Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)

We put our utmost efforts into restoring a self-supporting livelihood both economically and mentally to those people who have been stricken with hardship due to conflicts and disasters. We do so promptly, precisely, and flexibly by fully utilizing local human and material resources, considering this the most promising way to revitalize the society.
Feb 15, 2017

Collaboration with a Co-op on Support Activities

Delivering water for water-outage areas
Delivering water for water-outage areas

Following the devastating Kumamoto earthquake in April, 2016, support organisations, including JEN, came to Kumamoto and have been providing support to survivors. While it is true that organisations from other prefectures are working hard, local organisations have an advantage over outside ones in approaching affected people, understanding their needs, and providing precise assistance to them. JEN regards assisting those local organisations as a pillar of its supportive activities in Kumamoto.

Kumamoto Green Co-op is one of the local organisations that have been supporting survivors since shortly after the occurrence of the earthquake. As one of the ways to assist the co-operative, JEN has been lending it a freight lorry since September.

The Kumamoto Green Co-op has been delivering supports in many kind since 15, April, the day after the occurrence of the Kumamoto earthquake, such as, delivering relief supplies including food and water; helping with debris removal and cleaning up survivors’ houses; offering baths, legal aid services, entertainment for children, and a food van service; and preparing soup kitchen. 

In each activity, it has been displaying the geographical advantages in the area and a capability of arranging the logistics on grass roots level to reach every survivor there.

Approximately 4,000 units of temporary housing for people displaced by the earthquake have been built around the prefecture. Local governments and social welfare councils are encouraging survivors move into the temporary housing. 

Other displaced people of about 9,000 households are living in rental housing subsidized by the government to make up for the lack of temporary housing, and yet more survivors are still living in their damaged houses.

Unlike those survivors living in the temporary housing, the survivors living in rental housing, or in their own damaged houses, are in the most vulnerable position because it is extremely difficult for local governments to track their whereabouts and understand the problems that these people face. Responding to this situation, the Kumamoto Green Co-op has taken advantage of its own network of connections to approach those survivors, understand their needs, and provide meticulous assistance to them.

One of examples is a support activity being done in Minamiaso village where the main source of income of the village are from livestock farming. In some parts of the village water supply is still disrupted but survivors who have cows and fields to look after cannot abandon their houses. The Kumamoto Green Co-op has been supplying water necessary for daily life and a tank of water for continues their business agricultural purposes to those survivors.

JEN is lending a delivery lorry to the Kumamoto Green Co-op so that it can deliver aid more quickly to further parts of the area.

JEN’s support activities also include efforts to wash off volcanic ash with high-pressure sprayers in Miyaji district, Aso city, due to the eruption occurred in Aso Mountain the last November.

 

 

 

Washing off volcanic ash in Aso city
Washing off volcanic ash in Aso city
Feb 9, 2017

Remaining an ordinary life

Maintaining the water tanks
Maintaining the water tanks

The purpose of the activity to maintain the water tanks is to keep water, which the refugees drink, safe and clean.

Lorries carrying water run all around the refugee camps and fill the tanks with water every day. Owing to hot weather and dust in air, there is a possibility of spreading of bacteria everywhere in the tank and change in water quality, thereby causing bacterial outbreak or increase in deposit and algae.

In the past, JEN used to disinfected public water tanks of the 3rd, 4th, 5th section at least twice a year as a folk group supporting water–hygiene activity. Later on, as more and more people came to have their own tank, JEN also began to disinfect private water tanks. The total number of water tanks disinfected in these 3 sections has amounted to 1,000.

The maintenance team collects water tanks from people and disinfects them. At the first, tanks are washed with detergent and water, then disinfected with chlorine, and finally rinsed. JEN works carefully not to leave chlorine of more than 1.8ppm.

There used to be a problem with people not leaving their tanks to us, as worrying about the tanks not being returned to them or being exchanged to old ones.

In order to solve such problem, efforts were made to disseminate the right information to people as well as the merits and importance of tank disinfection.

Originally, as we had built up relationship of mutual trust between people of 3rd-5th section, we succeeded in persuading all of them. Also, this time operation, we could return water tanks to everyone at the end of working day as well.

At this time, JEN’s role is in charge of surveying the chlorine rate left in the tank after disinfection. We aim to obtain a numerical value as exactly as possible and let people know the water in the tank is safe to drink.
Moreover, all of the JEN staff has a strong motivation every time we obtain a good result.

We believe that monitoring an index and an evaluating result of work is indispensable in providing a supporting hand to the refugees properly.

***

Many people living in the camp have begun installing toilets for their dwellings. Some people install the toilets themselves, while others ask for help from other refugees who have the skills to complete the task.

As a result, only a few people are coming to use the public toilet facilities built by support groups several years ago. The toilets here are approaching the end of their duties.

Meanwhile, there are families who remain unable to have a household toilet due to a lack of skills and money.

Moreover, even if a household toilet has been installed, many of these facilities consist of just a hole in the floor, with no walls around it, no windows for a cross-breeze, no door locks, and so on, failing to meet the minimum requirements set by organizations involved in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes.

To help refugees live in dignity, JEN is rushing to carry out construction work to improve these household toilets.

A self made toilet before the construction
A self made toilet before the construction
Setting up a new washbasin
Setting up a new washbasin
Feb 9, 2017

Hygiene education for teachers and students

A hygiene education posters displayed in a school
A hygiene education posters displayed in a school

One of the key activities JEN is carrying out in Iraq is the hygiene education for teachers and students. JEN is aiming at raising their awareness towards hygiene, health, and the environment, in addition to improving their families’ hygienic habits through proper education.

With the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, JEN has put together hygiene leaflets for elementary and junior high school students.
In addition, the posters to be displayed in schools have been prepared, and a special training curriculum for elementary and junior high school teachers has been introduced. The leaflets and posters have already been printed and distributed to the teachers. It is expected that these materials will help improve the hygienic environment of the schools in conjunction with the cleaning equipment that has already been distributed to each school.

Since it is recognised that hygiene education is vital for keeping the children in good health, JEN has been giving lessons to elementary school students on brushing their teeth and washing their hands.

The representatives of the Ministry of Education, school governors, teachers, and students have expressed their gratitude to JEN for promoting hygiene education.

A school official thanked JEN by giving a cake on which “JEN” was written as a present. That official has told us that he expects JEN’s activities will be conducted in as many schools as possible in all regions of Iraq.

The hygiene education leaflet
The hygiene education leaflet
The leaflet for teachers
The leaflet for teachers
A hand-washing lesson
A hand-washing lesson
 
   

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