Local Engineer Assists in Maui Wildfire Recovery Efforts

Mark Wagatsuma plays a key role in cleanup along with local contractors

Local Engineer Assists in Maui Wildfire Recovery Efforts

Photo by Makenzie Leonard 

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In the aftermath of devastating wildfires that swept through Maui, Mark Wagatsuma, a project engineer from Honolulu, has taken up the mantle of aiding in the recovery efforts as a quality assurance inspector. With a wealth of experience in project management spanning two decades in Hawaii's construction industry prior to his federal career, Wagatsuma brings both expertise and a personal connection to the task at hand.

“This work is fortunately very familiar to me,” Wagatsuma said in an interview with Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (dvids). Upon his arrival on Maui, he was happy to find that local contractors were primarily employed for the debris removal mission, fostering a sense of community engagement in the recovery efforts. “It’s really powerful to see.”

For Wagatsuma, the opportunity to work alongside these local construction crews has been the highlight of his deployment. He volunteered for the mission out of a sense of duty to his neighbors in Maui, emphasizing the personal connection he feels to the community affected by the wildfires.

One significant aspect of the recovery mission that Wagatsuma praised was the inclusion of cultural monitors, local Hawaiians tasked with ensuring that cultural sensitivities are respected throughout the cleanup process. He underscored the importance of their presence in providing reassurance to both the public and affected homeowners.

"The cultural monitors are there, local to local, to console them and offer support," Wagatsuma noted to dvids.

As the cleanup efforts continue, Wagatsuma remains committed to supporting the community of Maui in its journey towards recovery, leveraging both his professional expertise and personal connection to the region to aid in the rebuilding process.

Information gathered from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website. Read original article here - https://www.dvidshub.net/news/469014/local-engineers-commitment-rebuilding-with-heart-and-expertise


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