“As I write now, all the Christians have lost shelter and crops,” came the WhatsApp message to Barnabas Fund yesterday from flood-stricken western Uganda.
Torrential rains in East Africa have caused flooding and landslides, displacing 100,000 people in Kenya alone. At least 194 were killed. The waters have washed away 8,000 acres of crops that had escaped locust damage. Extreme rainfall began in mid-April and is forecast to continue until the end of May.
In Uganda, a river burst its banks causing people to flee for safety. The waters of Lake Victoria have risen to unprecedented heights, forcing shoreline communities to abandon their homes.
Rwanda, too, has seen houses, roads and crops destroyed, and people killed by mudslides.
Trillions of locusts
At the same time, a second generation of locusts has descended on the region. With the right wind, they can move at more than 100 miles a day. If the first generation was numbered in billions, the second is said to number trillions. There are 18 separate swarms in Kenya at present, and weather conditions are expected to favour breeding, so that a third generation could hatch in June and July.
These two tragedies come on top of the coronavirus, making three simultaneous disasters in East Africa. What’s more, one tragedy impacts another. The huge numbers of displaced people are complicating the Kenyan government’s efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus. At the same time, borders closed in the fight against coronavirus are delaying the delivery of pesticides to locust-affected areas in the region.
Homeless Christians need your help now
With crops destroyed by locusts or floods, food prices are rising, but a gift of just £30 ($37; €34) could feed a flood-affected family in Uganda for a month.
Please give now.