Supporting the Recovery of the Shishiori District of Kesennuma City

Program background

Because of the large earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011, more than 1,000 lives were lost and approximately 9,500 households were destroyed in the city of Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture. Five years have now passed, and yet over 6,000 residents are still forced to live uncomfortably in temporary housing. JVC established an office in Kesennuma in August 2011 and has continuously supported the residents of the city’s Shishiori district (approximately 280 households), who struggle with numerous problems.


1. Supporting Collective Relocation for Disaster Prevention

Housing construction is under way at the Ohura district under the project of collective relocation for disaster prevention

JVC dispatched an advisory team composed of architects and town planners to Kesennuma. The team has continually held individual consultations to the residents, organized visits to construction sites, and participated in briefing sessions by the local government. The residential land development has just finished in the Ohura district, and the construction of houses has started. In the Kogoshio and Kajigaura districts, the residential land development has already finished. For those residents who have difficulties in raising money and in finding contractors, JVC introduced a collaborative construction system. Three houses were constructed through this system.


2. Supporting the Regional Development of the Urashima District

The revived big sports day at the former Urashima elementary school

The Urashima District Promotion Committee was established three years ago, which is composed of three subgroups, Facility Utilization, Regional Resources Development, and Environment and Culture. The subgroups have organized several events to promote regional development, such as a sports day and a seaweed farming experience tour . In order to make good use of the former Urashima elementary school facilities, JVC and committee members continue to reconsider new review methods.

3. Watching Over and Supporting the Residents

Gathering to keep physical and mental health of residents at temporary houses

The construction of housing has progressed greatly because of the efforts of disaster prevention relocation groups, and many residents have come back to their home towns. The number of residents has increased, and the residents of the new housing complexes and those living in their own homes have started interacting with each other. JVC has transferred a part of its function to a local organization, including the management of the gathering place for residents living in their own homes and regularly visits them.

(source: “JVC Annual Report – 2015 report”)

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