JWCU, the Japanese organisation for worker’s cooperatives, is reporting severe damages among its members. Some workers’ relatives are still missing. Many people have no gas, water or electricity even if the situation is getting better in some areas. Buildings had to be closed as they were severely damaged and there were concerns about the security of building occupants. The chaotic situation makes the rescue work even more difficult.
Despite all the difficulties, the aid is being organized and people are working together and demonstrating solidarity. The JWCU head office and regional offices are receiving goods and supplies from members throughout the country. In a message to the cooperative movement, JWCU declared that “Since there is an urgent need for food, we are focusing on delivering suitable food which is quick and easy to prepare, as well as vegetables. The need for supplies and co-ordination is expected to last for a long time”. The first delivery trucks arrived from Tokyo in the Tohoku regions (cities of Noda, Ohsaki, Ishinomaki, and Onagawa). The residents from the affected areas need help with removing debris and cleaning the damaged houses. Several cooperatives have already offered to send people, and JWCU head office is also planning to coordinate some teams to provide practical support in the affected areas. Several JWCU cooperatives are offering the use of trucks, which are necessary to clear up the devastated zones.
In order to help the worker cooperative movement in the affected areas, JWCU has set up a relief fund. The donations will help the organisation to provide its members with the necessary supplies and financial support. If you want to know more about the relief fund or if you want to make a donation, you can visit the designated page of the JWCU website on: http://english.roukyou.gr.jp/JWCU2011Earthquake_Relief_Fund.pdf
As a job-creating organization, JWCU is determined to support its members in securing jobs and income to reconstruct peoples’ lives: “While there is still a need for food and supplies in order to survive each day, we will continue to respond to those material needs. Some of our members (and numerous other people) have lost their jobs, homes and belongings. Others have been evacuated to different cities and do not know when they will be able to return to their homes or if they can be moved into temporary housing. Under these extremely difficult circumstances, however, they still need to make a living. The needs do not only exist in the Tohoku region but also in many other regions, including Tokyo and its surrounding areas, where evacuees are staying”.
Please note that the International Cooperative Alliance has also established a Disaster Recovery Fund for cooperatives in Japan.
For more information, please refer to http://www.ica.coop/activities/tsunami/japan2011-appeal.html
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037