Resuming Support to Fukushima Evacuees
One year and eleven months have passed since the Tohoku earthquake. The population in the affected areas saw a rapid declined in the wake of the disaster, and while people are gradually returning, the population of Fukushima Prefecture has continued to decrease. According to the Reconstruction Agency, the number of people who have fled the prefecture due to the incident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant has risen to 57,377 (as of January 2013).
In Yamagata Prefecture, which has accepted the most evacuees, some have been forced to lead a tough dual life between both prefectures, with only the husband remaining in Fukushima and the wife and children fleeing to Yamagata, for instance. This serious situation is expected to stretch into the future, and requires flexible support not only from national and local governments but from the private sector.
Given these circumstances, Civic Force has resumed its support of Seikatsu Club Yamagata, a project to accept people from Fukushima taking refuge in Yamagata run as an ‘NPO cooperative partner project’.
If you need further information, please find attached file.
Osechi arrived to evacuees at temporary housing
We respectfully offer our New Year’s greeting.
Although sustainable and substantial community reconstruction has only just begun, some disaster victims seemed to spend the New Year holidays more peacefully than last year. On December 31, 2012, disaster victims living in temporary housing compounds received osechi in a set of three stacking containers, provided by AEON Co., ltd. The box was filled with Japanese and Western foods, supervised by Zenya, a famous Japanese restaurant in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. They hoped victims could spend the New Year holidays happily and positively. A total 600 boxes were delivered by non- profit-organizations assisting local communities, including Alice Box, Peace Nature Lab, and Tree Seed to 17 temporary compounds, houses with seniors and children’s nursing homes.
Providing fancy food boxes delighted the people. One of them said “It has been too busy and upset to prepare osechi. Thank you so much”. Some people made a phone call to convey their gratitude on January 1.
Wish everyone good luck for this year.
What we do in hard times
Civic Force launched the “Mid- and long- term reconstruction support activities,” which focuses on support for reconstruction of disaster areas in a mid- and long-term viewpoint. Additionally, we also launched a new organization “Asia Pacific Alliance” with five Asian countries, where experience natural disasters frequently.
Meanwhile, the aftershock with a seismic intensity of a lower 5 struck the Tohoku region on December 7, 2012. The earthquake reminded us of the importance of disaster prevention and reduction.
A natural disaster strikes when people lose their memory of the previous one.
In 2013, we will make an effort to strengthen our alliance with corporations, governments and NPOs to prepare for next big scale disaster in addition to our current support activities toward Tohoku.
We cannot see the real recovery of the Japanese economy, which had stagnated for a long time. As the time has passed, not only disaster victims but also supporters are put in a tough situation. We resolve to focus on better results and more efficiency to surely support those who need help.
If you need further information, please find attahced file.
Monthly Report vol.21
Review Civic Force’s Tohoku support activities
"I had been working in Tokyo, but returned to my hometown after the earthquake disaster. I must do something, when people from other regions are working so hard for my hometown." (A man in his 20’s who is participating in a community development project) [NPO Partner Project]
"I have a fear of trying something new, but above all, I feel an utmost sense of mission." (A man in his 40’s who started up a renewable energy business)[Mid- to Long-Term Reconstruction Support Project]
"There are unique ways of local revitalization which only young people can achieve." (A man who works on community development) [NPO Partner Project]
" The key to reconstruction is how much power we can bring in from the outside." (A man in his 30’s who is working strenuously on industry restoration) [NPO Partner Project]
"We can change clothes here and practice again! I hope that, someday, someone from this sea of rubble will become a world-class yachtsman." (A high school student who uses a trailer as a Yacht club room) [Multi-Purpose Mobile Bases Project]
" I stopped eating lunch out and make my own lunch now. I donate the money savedfrom this every day." [From “Just Giving,” a donation website]
"While some of the support projects are unilateral and intrusive, we really appreciate those people who participate in the reconstruction efforts while standing on the same level as us. (A municipal employee in his 40’s in a disaster area) [Mid- to Long-Term Reconstruction Support Project]
"People here are so strong and kind, even though they suffered from such a disaster. They said to me, “Please come back,” so I came back again." (A female student who repeatedly participates in community rebuilding tours in disaster areas) [NPO Partner Project]
"There was less rubble and the roads were paved nicely, compared to right after the earthquake. I could really feel the reconstruction in progress while I ran in Oshima." (A woman in her 30’s who ran in the “Kesennuma-Oshima Run Festa”)
"Strong private initiative is needed to make tourism a solid industry and a key factor in the reconstruction efforts. We would appreciate a little more help." (Head of the disaster-affected municipality) [Mid- to Long-Term Reconstruction Support Project]
"I almost lost the will to live many times, but I have somehow made it until now, thanks to interacting with all of you." (A man in his 30s in his greetings to employee volunteers) [Employee Volunteer Dispatch Project]
"If we can achieve certain results on prior investment for growth, we can use it as a model for community revitalization to energize the whole nation. [An adviser to the Tohoku Public Benefit Investment Fund]
"The large, 397-ton ferry provided a very precious space where citizens could relax." (President of a shipping company at the ceremony of returning a rented ferry) [Car Ferry Operation Project]
"Our mission is to offer quality support to meet the various needs of disaster victims in coordination with companies, local governments, and local communities, by placing importance on the viewpoint of each victim." [Civic Force]
If you need further information, please find attachment and our website(www.civic-force.org/english).
Tohoku Earthquake Aid Helping the recovery through mid-to-long-term recovery aid
From the standpoint of having helped with recovery on-site since immediately after the quake, what can we do now? Civic Force faces the thoughts and words of many victims even now, and is starting the "Mid-to-Long-term Reconstruction Support Project" from this summer, based on four core areas: Tourism Revitalization, Medical Access, Renewable Energy and Community Reconstruction.
For the Tourism Revitalization, We joined the strategy meeting for tourism, debates held monthly in Kesennuma city, Miyagi, since March 2012. In october, we performed interviews in and outside the city with those in the tourism industry on the city`s projects as well as presenting ideas for a tourism revitalizing platform. from now on, we plan to discuss organizational plans and budget details.
Medical Accsee focuses on the increasing isolation of Kesennuma and other afflicted coastal areas and aims to link together with municipalities, firefighters and regional medical institutions to introduce and implement civilian helicopter ambulances. This will allow for quick mobilization in times of a disaster, raise the rate of survival in an area where quick access to high-level medical service is difficult, and build a model case for a more air-centric rescue strategy. Accordingly, in preparation for implementing this next spring, we are investigating a good site for a heliport and working with medical institutions in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures.
Renewable Energy works with the Kesennuma Energy Development Corporation that is at the heart of the renewable energy project in Kesennuma to improve forest environments, employment and other long-term benefits for regional economy. Additionally, this project works with municipalities as well, with the municipality itself calling for the propagation of natural energy.
For further details, please find attaced file and visit our homepage(www.civic-force.org).
"So many things we have to bear"
The Tohoku earthquake registered a magnitude of 9.0 and the height of the ensuing tsunami was 40,1 meters. This disaster caused huge damage to North East Pacific coast of Japan. More than 18,000 people lost their lives or are still missing. It has been reported by the Reconstruction Agency that 330,000 people have evacuated to either temporary houses, public housings, hospitals or the houses of relateves and friends inside and outside of the affected areas as of September.
In seven prefectures including Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, the loval governments are planning to construct 23,000 public housings for rent to the victims, however, there are difficulties in insuring the building plots due to the landscape and flooded areas. Also, difficulties associated with the aging population are another problem. Opportunities to be physically active with work and hobbies have decreased and both physical and mental disorders have caused walking difficulties among 20% of over 65 year olds. Solitary deaths and suicides at temporary houses never cease.
The Fukushima nuclear plant accident has increasingly caused severe disturbances for the population of the prefecture. An elementary school student who was participating in a program at Tome city, Miyagi prefecture this summer said in an essay that "there is nowhere in Fukushima that one can live an ordinary life. We cannot eat vesetables havested in the neighboring farms. The swimming tournament which I was looking forward to was calceled again this summer. There are so many things we have to bear in Fukushima.
If you need further information about our activities, please find attached file and our homepage(www.civic-force.org/english).
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