The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) thanked JCIE for its support of the organization’s medical assistance and promised to put the donation to good use. NICCO also sent a note of thanks after receiving its first installment, noting that the JCIE funds would be used to conduct various activities to support the survivors of the great earthquake.
In March and April, NICCO has had two experts from Kita-Kyushu (southern Japan) working in Rikuzentakata. One is an expert on clean energy and the other on water. The energy expert, Mr. Eguchi, was originally scheduled to participate in a NICCO survey tour of the Palestinian Territories, but was diverted to Tohoku in light of the tragic events. After surveying the Hirota Peninsula (Iwate Prefecture), where electricity has yet to be restored, he made two suggestions: first, functioning batteries from cars that were destroyed in the tsunami can be used to power LED lights; second, the batteries can be hooked up to solar panels for recharging. The idea was well received by those in evacuation centers, and NICCO provided solar panels and LED lights. NICCO had previously provided generators, but those require gasoline (still hard to come by), so the evacuation centers have limited the number of hours they are in use. The car battery–powered LEDs, on the other hand, can be used all day long, so they are helping light areas such as temporary toilets set up outside, which has made life easier for the evacuees.
In Minamisanriku, the lifelines (power, water, communications, etc.) are still not fully restored, so AMDA has been focusing on trying to relieve stress among children and other evacuees by providing recreational activities—including a recent tug-of-war competition and dodgeball tournament—and treating evacuees to such ‘luxuries’ as haircuts.