By Maria Gregoriou
CYPRIOT musician Haji Mike, and recording artist Med Dred are raising money to go to Japan to participate in a charity concert at the end of next month for the victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The nuclear disaster happened on March 11, 2011 after a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused the release of radioactive material at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in north-eastrn Japan. It was the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.
The two artists’ participating in the universal dub session, Rebel Music Festival 2013, are currently raising the necessary funds to cover their air fares and touring expenses in Japan.
“Our aim is to raise €3,400 and since we started the ‘From Cyprus to Fukushima’ fundraising project on gofundme.com on Friday we have received €260 in donations. Any amount above the targeted sum will go towards the charity event in Japan,” Haji Mike said.
Haji Mike will also be performing at the University of Nicosia on November 1 and at Scaraveo bar in Nicosia on November 7, to also raise funds for the trip to Japan.
The artists first got involved in trying to help those suffering from the consequences of the disaster by answering an appeal on Facebook for artists around the world to participate on a charity CD.
“The appeal came out in the month when the disaster hit and I posted a reply. This is how I established a link with this silent story. Not many people know about it and I am very passionate about the cause as it surely affects people and the environment in so many ways,” Haji Mike said.
Haji Mike and Med Dred got involved in the event when their friend Leo Kojima of Direct Impact Music in Japan invited them to do so.
“This will be our first appearance in Japan and it means a lot to us to able to contribute to such a worthy cause, all the way from Cyprus on the other side of the world,” the artists said.
The event will take place on November 29 in Koriyama City, 55km from the Daiichi plant.
The proceeds from the charity event will be used to purchase clean water for the victims of the disaster.
“Every time children drink a glass of contaminated water, they run the risk of being affected by radiation,” Haji Mike said.
Since the disaster, 300 tonnes of radioactive water from the plant enters the Pacific Ocean every day.
“No one knows the long-term effects of this on people and the environment. The cleanup operation, the biggest of its kind in history, will take at least 40 years to complete,” Haji Mike said.
According to Greenpeace, the current cleanup amount is estimated to cost $58 billion.
Almost 300,000 households were evacuated after the Fukushima disaster and the death count since 2011 has been estimated at 1,600.
Donations can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/4utso0