Since our initial assessment of animal needs and planned response after Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, rapidly changing conditions caused by the nuclear fallout at Fukushima Daiichi power plant have demanded some changes to WSPA’s work.
As reported at the time, following damage to the nuclear plant, all those living within a 20km radius of the plant were told to leave. Thousands were evacuated immediately, often without beloved pets and with no way of providing food and water for any animals that were left behind.
Because the number of companion animals affected by the nuclear crisis has grown and the need for temporary shelters shifted towards a need for longer term shelters, our plan has been amended to reflect this change.
We are now providing shelters for the longer, recovery phase, which is anticipated to last from around four to 12 months after a disaster, until temporary housing is built and pets and families can be reunited. If reunification is not possible, each animal will be re-homed with new owners and each shelter will stay open until every single animal has a home.
The shelters will be staffed by volunteers from the Animal Disaster Response Team (ADRT), with the support of pet owners, and we expect they will provide shelter and care to thousands of animals.
We’ve already established one pre-fabricated shelter in Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture, shown in the photograph accompanying this post. A further five pre-fabricated shelters will be built in Ishinomaki City, and these will be in use for at least six months.
In addition, we will also be establishing three animal shelters in warehouses in the Fukushima Prefecture that will host animals currently being rescued from the evacuation zone by Fukushima authorities as well as those who remain homeless in the rest of the Prefecture.
Following our announcement of a return to Colombia after further flooding and landslides, a needs assessment has been completed. We will be providing 12,200 dairy cattle mainly owned by small-scale farmers, with de-wormers and 122 tonnes of silage in the most affected municipalities of the central department of Cundinamarca over the coming weeks. Larger scale farmers will receive aid from the National Government. Vet assistance will also be provided through our local Veterinary Emergency Response Units (VERUs), with the help of the UMATA (Unit of agricultural technical assistance).