We went to Hoshino village, in Yame city to assist with clean up efforts after the flood disaster. We chose to help out with cleaning out a communal building. Around this area there were many large pieces of wood from trees that had been knocked down as well as large stones that had been carried into the area. Because of all the flood water the dirt in the area had turned into sludge.
This communal building was where local women would meet and make different kinds of food such as jams and miso.. Inside in the storage rooms, they had barrels of miso that, unfortunately, had to be thrown out because of the water damage. There were at least 20 barrels. It was very difficult because in some areas, the mud was pretty deep (around 18 inches/35 centimeters) and difficult to wade through. While walking through this mud, there was a strong suction that threatened to pull off your boot as you stepped forward.
The floor to one of the rooms had been destroyed so we had to take all of the floorboards off and shovel the sludge from under the floor to a designated outside area. We used hoses to provide water so that others could sweep the mud into the drainage system without clogging it. There was a convenient river nearby that we used for water.
The work was exhausting! Many volunteers came to help and they were very kind. There were around 20 volunteers and many were from the area and used the building. The day was very hot but not as hot as it has been recently. I really enjoyed helping the people because they were so kind and because it had a big effect on the area. It also gave me an excuse to get muddy, which we all definitely did. Many of the volunteers were covered in patches of mud from their necks to their chests.
Overall, the clean-up efforts were very successful but there is still a long road of restoring the area. I felt very satisfied because we were able to make it easier and quicker to reach the goal of repairing the building.
Written by Stacy