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.
May 23, 2016

A report from Kumamoto: the quality of life

Volunteers and cotton blankets
Volunteers and cotton blankets

At the beginning of this May, there were approximately 300 evacuation centres in the city of Kumamoto. Due to the subsided situation, the number of the centres was reduced from 300 to 22. On one hand, it seems that many victims have moved back to their houses, but on the other hand, the remaining number means that the rest of the victims still face the problem of relocation. Therefore, partnership work is very necessary for this urgent situation.

One of the Kumamoto-based companies, “Egao (smile in Japanese)”, opened their space for those victims. Egao also collaborated with JEN to provide other relief services such as bathing service (see our previous post).                                 In addition, electric kettles (to boil water any time) and cotton blankets (to replace wool blankets too hot for the current weather) we provided have improved the victims’ everyday lives as well.

What those victims could move on to their original peaceful lives is a wish of not only JEN’s staff but also many people around the world. However, the difficult situation may still continue for a while. Therefore, JEN would like to support corporates such as Egao to support the victims in Kumamoto.

Kitchen materials
Kitchen materials
May 17, 2016

Challenges in the Za'atari refugee camp

The caravans without water systems
The caravans without water systems

JEN has started the establishment of the sewerage network.  This project is expected to be completed in 2017.

The project aims to link all the residents to the sewage network that will transfer the wastewater to the treatment plant inside the camp. It provides a great service to help get rid of all types of wastewater (gray and black) and maintain the groundwater environment in the governorate of Mafraq (Jordan).

 

Project Description

The project consists of two phases:

- First, use HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) pipelines to connect the caravans to the concrete tanks that collect solid waste;

- Second, connect the concrete tanks to the treatment plant in the camp.

Implementation of this project involves a lot of challenges, which make the process extremely difficult. Some detailed examples are as follows.

1. Public safety

Public safety is one of the major challenges and concerns. To ensure that safety requirements are well met, several measures are taken such as using warning tapes and metal barriers.

In addition, we also conducted extensive education for parents about the potential danger involved with children playing near the construction sites. Those are important measures to raise the awareness among community members, especially children, to stay away from machineries and construction sites.  

2. Randomly distributed caravans

Since the refugees and caravans are scattered in the region, our work becomes unusually hard.

To overcome this problem, we have planned several field inspections ahead to collect data from the project site on a daily basis, after which we drafted designs and instructions accordingly.

3. Damages and losses of resources

When the project staffs leave the field, they make sure to secure the site and keep all materials and machineries in safe places.

However, the losses of some equipment and construction materials are still unavoidable. Therefore, it requires extra precautions during the project in order to minimize the losses. This could be achieved through hiring local security guards, whom live in the same area where the project construction sites are located.

4. The continuous migration of refugees

Some refugees keep moving from one place to another in order to live together with their relatives or get access to better services.

Despite the continuous migration, we are trying to organize refugees into living blocks and convince them that the infrastructure projects, such as wastewater network, are making great progress.

JEN also provides the guidelines for engineering project such as roads, buildings, water and wastewater projects.

Our task is one of the many important factors to make the project successful. It facilitates the installation of the pipes in fixed positions and slopes to prevent blockage in the network.

After the project is completed, most problems related to the sewage disposal suffered by Syrian refugees in Za’atari camp are expected to be resolved. It will also help protect the groundwater in the aquifer under Mafraq Governorate (Jordan) from potential contamination.

Connecting, the caravans and pipelines
Connecting, the caravans and pipelines
The work progress
The work progress
May 16, 2016

Hygiene promoters in the local community

The training session
The training session

Hygiene promoters in the local community are trained to do door-to-door visits

The picture shows the promoters practicing with one another during the training. In March, they started doing real door-to-door visits, during which they taught proper hygiene practices and asked residents to refrain from dumping wastes in the common drainage.

The group of Community Hygiene Promoters has been growing larger and larger. It now consists of about 50 male and female volunteers who actively help spread the hygiene knowledge among local people. Those volunteers come from diversified backgrounds and have various careers, but they all carry the passion to make the community better.

Here, we would like to introduce a special member of the Community Hygiene Promoter, who is a 22 years old male living in the camp where JEN is working. He is an IDP (Internal Displaced Person) from Kurdistan.

The disability of his leg was caused by medical malpractice when he was a child. As a result, he has been using a cane ever since. In spite of his disability, he actively conducts tent-to-tent visits for hygiene promotion, participates in the camp’s Cleaning Day, and attends Community Hygiene Promotion meetings.

In fact, the camp is not an easy place for disabled people to live in because of its hills and the gravel roads. In addition, the camp is actually fairly large in the absence of convenient transportation.

A JEN staff asked him about the reason why he is so active and why he wanted to be a Community Hygiene Promoter at the very first place. He answered, “I wanted to advise people and support people. There were not any volunteer groups in my hometown, but I think this kind of volunteerism is very necessary to ensure the health of people living in the camp. Also, I just really like this volunteer work.”

The JEN staff then asked him if he felt any changes after conducting tent-to-tent hygiene promotion. He answered, “I think before tent-to-tent visits, people always used water to clean tents and wash cars even though water scarcity had already been reported in some areas. There were also a lot of children walking outside without wearing shoes. After hygiene promotion, I feel that those behaviors have been greatly reduced.”

JEN will continue to facilitate such action of promoting proper hygiene practices in the camp.

The role playing
The role playing
 
   

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