen and their family members used their shed as a workplace for processing their catch (fish, seaweed), mending fishing nets, or preparing other tools and equipment. 

Because most fishermen and their families are still living in the temporary housing where there is no room to fish processing or storing fishing tools and equipment.  Many sheds were built on the land where their houses used to stand before tsunami took it away.  Now these sheds provide a center point for all of their fishing activities.

As the wakame seaweed season ramps up soon, the families will use the shed to process and package wakame, where sometimes three generations of family sit down and work together.  PWA acknowledges the importance of the shed to a fishing family.  To make sure the families had a place to work throughout fall, our local partner, Grace Mission Tohoku worked around the clock to build sheds before harsh winter hit the area. 

Livelihood support helps energize local economy: They want sheds more than houses

Wakame seaweed harvesting is soon approaching.  In Minamisanriku, wakame seaweed farming and processing is one of the most critical income generation opportunity.  Every family member pitches in together: harvesting, cleaning, processing, and packaging to be sold.  Everyone is preparing for the harvest season to start, however, those without fishing sheds are having to do work outside.

From the field, our local partner told us that “what is most critical for many of them is that they come up to speed on their livelihood and achieve a stable income before they can take out a loan and build themselves another home.  So that is why sheds are more important than houses right now.”

The need for sheds remains  high:  PWA will expand the shed program to four additional districts!!

Still many fishing families are without sheds.  A few fishermen areusing tents as makeshift sheds, but this measure is not secure to store their valuable equipment nor does it provide the essential  working environment.

PWA and our local partner have identified four additional districts in Utatsu region where the need for fishing sheds is high: Yoriki, Isatomae, Minato and Tanoura districts.  These four areas were  suffered the same magnitude of damage as our previously supported districts.

PWA hopes you will join our work in support of providing fishing sheds to four additional districts.   Please spread the word!

Donor selection with district leader
Donor selection with district leader
Fisherman taking care of equipment
Fisherman taking care of equipment
Thank You for the shed!!
Thank You for the shed!!

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