May 16, 2011

As the weather is starting to get warmer, fears are rising that there could be a major outbreak of mosquitoes, flies, mice, and other disease-bearing pests in the earthquake-stricken areas. Beginning in May, NICCO has been working in collaboration with the Japan Pest Control Association to develop measures to prevent such “secondary damage,” focusing on the cities of Ofunato, Rikuzentakata, and Kesennuma.

JEN continued to provide supplies for temporary homes in the city of Ishinomaki, providing goods for about 240 homes over the Golden Week holidays. According to the city government, there are currently 9,500 evacuees living in 108 shelters in the city. Approximately the same number of people are thought to have left the shelters and returned to their homes, unable to handle the stress of living in the tight quarters of the shelters for two months. Those at-home refugees are often living on the 2nd floor of their houses—the 1st floor having sustained damage from the tsunami. Most still have no water, sewage, or gas. Both groups are in urgent need of temporary housing.

Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is providing supplies for temporary housing in the city of Rikuzentakata. They are also continuing to work with Mercy Corps, an American NGO, to build up effective relief projects in the quake area. Mercy Corps’ PR manager is conducting an on-site inspection this week to get a better sense of the current needs.