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Providing information communication means to the victims

Setting up of Internet environment in coastal areas of Iwate prefecture affected by the disaster

 

 

In the Great East Japan Disaster much of society’s infrastructure such as communication facilities was destroyed. As a consequence, not just the victims but also the relief workers had problems in communicating with others.

 

In response to the cry from the victims wishing to get in touch with necessary information, BHN set up Internet connections in places such as evacuation camps, medical centers, volunteer centers and NPO centers, in addition to donating radio receivers, wireless transceivers and portable megaphones.

 

 

   

 

The Internet was used in various ways: victims saw their town washed away by the tsunami for the first time on the Internet; using the PCs donated together with the Internet connections, it was made possible for the rescue workers to make documents that had been prepared in hand writing up to then; children surfed the Internet to find study materials or played computer games because there were no other places to play in the evacuation camps; some victims set up an electronic commerce site; other victims were delighted to see items for everyday life arrive in response to their tweets.

 

We at BHN also recognized once again the vital role played by communication means. To be able to get in touch with correct information assures security and safety of the victims. BHN will continue to endeavour to assist the victims in enabling them to obtain information as quickly and as correctly as possible, taking into account the comments received from them.

 

 

The system used by BHN is portable so that it may be easily moved from one place to another. Some of the evacuation centers are now closed and the systems that had been placed in those centers are now relocated to locations currently in need of Internet connections. The initial emergency situation is over now, but the Internet is used in various ways in the disaster-affected areas. BHN provides technical support in addition to providing equipment. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any support that we may be able to provide.

 

Takako YAMAZAKI, Program Officer

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