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“JEN Snowbusters 2006” Draws to an End

2_5_thumb The last of the “JEN Snowbusters 2006” was carried out on February 17-19, with a total of 11 participants including seven high school students.

  On the first day and a half, we went to the Kotsunagi district, a place within the Tokamachi area known for particularly heavy snow. There we cleared snow from a shrine and three houses.

The Kotsunagi district, which was close to the epicenter, suffered especially extensive damage within the Tokamachi area. Since the soil foundation of the district has all but collapsed, it is said that the buildings will never be safely livable again. Therefore, many of the houses have been or will be taken down. Furniture that will not fit into the temporary housings however, have been left inside the houses lived in prior to the quake, and thus clearing snow from residential areas holds a vital meaning for the residents.

  We have heard that due to this year’s heavier than average snowfall, there have already been seven snow clearing sessions. Even the snow around their own houses proved almost too much for the residents to clear; the district shrine was simply unmanageable. Centering around the seven high school students and their teacher, the “snowbusters” were able to clear snow from the shrine as well as two of the resident’s houses, and their work was greatly appreciated by the local people.

  The high school students still seemed to have, unbelievably, energy leftover after the snow clearing had been completed, and enjoyed engaging in a wild snow fight.

A total of 48 volunteers from all around the country participated in the “JEN Snowbusters 2006.”

Last of all, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all volunteers, the members of the Tokamachi Regional Development Committee, the residents’ association of the Nakajo temporary housings, and the Tokamachi Welfare Council.

May 30, 2006 in Niigata |