On 4th October 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti, leaving a trail of destruction across the island nation. The hurricane brought about the country’s most severe humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. In the weeks and months following the disaster, there was a spike in cholera, diarrhea, and other water-related illnesses. One of the reasons for this is that many sanitation and water systems were destroyed, leading to contamination of water sources. Having consulted with local partners and gathered extensive information from UN agencies and other credible sources, PBV identified this need and decided to launch a phase 2 project focusing on clean water and community sanitation. Following on from the […]
Photo gallery from the biggest local festival, the “89th Ishinomaki Kawabiraki (“River Opening”) Festival,” held in Ishinomaki on July 31 and August 1, 2012.
Peace Boat has been providing support to residents of temporary housing including publishing a community paper, cultivating vegetable gardens, making benches and planters, and more. Communicating with the residents is one of the most important things in understanding the needs for such projects.
This is a report on “Ocha-kko (tea parties)” which Peace Boat has been organizing as a space for communication more than 600 times throughout the different communities of temporary housing in the city of Ishinomaki.
The Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki opened on June 2. The acceptance of the local community has been growing, and there are now around 20 local visitors each day. Including the many large-scale events, the Center has welcomed over 1,000 people in the six weeks since it opened.
This report outlines a day at the Peace Boat Center, including volunteer activities, events, and more.
The ”Oraho’s Machizukuri Oen” programme held as part of the Ishinomaki volunteering experience offers a rich and intense two-day program to see sides of Ishinomaki which cannot be experienced in other ways.
This programme’s highest priority is the chance to meet with local people. Participants can create their visions of the future together with the local people while listening to their passions and plans to rebuild their community and businesses.
“Please come and visit Ishinomaki to find new attractions of Ishinomaki as a revitalizing town, not only as the disaster-affected Ishinomaki. You will also be able to feel where Japan is going through these two-day programs. We are really looking forward to meeting you all in Ishinomaki.”
The Onagawa Temporary Shopping Avenue consists of eight shops that provide support for local residents’ daily life and employment. The shops include a florist, beauty salon, electrical shop, grocery shop and others. Peace Boat’s volunteer carpenters provided support to complete the expansion of the shopping avenue, which began operating in July 2011. As time passed, additional needs for things such as outdoor display shelves and a more cheerful interior so that more customers will visit have risen, aiming for the Shopping Avenue to sustain its business.
Little by little the work was done daily, and after a few months, the Shopping Avenue is now looking like a tiny shopping mall, with even a courtyard for holding small events. Peace Boat will continue to provide regular maintenance work, as well as installing solar power panels and insulation.
On Sunday October 16, the “Orahono Recovery Festival – Ishinomaki, Onagawa, Higashi Matsushima” was held at the Ishinomaki City General Sports Park. Many people attended and enjoyed the lively booths and performances.
“Oraho no” translates to “Our” in the local dialect. The day was blessed with beautiful weather, and around 8,000 people joined the events including Mayor Kameyama Hiroshi of Ishinomaki, as a step taken together towards recovery. This was the first large event to be held by all three cities together in the aftermath of the disaster. When the Kawabiraki Festival was held 2 and a half months ago, volunteers were involved in coordinating much of the preparations and operations. Yet this time, this was reversed and volunteers served only a small role, with the local community taking full initiative. While much time is still needed for life to return to as it was before the disaster, the Orahono festival really demonstrated that energy, courage, and life is returning more and more to the area. The efforts of the local community to coordinate this festival are certainly going to play a great role in encouraging recovery efforts.
Two new public baths, “Kizuna no yu” and “Fudou no yu,” were opened to the public in Ishinomaki on August 22.
While general infrastructure had been continually improving since the disaster and less and less people are using the bathing facilities, there are still people living in the evacuation centers and in areas where infrastructure has not yet been restored.
After much discussion with city hall officials, the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council Inc. (IDRAC), of which Peace Boat is also a member, took on the job of constructing the baths. It was decided that Peace Boat will be in charge of the operation of the baths after opening.