Responding to flash floods in Kasese

On May 1, 2013, after 6 hours of heavy rains, the river banks in Kasese District (Western Uganda) burst, causing massive flash floods that forced over 20,000 people out of their homes.   By God’s grace, it was a national holiday which meant that children were not at school.  One primary school close to the river was completely washed away, and if children had been present it could have been disastrous.

 

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Some houses were completely washed away by the floods, others, like this one, lost their roofs due to strong winds and currents

 

In addition to losing their homes, many families lost their livelihoods.  A majority of people in Kasese depend on agriculture, and the floods left huge rocks deposited on the farmlands, making it impossible to plant anything.  Food stores were destroyed and many families lost everything.

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Large rocks were washed down from the mountains, covering farmland and changing the composition of the soil, making agriculture impossible for many people dependent on it

We were connected to the Anglican Diocese in Kasese through our Bishop that we work with in the North, and he requested MCC’s assistance in helping over 200 children who were most affected by floods.  By the time we received the request for help, the Diocese had already hosted 3000 displaced persons in their school and churches, and had already distributed much needed items to thousands of people, like water purifiers, cooking pots and stoves, mosquito nets, and food.

 

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This bridge was broken by the strong currents

In November of last year, we started our partnership with the Diocese of Kasese through MCC’s disaster response department.  Through this partnership, we are providing school uniforms, scholastic materials, and food assistance to over 200 of the most affected children in 8 different schools.  We are also training 24 teachers in these 8 schools on trauma and psychosocial support, as many of the children are traumatized and fearful as a result of the floods.  Finally, we are providing these schools with sports and play equipment to support their healing and psychosocial needs.

Muigai recently visited this project and was struck by the far reaching devastation that was caused by these floods, still very evident almost one year later.  Please pray for the families and children in Kasese as they attempt to rebuild their lives and their livelihoods.

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