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Delegation to 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3WCDRR) on See-and-Learn Visit to Resettlement Site in Sendai

16 March 2015, Sendai – The Philippine Delegation to the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3WCDRR) today visited the Tamaura-Nishi Resettlement Site in Sendai, Japan to see and learn from the best practices of Japan in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) especially on the relocation and rehabilitation of communities affected by natural disasters.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Head of the Philippine Delegation, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, member of the Delegation, (photo left) led officials in the visit to the resettlement site which was organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

JICA officials briefed the Philippine Delegation on the Tamaura-Nishi Resettlement Site which was constructed beginning April 2014 in the aftermath of the magnitude 9 Great East Japan or the Tohoko earthquake on 03 March 2011 that triggered a devastating tidal wave causing the death of some 16,000 people and destruction of billions of dollars in public and private infrastructure including homes. The tidal wave inundated the Fukushima Daisha Nuclear Power station resulting in the complete shutdown and eventual decommissioning of the nuclear electricity plant. Today, Sendai has achieved great progress in its DRRM efforts ensuring the protection of the residents and the continuity of economic and social activities in the region, an experience Japan wishes to share with the Philippine Delegation attending the 3WCDRR.

The tour and briefing on the resettlement site was conducted at the community center by representatives from Iwami city and community as well as a former JICA overseas volunteer (photo above).

The other members of the Delegation include Undersecretary Rafael Yabut and Director Ernesto Gregorio of DPWH, Assistant Secretary Jose Ernesto Gaviola and Ms. Jea Sata of DOTC, and representatives from the NEDA. They were accompanied, among others, by Mr. Takeshi Muronaga, JICA Expert to DPWH; Mr. Takaaki Kusakabe, JICA Expert to OCD; Ms. Yuki Kitagawa, Representative, JICA Philippines Office; and Ms. Lou Cabanilla, Program Officer, JICA Philippines Office.

The resettlement site was constructed by the Sendai Prefecture with total budget of JPY 5.2 billion. The site covers 210 houses, out of which 111 units were handed over in February 2015 to the residents. The location of houses was arranged in reference to the original community before the disaster.

The Philippine officials also visited the Hill of Hope of Thousand Years, which was established using debris as a memorial symbol and to raise the awareness of future generations on the lessons learned from the previous disaster. The Hill is expected to function as a barrier in case of a tsunami as well as an evacuation site. END

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