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Delivering Portable Toilets and Sanitary Supplies to Facilities for Persons with Disabilities: Noto Peninsula Earthquake


More than a week after the Noto Peninsula earthquake, the affected areas are still suffering from severe evacuation, lack of toilets due to water shortages, and deteriorating sanitary conditions such as the spread of influenza and noro-virus. AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) has been delivering emergency portable toilets, hygiene products, and other items donated by companies in cooperation with AAR Japan to facilities for people with disabilities.

Five men and women stand with the supplies they received.

Portable toilets and small tents provided by Montbell to a community living support facility. AAR Namatame (left) with facility residents in Wajima, Ishikawa, Japan, January 9, 2024.

The community life support facility named “Umyu-do-Sora” in Wajima City accepts short-term residents with disabilities, etc., but after the earthquake it also functions as a welfare shelter, with victims with various conditions, including autism and developmental disabilities, who have difficulty living in shelters or staying in cars, taking shelter there.

Although they have managed to secure drinking water and food, relief supplies are not sufficient. On January 7 and 9, AAR delivered emergency portable toilets provided by Montbell Inc. (Osaka City), body wiping wet towels from Felissimo Corporation (Kobe City), as well as disposable body warmers and nutritional jelly.

A man and a woman check supplies out of a cardboard box.

Distributing Felissimo products

Felissimo’s body wiping towels and shampoo that does not require water were delivered by a parent and child who had just come to the facility to pick up relief supplies and said, “I wanted something just like this! I haven’t washed my hair for a long time.” They looked a little relieved.

Wet towels placed on top of stacked cardboard boxes

Felissimo’s body-wiping wet towels

A mother with an autistic elementary school son said, “Immediately after the earthquake, we went to a nearby evacuation center, but my son did not fit in with the unusual environment and became anxious, yelling and making a lot of noise, and the people around us complained. We tried to leave the shelter and stay in the car, but it was still difficult for my son, and gasoline was limited.”

The facility manager, said, “The more people with serious disabilities who have nowhere to go during a disaster, the more reluctant we are to turn them down. I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t been able to come here. Evacuation life will continue for the time being, but we hope that they will be able to spend their time in peace for the time being.” This facility also serves as a collection point for relief supplies, including those from the surrounding area. “No cars can enter the area beyond this point, so we have no choice but to take the supplies on foot, but somehow we all have to support each other,” he said.

Three people talking in front of an emergency toilet

Visiting a support facility for the disabled

On January 8, AAR delivered a set of MontBell portable toilets and small tents (pop-up blinds), and a set of Felissimo body wiping towels and bottled drinking water.

A staff member said, “The only hygiene care for the users is to wipe their bodies with their clothes on. Many of our staff members were affected by the disaster, and some of my colleagues commute to work from evacuation centers in neighboring towns, so the situation is very difficult. I hope that the users will be able to spend their time with a little peace of mind by using the portable toilets and hygiene products we have received,” she said.

A man and a woman standing and talking inside the facility.

At a non-profit organization in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture.

16,000 mini-sized and 3,000 large portable toilets with ponchos provided by Excelsior Inc. (Tokyo) were delivered to the Ishikawa Prefectural Government on January 6 in cooperation with Japan Association of City Mayors. In addition, we have received offers from many other companies and organizations to donate supplies and in-store donations. We sincerely appreciate your cooperation.

We would like to thank you again for your cooperation in AAR’s emergency support for the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

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