AAR Japan continues to deliver much-needed sanitary products
In response to the earthquakes that rocked Kumamoto prefecture on April 14, Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR Japan) dispatched the emergency response team, which consisted of 6 members as of April 20: Ben Kato (a board member), Go Igarashi, Kazuya Omuro, Shinichiro Ohara, Masaru Miki, and Yuta Funakoshi. The emergency response team is delivering aid, operating soup kitchens, and conducting needs assessment.
On April 20, the team delivered much-needed relief aid, consisting primarily of sanitary products, to the West Aso Primary School evacuation center in Aso City. Specifically, the team delivered approximately 720 feminine hygiene and sanitary products, 480 pairs of cotton work gloves, approximately 120 adult diapers, approximately 330 baby and infant diapers, 1,000 plastic bags (used to take away food items distributed at soup kitchens), 360 cup noodles, 50 toothbrush kits (each kit is comprised of a toothbrush and a bottle of toothpaste), 36 rolls of toilet paper, 14 cans of baby formula, and 2 packages of disinfectant wipes. AAR Japan has been procuring sanitary products from Fukuoka City and Kurume City of Fukuoka Prefecture because these products are scarce in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Soup kitchens in the town of Mashiki and Aso city
On April 20, the team collaborated with The Peace Project, an NPO, to operate soup kitchens at 2 locations, the Aso City Primary School and the Ino Primary School. AAR Japan learned that the Aso City Primary School evacuation center was in need of food and the emergency response team served sautéed vegetables to 300 people there. Once again, local survivors actively participated in helping with the soup kitchen. “Warm foods have been unavailable since the quake,” said survivors, expressing delight of the food distributed by AAR Japan’s soup kitchen.
At the Ino Primary School in the town of Mashiki, the team served yakisoba rolls (bread sandwiching stir-fried noodles with meats and vegetables) to 210 people for lunch and tomato-based meat stew to 800 people for dinner. “Tasty,” commented people at the evacuation center who taste tested the soup kitchen foods. “Despite the continuing effects of the quake and aftershocks, we will try to stay positive,” said municipal government employees who provided assistance with food preparation for the soup kitchens. Middle school student evacuees also approached the emergency response team, saying “Is there anything we can help with?”
Aftershocks and heavy rainfall continue to worsen conditions in the affected areas. AAR remains committed to supporting those affected by the Kumamoto earthquakes.
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