November 4, 2011

Volunteers help spread the soil, create furrows, and plant seeds on farmland in Otonari and Onagawa.

Volunteers help spread the soil, create furrows, and plant seeds on farmland in Otonari and Onagawa.Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) reports that it has delivered supplies to 8,506 households in temporary housing in 9 towns in Iwate Prefecture. From the end of August, PWJ began surveying the needs of people in these housing units for the winter in order to effectively deliver heaters and other supplies. After that, the government decided to make the
provision of heaters to temporary housing units the responsibility of the local governments, under the jurisdiction of each prefecture. As a result of its cooperation with the municipalities, PWJ was commissioned to provide heaters to all of the temporary units in Rikuzentakata and Ofunato. PWJ is distributing fan heaters to 2,148 in Rikuzentakata and heated carpets to 1,811 households in Ofunato. They are working with the local chambers of commerce to ensure that the purchase and delivery of these items are done locally in order to contribute to the economic recovery of the region.

PWJ is also working with the Iwate Prefecture Bureau of Reconstruction to deliver heaters to those living in employment promotion housing or government-borrowed housing. In this case, these households receive a catalog from which they can choose their heater.

In late October, JEN helped deliver fertile soil to farmland in Otonari and Onagawa. The owner of the land, who is visually impaired, had already opened his land for the construction of 31 temporary homes, and he now has agreed to open his farmland for the use of the families living in those homes as well. A local welfare association negotiated with local farmers to get the soil, and then business owners who have received trucks as aid after the disaster donated the use of 5 trucks to pick up and deliver the soil. Three volunteers from local high schools joined 10 other volunteers to spread the soil, create furrows, and plant seeds. JEN was alerted to this project by its partner, Japan Platform, who thought JEN might be able to help in making this project a reality.