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Activity Reports

Volunteers making vegetable fields

November 17, 2011

Making a field in Koamikurahama next to a house viewing the ocean.

The Peace Boat fishing industry assistance volunteers have been active at many ports and coastal areas of the eastern part of Ishinomaki City and the Oshika Peninsula, as introduced on this page previously. This time, the team is also active on land, helping to build vegetable plots.

On November 9, 10 short-term volunteer members headed towards the town of Koamikurahama on the Oshika Peninsula. The weather was not kind to them, hinting the approach of winter with the cold strong winds.

Right next to the ocean, the fields had been littered with debris and affected by the tsunami. You can see how the trees became dark red.

This region flourished through fishing, and many households consist of senior citizens living off fishing and their own small fields. 6 months after the earthquake, many people living in temporary housing started to express their wish to return to the fields. Many ports are focusing on recovering the fishing grounds, but now that improvements are being maid, the fishing industry assistance team is also helping with the rebuilding of vegetable fields.

Wheelbarrows are needed to carry the soil and fertilizers to the areas where trucks cannot enter.

After carrying the soil and surrounding the fields with stones or tiles, the fields are hoed and plowed to make sure no stones or litter remain. While tools such as spades are used, volunteers also dig their hands in deep. As this is very active work, many volunteers changed to short-sleeve shirts in the end.

Volunteers setting up a net to prevent deer from entering the vegetable plots.

By 3 pm, the process is nearly over, and a cute round shaped field has been created.

8 months have passed since March 11, and the focus of volunteers has shifted from recovery to rebuilding and restoration. Volunteering activities change in many ways according to the needs of the people. It is starting to get cold with winter approaching, and the following spring will mark the first year since the disaster. It is now important for all volunteers to stand alongside people in all of the affected areas.

Hoping for the approach of a new beginning in spring.