To our faithful supporters, we thank you and praise God for your support through prayer and your financial gifts. The year so far has been extremely tough, yet your support brings hope. As we work to rebuild communities that have been broken by the flooding and cyclone Idai, we know we have a community surrounding us in love and holding our country up in prayer. Thank you.
UPDATE FROM THE FIELD
We are in the midst of developing out long-term response to the natural disasters that have hit our communities. In March severe weather off the East coast of Mozambique hit Malawi twice in quick succession causing heavy and persistent rain accompanied by strong winds. This led to fatal levels of flooding. In the areas where we work the floods have displaced around 36,000 people and eight have sadly lost their lives.
In the immediate aftermath Eagles staff worked tirelessly on the ground helping set up camps to house displaced people, introduce safeguarding processes in these chaotic and extremely vulnerable places, clear roads and provide healthcare.
Eagles and Tearfund staff have been visiting these camps regularly. Goma camp which is one of the largest is set up in a primary school. It houses around 2,000 people from 28 surrounding villages. The camp is full of extremely vulnerable people; mothers with young babies being breastfed, the elderly with limited mobility, hundreds of children under five, people affected by disability and people living with HIV and AIDS. These are people who were already struggling to survive. Now they have been pushed even further into poverty. During the day the camp returns to its original use as a school, which means these people are simply made to leave their shelter, roaming the street for hours. Three people from the camps describe their experiences:
THE VILLAGE CHIEF
‘We have lost all our homes. Whole communities just collapsed and people lost possessions - some were taken by the water and some destroyed by collapsing walls of the houses. We also lost our crops that were our sole source of income like maize and sorghum. We were just about to harvest them. Now we need food to eat as well as shelter’
‘I have a physical disability which makes it hard for me to get around. I usually use crutches. I remember the night the floods came vividly. I was sleeping with my children in the one room of my house when I was suddenly woken up by the sound of water coming through my thatched roof. I then heard a loud bang and saw that the back wall near our storage room had collapsed. We managed to escape to my Uncle’s house and hide there. It was terrifying, we did not know what was going to happen next. When we went back the next day once the rains had stopped everything we had had was gone: food, buckets, kitchen supplies, clothes. The house got so wet it fully collapsed two days later. I now have nowhere to live. I am so sad. My husband travelled to Mozambique to find work last year and has still not returned. I feel so alone.’
‘I am 52, married with four children. For two days our village had constant, heavy rainfall. Halfway through the second day my house just collapsed. This was a huge blow. I had a stroke five years ago and since then have been unable to use my arm. I was just about getting my life back on track and then this happened. We lost all our food too, thankfully we found this camp. Without it I don’t know where we would have gone.’
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
We are working to come up with a longer term solution, but for the moment we are still in the initial emergency response stage. The need is great and immediate. Please pray with us as we ask God to help us rebuild these communities.
PRAY WITH US
- Pray for no more rain. We need respite and time to rebuild.
- Please pray also for God’s protection against diseases spreading in the camps where many of the displaced are living.
- Finally please pray for hope. Hope for staff as they continue to work in such difficult situations and hope for those who have lost their lives as they knew them as a result of the flooding.