Following the devastating Kumamoto earthquake in April, 2016, support organizations, including JEN, came to Kumamoto and have been providing support to survivors. While it is true that organizations from other prefectures are working hard, local organizations have an advantage over outside ones in approaching affected people, understanding their needs, and providing precise assistance to them.
JEN regards assisting those local organizations as a pillar of its supportive activities in Kumamoto.
Kumamoto Green Co-op is one of the local organizations that have been supporting survivors since shortly after the occurrence of the earthquake. As one of the ways to assist the cooperative, JEN has been lending it a freight truck since September.
The Kumamoto Green Co-op has approached the aftermath of the earthquake on a number of fronts since 15, April, the day after the occurrence of the Kumamoto earthquake, including by: delivering relief supplies including food and water; helping with debris removal and cleaning up survivors’ houses; offering baths, legal aid services, entertainment for children, and a food van service; and preparing meals outdoors.
In each activity, it has been displaying the advantages of its connections in the area and a delivery capability to reach every survivor there.
Approximately 4,000 units of temporary housing for people displaced by the earthquake have been built around the prefecture. Local governments and social welfare councils are helping survivors move into the temporary housing.
Other displaced people include about 9,000 households of survivors who are living in rental housing subsidized by the government to make up for the lack of temporary housing, and yet more survivors are still living in their damaged houses. Unlike those survivors living in the temporary housing, the survivors living in rental housing, or in their own damaged houses, are in a vulnerable position because it is extremely difficult for local governments to track their whereabouts and understand the problems that these people face.
Responding to this situation, the Kumamoto Green Co-op has taken advantage of its own network of connections to approach those survivors, understand their needs, and provide meticulous assistance to them.
One example is a support activity being done in Minamiaso village. In some parts of the village water supply is still disrupted but survivors who have cows and fields to look after can’t leave their houses. The Kumamoto Green Co-op has been supplying water necessary for daily life and a tank of water for agricultural purposes to those survivors.
JEN is lending a delivery truck to the Kumamoto Green Co-op so that it can deliver aid more quickly to further parts of the area.
【A delivery truck carrying water necessary for daily life in a water-outage area.】
JEN’s support activities also include efforts to wash off volcanic ash with high-pressure sprayers in Miyaji district, Aso city, which was covered with volcanic ash from the nearby volcano which erupted last November.
【Washing off volcanic ash in Aso city】
JEN will continue helping the earthquake survivors to restore their lives.