Heavy rain hit western Rwanda during the night to 3 May. Continuing westwards, the storm reached the South Kivu region in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo during the night to 4 May. Numerous rivers burst their banks in both regions, and landslides occurred in DR Congo.
Hundreds of houses were flooded and can no longer be used to live in. Livestock, household goods and cars were washed away, also crops and entire farms.
Thousands of people have been brought to safety in emergency shelters. So far, the UEM member churches in the region estimate that more than 400 people have died. In the floods, 98 people were seriously wounded and had to be taken to surrounding hospitals, 67 of them have already died.
The three UEM member churches EAR and EPR in Rwanda and CBCA in Congo are in contact with their affected communities. They are well connected with social media as well as with their own staff on the ground and have started to work with those affected and to set up emergency shelters. They are also appealing for financial support to ensure much needed assistance for those affected. The churches’ activities include the purchase and distribution of food, clothing, blankets, mats and mosquito nets. Furthermore, the churches provide hygiene kits for women and girls and organize psychosocial support for affected people.
From the UEM communion the three churches EKiR*, EKvW* and EKKW* are contributing a total of 90,000 euros to the emergency relief efforts. This expresses the solidarity within the fellowship: In 2021, member churches of the UEM in Asia and Africa provided tens of thousands of euros for the reconstruction work, after the German Ahr Valley was flooded.
All people in the UEM communion can participate, for example by donating. But also raising awareness can help those affected. And finally, EAR, EPR and CBCA ask for prayers. UEM supports this request with two current Prayer Alerts.
*EAR = Église Anglicane du Rwanda (Anglican Church in Rwanda)
*EPR = Église Presbyterienne du Rwanda (Presbyterian Church in Rwanda)
*CBCA = Communauté Baptiste au Centre de l’Afrique (Baptist Community in the Center of Africa)
*EKiR = Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland (Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany)
*EKvW = Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen (Evangelical Church in Westphalia, Germany)
*EKKW = Evangelische Kirche von Kurhessen-Waldeck (Evangelical Church of Hesse-Waldeck, Germany)
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