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Providing High Pressure Washing Machines to affected welfare facilities/Starting a Soup Kitchen: Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, damaged by heavy rainfall in August 2022

09/08/2022

Record-breaking heavy rainfall in early August has caused extensive damage in Hokuriku and Tohoku regions, including rivers overflowing and flooding. AAR Japan [Association for Aid and Relief, Japan] dispatched an emergency support team to Niigata Prefecture on August 5 to assist mainly with welfare facilities. OHARA Shinichiro of AAR’s Tohoku office reports from the field.

The landslide was caused by heavy rain in Koiwauchi district, Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, on August 6.

The landslide was caused by heavy rain in Koiwauchi district, Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, on August 6.

The entire district was flooded in no time, and our office was inundated under the floor. It was truly terrifying.” The downstream area of the Arakawa River in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, where a special warning for heavy rain was issued before dawn on August 4. Kazushi Arao, director of Suzukake, a welfare service center for people with disabilities operated by the social welfare corporation Aozora Kai, said, “About 40 people with disabilities live here. This is an important facility in the community for about 40 people with disabilities.

When we visited Suzukake on March 6, the entire staff was busy removing sludge and cleaning up the facility, and AAR provided two high-pressure cleaners to help with this work after confirming the damage. AAR also delivered four large electric fans to the city’s Disaster Volunteer Center and a community association in the Koiwauchi area, which was severely damaged by a landslide, for use in drying out flooded floors and underfloor areas.

Staffs of welfare service center and AAR staff

On the 7th, with AAR’s partner organization, NPO Peace Project (Representative: KATO Ben, AAR Director), we started a soup kitchen in Murakami City and served 60 bowls of somen noodles for lunch. The victims were also given boxed lunches, but the somen noodles with ice were “good to eat quickly and easily in the sweltering heat. It is very popular; some even ordered three more bowls of somen noodles with ice. AAR will continue to provide support while assessing local needs.

OHARA (right) delivered a large electric fan to the Koiwauchi Community Association in Murakami City on August 6.

OHARA (right) delivered a large electric fan to the Koiwauchi Community Association in Murakami City on August 6.

KATO, AAR Director, cooks somen noodles for a soup kitchen in Murakami City on August 7.

KATO, AAR Director, cooks somen noodles for a soup kitchen in Murakami City on August 7.

Disaster victims were waiting for water at a shelter set up at the Arakawa Community Center in Murakami City on August 5.

Disaster victims were waiting for water at a shelter set up at the Arakawa Community Center in Murakami City on August 5.

Emphasis on Support for Welfare Facilities for the person with disability

One of the main features of AAR Japan’s support for disaster victims is that, after providing emergency assistance such as distribution of supplies and soup kitchens immediately after the disaster, AAR Japan supports welfare facilities that are unable to resume activities on their own due to the disaster.

In addition to distributing relief supplies to eight welfare facilities and community groups in Kumamoto, Saga, and Fukuoka prefectures in the aftermath of the torrential rains that hit Kyushu in July 2020, the company also supported the reconstruction of a bakery at the “Waiwai Niji no Mura” welfare facility (Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture) where people with disabilities work during daytime. The bakery reopened in April this year after providing materials and equipment such as work tables and freezers for bakery production, parking lot improvements, and interior work.

In 2021 torrential rains that hit northern Kyushu in August, we also provided vehicles, appliances, and furniture to five welfare facilities for the disabled and elderly and 16 households for the disabled and elderly in Saga Prefecture. AAR also provided agricultural equipment and office equipment to “Sai Sai” (Takeo City, Saga Prefecture), an employment support facility for people with disabilities, enabling the early resumption of farm work by the users.

AAR is always ready to provide prompt support to people with disabilities who are easily left behind in a disaster by building a network with organizations for people with disabilities and disaster relief groups throughout Japan, even during peace. We ask for your understanding and cooperation in AAR’s support activities for victims of disasters. (AAR Tokyo Office: NAMATAME Mitsuru)

*AAR takes thorough measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection during its support activities in disaster-stricken areas. AAR has formulated its own “Guidelines for Domestic Emergency Assistance under the Influence of Covid-19.” When AAR Tokyo Office staff members enter an affected area, they visit disaster affected areas after confirming a negative PCR test result, wearing a mask, and disinfecting their hands.

Request for your support

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our emergency relief efforts in the wake of the August 2022 rainstorm.

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*If donation exceeds the funds required for the designated emergency relief activities, it will be used for the next round of emergency relief, etc. Please understand this in advance.

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