For the past five months Kumamoto earthquake evacuees have been living in basic shelters, tents, and housing camps in Mashiki and Nishihara and other towns in the region. Peace Winds has been providing shelters, food, and counseling, targeting those with children, pets, and special needs.
The Local and Central Governments have nearly completed building more suitable housing for the evacuees, and Peace Winds is now planning to move 2,000 families to the new homes and provide them with basic household supplies.
The move to better housing is long awaited and in time for the change of seasons. The new housing will provide increased privacy, more space, and necessary amenities required to make it a “home” including indoor kitchens and bathrooms, a welcome change for evacuees who have long shared latrines and communal kitchens. The evacuees will be in temporary housing up to three years.
Peace Winds will be assisting the evacuees with their move as the new housing is completed. Additionally Peace Winds will provide the families with kitchen supplies, bathroom supplies, vacuum cleaners, air filters/dehumidifiers, heating carpets, and heaters. Peace Winds is planning to have the all evacuees in their new housing by the end of 2016.
Peace Winds welcomes your support to relocate 2,000 families from Mashiki and Nishihara to new housing and to provide each family with basic household set-up kits to make the new homes more comfortable. Thank you.
Four months after earthquakes struck Kumamoto Peace Winds America maintains a presence in Mashiki, one of the hardest hit areas. Despite government efforts to provide housing for evacuees, outside assistance is still needed and will be for some time. Like our commitment to Tohoku, we remain steadfast in our support of Kumamoto residents.
After the earthquakes Peace Winds immediately performed search-and-rescue and provided evacuees with basic necessities: food, water, shelter, sanitation facilities, blankets, and hygiene kits. Peace Winds moved quickly to provide shelter to those who had lost their homes, paying special attention to vulnerable evacuees – the elderly, pregnant women, families with children, and those with pets. Peace Winds opened camps in Mashiki town on a gymnasium lawn and an outdoor field. There Peace Winds provided family tents, mats, blankets, latrines, and many of the comforts of home: showers, kitchen space, TV, and a sense of normalcy in coffee and conversation as the community gathered together.
When the government could not provide temporary housing in time for the hot and rainy season, Peace Winds provided 80 pre-fabricated homes, five trailers, and a camping car for evacuees during the hot summer months. Peace Winds continues to provide meals once a week, as well as activities like the well-attended summer festivals to encourage personal, family, and community health and welfare. Peace Winds will continue this facility and activities as the needs remain.
The Mashiki town council is constructing 1,285 temporary houses, yet this falls short of the need by 230 families. Peace Winds America remains committed to Kumamoto evacuees, just as we remain steadfast in our support of the Tohoku region.
As always, thank you for your support which makes this work possible.
Even as PWA continues to support long-term recovery and rehabilitation in Tohoku, this quarter we have faced yet another disaster in Japan. The earthquakes of April 14-16 devastated a wide swath of Kumamoto Prefecture, killed 49 people and injured over 3,000. Peace Winds America immediately began conducting outreach to partners and potential supporters.
PWA’s long involvement in Tohoku has informed and even improved this new response. PWA partnership with Peace Winds Japan has been strengthened, yielding fast response and a rapid disbursement of resources. Locally our longstanding commitment to Tohoku has assured donors and supporters that we direct resources where they are most needed. Our experience in Tohoku has helped us and PWJ quickly assess needs and provide needed food, water, shelter, showers, sanitation, and other resources to displaced residents of Kumamoto.
As immediate relief in Kumamoto transitions to recovery, we will determine with partners how best to assist those needs. Yet we will not diminish our attention on Tohoku, whose needs remain. Our partnership with Minamisanriku community centers will continue and we will actively seek out new opportunities to assist the coastal fishing communities of Tohoku.
Thank you for your support for both of these responses.
In March 2016, Peace Winds America will join our many partners, relief organizations, governments, and the people of Tohoku to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. We honor the struggles and progress since the disaster. We look back at our involvement in Japan and also forward toward the future.
Even before the tsunami, PWA was laying the groundwork. PWA preparedness seminars and workshops drew together the relief communities of Japan and their close allies. PWA training built communication and collaboration networks, and forged relationships that were to prove vital.
Immediately after 3/11 PWA was on the ground, building partnerships and initiating relief. Within one month we reached 28,000 people with over 160 tons of desperately needed goods: food, water, shelter, communications equipment, household kits, medicine, cookware, and more. We focused heavily on displaced residents in temporary houses, providing mobile markets, household kits, heaters and fuel to over 8,000 families.
We partnered with Global Giving to encourage people worldwide to support the Tohoku recovery. The PWA--Global Giving reports have covered a huge range of recovery projects, from small business grants to restore coffee roasting and marine repair stores to purchased laboratory and sport supplies for the maritime high school. The reports demonstrated PWA’s deep partnership with the fishing cooperatives, helping these vital engines of recovery return abalone, sea urchin, wakame seaweed, and salmon fishing families to their livelihoods. They have documented four phases of fishing shed construction, providing hope and assistance to every district of Minamisanriku.
On this fifth anniversary, we deeply thank our many donors, Global Giving, and all our partners.
We resolve to keep working. We aim to run programs that boost the disaster preparedness of Japan and maintain a focus on the coastal communities of Tohoku. Even as the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami recede further into the past, our commitment remains strong.
Beginning March 10 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, Global Giving will be matching all Tohoku program donations at 50%. This is a great opportunity to keep supporting Japan recovery on the fifth anniversary.
Thank you for all your support! Arigato Gozaimashita!
As winter approaches in Tohoku, PWA continues supporting the fishing community of Minamisanriku:
its working families, those still displaced by the tsunami, and vulnerable citizens. With these goals in mind we are partnering with a local NGO to provide staff and operating assistance for the Halley Valley Community Center.
The Halley Valley center provides critical support to the town of Minamisanriku: a place for the community including senior citizens and handicapped, to engage in social programs, participate in crafts and training activities, and maintain vital community and social ties. Through the support of PWA, the Community Center remains open and operational. Minamisanriku and its fishing community continue to rebuild and revitalize after the disaster. They greatly welcome this Community Center where the entire community can gather to discuss present and future plans over lunches and tea, cementing personal and social relationships and community ties.
In coming reports PWA will provide more details and photos of the Community Center, its staff, and the community members it serves. We will also provide a year-end update on the successful fishing sheds program in Minamisanriku and hear from shed builders and recipients.
As always we are grateful to our donors and supporters. Nearing five years after the disaster, the message to Tohoku citizens is clear: We so admire your resilience -- You are not forgotten!
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