Thursday, September 20, 2007

When it all floats away

It's raining in eastern Uganda. A lot. No prospect of slowing down. Yesterday BBC's website reported, "WFP has launched an $60m appeal for food aid to Uganda alone, where it estimates 1.7 m people will go hungry. North-eastern Uganda has lost most of its crops to flooding, after the heaviest rains in three decades." Sunday I was at the Bukedea district HQ where I saw the WFP lorries preparing to offload sacks of food for displaced people and many others who have lost all their food supply for the next six months--most of it rotted under standing water, just before it would have been ready for harvest. I estimate that there were at least a thousand people waiting for aid on Sunday where I was, and it may have been closer to 2,000. There's no safe drinking water and little or no dry firewood to boil what is contaminated. The malaria-carrying mosquito population is about to increase exponentially. This same scenario is repeated in many sub-counties and parishes in a number of eastern and northeastern parts of Uganda.

I talked on Sunday with a friend who is a district-level chairman in Bukedea and is helping to supervise relief measures in that area. He promised to send me copies of official counts of people affected by loss of houses, crops, animals and other properties.

Meanwhile the rain continues apace, extremely heavy here in Mbale yesterday and today again.

This is already a serious situation, and there's potential for it to get a LOT more so and to have devastating impact for months to come as people deal with fallout like persistent flood-related diseases and stark lack of food until the next chance to harvest some time next year.

Will you pray for these hurting people? Will you consider doing something to help? If so, drop me a note as a comment on this blog or email me at -- (Ian Shelburne, Mbale Mission Team)

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

We will keep those affected in our prayers. What a devastating situation. Thank you for letting us know.
-Rebekah and Jaron Pitts