Sunday, November 27, 2011

Support is Still Strongly Needed – Relief Effort in Ishinomaki No. 1

My name is Shibata, and I am a member of the Ishinomaki Relief Effort team. I am presenting a report on our relief effort in Ishinomaki. This is the first part of my report, and I will report on the rest in later articles.

Second Harvest Japan (2HJ) started food supply to Ishinomaki right after the 3.11 disaster.  Since then 2HJ has been delivering relief supplies donated from individuals and companies to the Self-Defense Forces temporary warehouse in Ishinomaki City Athletic Park (until June), NGOs and NPOs based in Ishinomaki Senshu University, evacuation centers, and survivors living in temporary houses or in their houses every weekend until now. Since survivors living in their houses receive little relief supplies from the local government, 2HJ has been regularly holding supply-distribution events in areas such as Minato, Kazuma, Watanoha, and Shiotomi, where lots of residents suffered serious damages from the tsunami.

In having the distributions for people living in their houses in these areas, 2HJ has collaborated with Fare Trade Tohoku, a local NPO, which has been supporting survivors since March 11.

2HJ’s 4-ton truck has been very useful for our relief efforts in Ishinomaki. In this picture, the truck had just arrived at the WFP warehouse built in Ishinomaki Senshu University (April, 2011).

Unloading relief supplies in the Self-Defense Forces temporary warehouse in Ishinomaki City Athletic Park

Preparing for a supply-distribution event in Kazuma area in April, 2011

After eight months since the disaster, most debris has been cleared, and disaster areas are relatively clean now. More and more stores are reopened, and local people can enjoy shopping. But in areas devastated by the tsunami, local businesses have not recovered yet. Survivors there have difficulties in going for shopping without cars or bicycles. Furthermore, many people have lost their jobs. Food supplies for them are still strongly needed. 2HJ wishes to ask for your unfailing support so we can continue to provide relief supplies for survivors until they rebuild their lives and stand on their feet.

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