Rwandan Landslides 2020
On 7th May 2020, devastating rains, flooding and heavy mudslides hit the Nyabihu District in northern Rwanda. Nyabihu is home to the families that produce the popular Shyira and Vunga coffees.
Zach has been buying coffee from the Shyira and Vunga washing stations since their crops became available in the UK, building relationships with the farms and importers along with helping build long term sustainable practices from these coffee purchases. That is why this devastation has hit so close to home for us, we are deeply saddened to report that 28 members of these communities lost their lives in the flood.
The communities in Shyira and Vunga have lost loved ones and their livelihoods. Physical losses include at least 325 homes, livestock, coffee trees, and other crops. For the more than 200 families that deliver coffee to Shyira and Vunga the direct cost to replace lost crops and buildings has reached USD $132,000. An estimated USD $41,000 is required immediately to help deliver food, water, and clothing to those who have lost their homes.
Raw Material Coffee and Muraho Trading Co are co-ordinating a Go Fund Me campaign to help raise critically needed additional financial support.
We have been donating what we can to help the amazing community affected and will continue to do so, if you are at all able to help, please do!
Please click the link below for info and to donate.
A message from Richard Corney at Raw Materials
"It is with a grave and heavy heart that today I learned of tragic events out of Rwanda. The Nyabihu region in the north of Rwanda has suffered catastrophic mudslides that has resulted in the loss of 28 lives from coffee communities we have bought from for 4 years. Many hectares of land, the backbone of small holder producers’ livelihoods have been destroyed, along with food crops, livestock, coffee trees, and homes.
The communities of Shyira Coffee Washing Station and Vunga Cooperative suffered an incredible loss to their community. Damage is estimated at over $86,000 USD.
My friend, Evariste, who is the washing station at Shyira describes the events as follows: “If you talk to old people in Nyabihu district, they tell you that the heavy rain, flood and mudslides that occurred on 07/05/2020, were the first worst catastrophic event in their history of life caused by weather. Almost everyone in Nyabihu, were affected by what happened; houses, roads, bridges, crops in fields, domestic animals were all touched, what makes it much worse; 28 people lost their lives.”
Raw Material is in the process of organizing a fundraising response to support the communities at Shyira and Vunga, we will direct the funds to Muraho Trading Company, Shyira’s owner and Vunga’s export partner, who will pass them to the communities. I will post more detail here once they are fleshed out.
This video is of a beautiful song gifted to us by the people of Vunga when we visited in 2018."
Again, please click the link below for info and to donate.