Four months after earthquakes struck Kumamoto Peace Winds America maintains a presence in Mashiki, one of the hardest hit areas. Despite government efforts to provide housing for evacuees, outside assistance is still needed and will be for some time. Like our commitment to Tohoku, we remain steadfast in our support of Kumamoto residents.
After the earthquakes Peace Winds immediately performed search-and-rescue and provided evacuees with basic necessities: food, water, shelter, sanitation facilities, blankets, and hygiene kits. Peace Winds moved quickly to provide shelter to those who had lost their homes, paying special attention to vulnerable evacuees – the elderly, pregnant women, families with children, and those with pets. Peace Winds opened camps in Mashiki town on a gymnasium lawn and an outdoor field. There Peace Winds provided family tents, mats, blankets, latrines, and many of the comforts of home: showers, kitchen space, TV, and a sense of normalcy in coffee and conversation as the community gathered together.
When the government could not provide temporary housing in time for the hot and rainy season, Peace Winds provided 80 pre-fabricated homes, five trailers, and a camping car for evacuees during the hot summer months. Peace Winds continues to provide meals once a week, as well as activities like the well-attended summer festivals to encourage personal, family, and community health and welfare. Peace Winds will continue this facility and activities as the needs remain.
The Mashiki town council is constructing 1,285 temporary houses, yet this falls short of the need by 230 families. Peace Winds America remains committed to Kumamoto evacuees, just as we remain steadfast in our support of the Tohoku region.
As always, thank you for your support which makes this work possible.