Monday, September 3, 2012

Okinawa & National Office Team Outreach to Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, August 16-22

In mid-August, one Okinawa team member and one National Office team member volunteered to help clean and prepare a Christian facility for its future use as a community center in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture.

For the National Office team member, this was the second outreach to this particular area of Tohoku. Her first outreach had been shortly after the March 2011 disasters. Nearly one and a half years later, she could observe the progress and what remains to be done. On one hand, much clean-up has been finished. Garbage and debris have been taken to local collection sites. New temporary housing units have been built for evacuees and survivors. New temporary stores are operating out of single-wide mobile homes.

On the other hand, no new building is permitted in the areas where the 2011 tsunami flooded the land. Road signs mark the beginning and end of areas where no new building is permitted.
Estimated tsunami inundation area sign.
Because no new building is permitted in the tsunami-hit areas, damaged public buildings have become memorial sites, as well as sites where ruined vehicles are dumped.
Ruined building and ruined vehicles in Rikuzentakata (August 2012) 

Tokyo DTS Team Outreach to Tohoku (Interim Report) 2012

Since the spring of 2012, the Tokyo DTS team has participated in several outreach efforts in the disaster-hit region (Tohoku) of northeastern Japan.

In the spring, two team members went on a short-term outreach to meet with other disaster-relief network contacts.

In early summer, two other team members volunteered for one month, helping to build houses and assisting with other construction projects. One of these team members had received a vision of building homes in Tohoku and was able to see the beginning of that vision fulfilled.

In August, the Tokyo DTS students and some staff went on outreach to Tohoku. (Hopefully, some photos and details will soon be able for that report.)