Japan Relief: JEN Field Report 24 April – 7 May 2011

photo: Sludge Removal Volunteers at Orientation (Photo: JEN copyright)


Approximately 6,531 individuals and 241 households were reached by JEN’s activities during this period. 


1) Material Distribution

JEN distributed sludge removal kits including rubber boots, rain coats, jerry can, and shovels to evacuees in Oshika Peninsula, 2 hour-drive from Ishinomaki City where assistance has been delayed.  Rubber boots, jerry cans, shovels, mops, cleaning brush, wet towels and diapers were distributed at 4 evacuation centres of Kesennuma Motoyoshi-cho of Ishinomaki City on 7 May.

2) Sludge Removal Volunteer Dispatch

Supported by 1,052 volunteers, JEN has completed removing rubbles and sludge from 99 houses in Watanoha area of Ishinomaki City since 11 April. A large number of volunteers participated in the sludge removal volunteers using Japan’s Golden Week, a series of national holidays.  Not only in Watanoha area where allocated to JEN, a group of JEN’s volunteers are now working in Oshika Peninsula as well.

3) Soup Kitchen Volunteer Dispatch

JEN has been providing hot meals for lunch and for dinner to earthquake / tsunami victims taking shelter at their own houses. In the reporting period, JEN volunteers constantly provided 4,780 hot meals.  Since 10 May, additional to one site in Nakayashiki area of Ishinomaki City, the soup kitchen service will start in Oshika Peninsula.

4) Psycho-Social Care through Community Café

JEN is providing a space where evacuees can gather for activities and experience-share for psycho-social care, and do daily activities such as laundry and cooking to 10 communities. For those evacuees who lost own transportation to city council, grocery stores, and banks etc. will be provided with JEN’s shuttle bus services on request.

This project will start with 3 pilot communities where JEN has established a good relationship through relief activities. This community space will be called ‘Community Cafe’ and JEN and volunteers will organise various entertainment and relaxation activities with incoming volunteers.

A second place for community café was confirmed in Kazuma area of Ishinomaki City.

5) Rubble Clearance through Assisting Local Waste Management Contractors

There are huge piles of rubbles in Ishinomaki and clearance work led by the city has started, while the local waste management companies cannot participate as they lost their resources due to tsunami. JEN will assist such companies with 60 vehicles such as Press Packers, Arm Roles and 4t Trucks in order for them to participate in this clearance work so that they can resume their business and employees who are in the risk of losing job.  JEN is now in the process of renting 12 vehicles.

6). Assistance for People in Transitional Shelters

10,000 transitional shelters will be built and occupied by evacuees in the next 12 months in Ishinomaki City. The first 137 households moved in on 29 April. The local authoriy, however, is providing the shelters to residence without furniture and living necessities such as kitchen utensils, clearing materials, and hygiene kits. And here, JEN will provide living supplies according to the moving schedule decided by the city council.

JEN provided kits to 137 households on 29 April, and 104 on 3 May. For these 2 groups, the materials were purchased in Tokyo and sent to Ishinomaki. However, from the procurement for next groups and onwards, JEN will tie a contract with AEON Corporation to ease the procurement.

 Planned Future Activities

Livelihood Recovery Assistance

Approximately 10 cases of livelihood recovery projects will be implemented in cooperation with German NGO and Lions Foundation.

Since the motivation and direction of the city council for recovery of local merchandises has not been clearly shown at this stage, JEN will target individual business owners who are willing to reopen business being based in Ishinomaki City, even temporarily. Only in summer 2011, local Chamber of Commerce schedules to reconstruct some temporary retail premises near Ishinomaki station.

Nutrition improvement and Livelihood recovery project will now be implemented within the above-mentioned livelihood recovery scheme. JEN will connect local vegetable shop owners in Ishinomaki and farmers in Ibaraki who are affected by the harmful rumors of radio activity from nuclear power plant and their agricultural products being either cheaply priced or cannot be priced in the market, even if it is safe according to the government criteria. JEN has confirmed a partner vegetable shop owner in Onagawa-cho, also interviewing another potential partner in Watanoha area of Ishinomaki City next week.

Main Issues or Concerns in the Field

A severe staff shortage raised in the last reporting period is being eased at Ishinomaki side by employing 9 new staffs for JEN Ishinomaki. Additionally, a part-time worker for needs assessment will start from 10 May. And this local staff recruitment wishes to support livelihood of those who lost occupations due to the earthquake and tsunami.

2 additional staffs were employed at HQ as well so that personnel dispatched, originally at HQ, will start coming back on 3rd weeks one after another to Tokyo for support

If you are interesting in donating to the earthquake/tsunami relief efforts with our partner JEN in Japan, click here

All photos JEN Copyright

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