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Support for People Affected by Kumamoto Earthquake

The earthquakes with a seismic intensity of Ⅶ hit Kumamoto Prefecture on 14th and 16th April 2016 in a row. SEEDS Asia conducted damage/needs assessment from 16th to 21st May, and agreed with Department of Disaster Risk Management of Uki City and Uki City Social Welfare Council to offer support in Uki City where very few external support had been offered despite the continuous aftershocks with a seismic intensity of more than Ⅳ in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Environments of the affected people vary from time to time, with merging and closing of evacuation shelters and construction of temporary housing. What is needed by each of the affected people turned out to differ, vary, and get more complicated depending on each case. Under these circumstances, the Social Welfare Council will transform the Disaster Volunteer Center for emergency response established immediately after the earthquake into the Life Recovery Support Volunteer Center in June 2016, and then the Community Mutual Support Center in October 2016, so as to meet the various needs of the affected people. SEEDS Asia will provide support for the activities of this center, utilizing the acquired know-how and networks through community recovery support activities in Kesennuma.


In Uki City where it was affected by Kumamoto Earthquake, it aims to respond to the needs of the affected people so that they can put their lives back in order by providing support for organizing and operating the Life Recovery Support Volunteer Center (Community Mutual Support Center) to be established by the Social Welfare Council, and building collaboration network with administration, etc.

1. Life Recovery Support Volunteer Center (Community Mutual Support Center) Reorganization Support
In order to be able to respond to new needs including support for the interchanges at evacuation shelters, the prevention of isolation at temporary housing, and the lifestyle support, it is planned to assist in the system construction of the Life Recovery Support Volunteer Center (Community Mutual Support Center) operated by the Social Welfare Council such as making activity plans and role assignment. In addition, upon offering lifestyle support to the affected people, it will be important to have the collaboration between the welfare support activities by the Social Welfare Council, the health support and other recovery activities by administration, and the activities by NPOs, etc. For this purpose, the support will be provided for the system construction such as building collaboration network between administration, other NPOs, and volunteers, etc., and the operation.


2. Community Activity Support at Evacuation Shelters and Temporary Housing
Tea gatherings and other recreational events will be conducted at evacuation shelters and temporary housing, mainly for the purpose of preventing the isolation of the affected elderly people. Moreover, in these events, additional support will be provided to the affected people by getting close to and listening attentively to them so as to understand their actual conditions and needs, and introducing appropriate agencies for the recovery objectives they are facing.



3. Training by the Person Who Experienced Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
According to the initial hearing survey, it is found out that Uki City did not have much experience in Disaster Risk and Reduction for earthquake damage although it has been making efforts for Disaster Risk Reduction for windstorm and flood damage, and that the needs for the knowledge and experiences to be shared by those who experienced past disasters is high. Furthermore, it is comprehended that, with respect to the subsequent establishment of the Community Mutual Support Center, there are also high needs for the knowledge to be shared by those who experienced past disasters since training were conducted in respect of the operation of the Disaster Volunteer Center.
Accordingly, trainings and workshops will be conducted for the civil service and support staffs of the Social Welfare Council so as to help solve the problems they are facing by inviting to Uki City those in Kesennuma City who experienced the operation of temporary housing and existing neighborhood associations, reopening schools, and the operation of voluntary organizations for Disaster Risk Reduction, etc., and the experts who were involved in these support activities.