In March 2017, heavy rains covered parts of Peru - more than 10 times average rainfall - causing rivers to overflow, and mudslides to destroy roads and farms. The floods alone have taken the lives of more than 70 people and displaced thousands of families.
Throughout much of the month of March the coast of Peru was battered by thunderstorms resulting from unusually warm ocean currents. Thunderstorms aren’t a big deal in many parts of the world, but when they hit the foothills around cities like Trujillo on the Peruvian coast--normally one of the driest places on earth--the effects can be devastating. In Trujillo these thunderstorms dropped unprecedented amounts of rain just above the city almost every afternoon for nearly three weeks, resulting each time in flash flooding in one or more of four dry creek beds and turning all of the main streets and avenues of the central city into raging rivers. It caused serious damage to many homes and filled many more with a meter or more of mud, but the areas hardest hit were the poor areas on the outskirts of the city. Homes in these areas are typically built of adobe in the best of cases, but in a great many cases they are built of cardboard, plastic, and woven reed mats.
Peru Mission is working with several affected neighborhoods and with what can best be described as refugee camps to provide water, food, clothing, sanitation and hygiene, medical care and basic shelter to families who have been devastated by these floods. This is being carried out in three stages:
STAGE 1 (COMPLETED!)
Water, Food, and Clothing
Immediate help to provide the most basic necessities to camps that average 160-170 people, with large numbers of women and children and some elderly. Each camp or “Help Station” maintains a careful list of all the people being assisted so that we can coordinate with other aid organizations as well as maintain good accountability with those receiving aid.The costs of food, water and other basics during this stage averaged around $850 per week per camp.
Raised: $5,600 / Spent: $5,600
Water, Food, Bedding, Sanitation and Hygiene, & Medical Care
We are presently in Stage 2 and are assisting four camps. It costs approximately $700 to provide food for a camp of 160-70 people for one week. Also, since the need for medical attention is greater that Bethesda’s staff can handle we have hired temporary help which costs approximately $375 per week per team (i.e., one doctor and two nurses). In addition to these basic needs, sanitation, hygiene and bedding cost approximately $250 per week per camp. We expect these needs to continue until at least early May.
Raised: $35,000 / Spent: $15,000 / Goal: $50,000
Basic Shelter, Rebuilding, Livelihood Replacement
We plan to assist with rebuilding by providing roofing material, some volunteer labor, and limited funds for materials such as adobe and cement. In addition, the homes of many of the poorest people also served as stores, shops, and workspaces. Many lost stock for their stores and shops, in addition to equipment. Beginning with church members and micro-finance clients—and working out from there as funds allow--we plan to provide assistance to help rebuild businesses so that they are once again in a position to provide for their families.
Raised: $25,000 / Goal: $50,000
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward (Matt 10.42).