Iwaki Report

This is a report from one of our volunteers T. who works with AAR, Association for Aid and Relief Japan, who went on a day mission to Iwaki on March 25:

I was able to drive things up to Iwaki city as well as Kita Ibaraki on Friday. NPO in Hiroshima, Hiroshima Peacebuilders (HPC), has kindly cooperated with us and brought 1200 bottles of water, some 600 roles of toilette paper, 900 pairs of women’s underwear, and 500 women’s shirts and pants.

After briefly visiting the Iwaki-city hall and the Taira cycling stadium which as turned into an assistance material collection centre, we visited several evacuation centres (including Natsui city hall, Natsui primary school, Fujima junior high, Kusano junior high) and also Kita-Ibaraki with Mori-san from Taira Global Mission where there is a huge need of water due to water supply cut-out.

Food and water distribution by the local government started from last Monday – at shelters for evacuees, and city halls for neighbors – while the frequency and quantity seems still limited. There is a significant need for hot water and cooked dishes, as well as sanitary goods especially among those who cannot access the official distributions.  I also noticed hesitation by evacuees to receive assistance materials at the centers. They say they started receiving materials from the government or that at least official channels to receive assistance was assured. However people living in remote areas from evacuation centers such as Kita-Ibaraki still suffer from water shortage. Even those in evacuation centers, I could observe that the assistance was not sufficient, which implies that it is more difficult for Tohoku residents to speak their real voice and needs.

Radiation: I just want to share this info with you as you requested. We went with radiation survey scope and in all places (Iwaki-chuo IC; Natsu area; Kusano area; Taira area; Kita-Ibaraki) it showed low levels of radiation between 0.1-0.6 micro sievert of radiation. It apparently indicates that at least on Friday at these particular places it was safe enough to work outside.

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