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What is needed now? [No.1] – Sludge Removal

JEN Ishinomaki Team is divided into four groups:

• Sludge removal team (removing sludge from evacuation centers and individual homes)
• Soup kitchen team (distribution of food at evacuation centers)
• Psychosocial care team (psychological support for those affected by the earthquake)
• Household visiting team (visiting individual homes and distributing goods, as well as assessing the needs and the damage)

Amongst the four, there is an urgent need for sludge removal.


Perhaps you will understand why from the photograph below…


Photo: Thick sludge at Ookaidou, Ishinomaki City

Sludge, brought by the tsunami, is now emitting disturbing odor around communities. 

It has been three weeks since the earthquake and the tsunami hit Tohoku.
The sludge is drying up and hardening. Gradually this sludge will turn into dust. The dust will be blown up into the air which can have perverse effects to our health.

It is estimated that 20,000 people in Ishinomaki City take shelter at home.

The tsunami brought heavy sludge inside houses. Tatami mats and furnitures have absorbed water (one tatami can weigh up to 100kg), thus women and elders cannot even clean up their houses.

Most of the people staying at their homes live on the second floor because the ground floor is covered with sludge. There are evacuees who could return home once the sludge is cleared.

JEN is now procuring equipments and preparing to receive volunteers while coordinating with other organizations.

This Saturday, we are delivering 30 tatami mats and 2,600 sand bags and tools for sludge removal together with the dump truck from our warehouse in Adachi, Tokyo. 

We will proceed with the assessment and the preparation for the sludge removal with people in the communities and volunteers so that the evacuees can resume their normal lives as soon as possible.

March 31, 2011 in Tohoku earthquake |