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Activity Reports

The pool cleaning is complete!

July 12, 2011

Yesterday’s post reported about volunteer activities to clean a local swimming pool of mud – which has now been completed!

During the second morning, a relatively large aftershock hit Ishinomaki. As a result, the work was stopped and volunteers were taken to a specified evacuation area. They remained there until the tsunami warnings were called off, meaning that not much progress was made during the morning.

Yet despite this, the volunteers were able to complete the pool cleaning during this day, returning to the pool after the tsunami warning was cancelled to get back to work.

As you can see in this photograph, only a small amount of cleaning was left to do – seeing the end in sight, the volunteers speed picked up quickly!

And in barely no time at all…

It was this clean!
Of course, this is not the end yet.

Once the mud was removed, volunteers worked to mop the remaining liquids and dirt.
First deck brushes are used to remove any leftover mud, and then the mops and wipers are used to remove the water and liquids.
Of course the pool does have drains built in, however pushing muddy water into this can be a cause for blockage and further difficulties, so the water is instead poured into buckets and removed from the site.

As in this photograph, as the work inside the pool itself is coming to an end volunteers from other teams also begin to clean the surrounding areas.

As the pool becomes cleaner and cleaner, the volunteers are obviously enjoying themselves – despite the difficult, sweaty work they call out to each other, laughing. Through the great joint efforts, the pool became this clean!

Once finished, it was time for a group picture:

Even for staff who have been in Ishinomaki for months and seen the great efforts of volunteers in many places throughout the city, it was a huge surprise to see the pool – which had been so filled with mud – cleaned in just two days.
From here, local residents will carry out the final cleaning and repairing the equipment – so that the pool can be opened again as soon as possible. The volunteers involved inthe effort also look forward to coming back themselves to actually swim in the pool once it is opened!

The majority of the volunteers who participated in this cleanup effort were in Ishinomaki on the short-term programme. After the day’s work was finished and the equipment packed up, it was time for these members to pack up their own belongings and get on the bus back to Tokyo. Thanks to their great teamwork, the pool was able to be cleaned in just two days, showing what volunteers can achieve in even a short stay.