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News

Water Mission’s Disaster Response Team Responds to Flooding in East Africa

In the spring of 2024, torrential rain swept East Africa for weeks, leading to extensive flooding. The floods caused burst dams, damaged infrastructure, displacement, and a loss of life. More than 485,000 people were left homeless and without access to safe water. 

When disasters strike, Water Mission quickly determines when and how we can most strategically add value. Our professional Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) includes engineers, project managers, WASH officers, and logistics personnel with extensive experience in diverse and complex contexts. 

In May 2024, Water Mission deployed our DART team to Kenya to respond to emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs. Thanks to faithful donors like you, we were able to respond with a two-pronged approach, installing an emergency Living Water Treatment System (LWTS) in the Budalangi region and distributing WASH kits in Turkana. 

Your support allows us to be fully prepared to respond to disasters with resources already on hand. Water Mission’s response to the flooding in East Africa was primarily funded by donations given throughout the year to wherever most needed. 

We want to share the story of the disaster and Water Mission’s response with you through photos. We hope the stories will lead you to join us in praising God for His faithfulness to work amid disaster. 

Safe Water for Families in Budalangi

Water Mission’s response starts with a rapid on-the-ground needs assessment and water quality analysis to determine the most efficient and effective solutions. When the DART team arrived in the Budalangi region of Kenya, they conducted a field assessment of the disaster. They found that the community was using stagnant, unsafe flood water to drink and cook with. 

In Budalangi, the water had risen to extreme levels and had yet to recede. Residents were forced to wade through deep waters up to their knees. Local fishermen volunteered to carry women and children by boat. 

The disaster not only created an immediate need for safe water in Budalangi but also damaged many homes in the area. This photo shows the level to which the flood waters have risen in comparison with the thatched homes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Mission designed the LWTS to ship quickly anywhere in the world when disaster strikes. In June 2024, an emergency LWTS arrived in Budalangi, and many hands helped unload and assemble the equipment. The picture on the right depicts Water Mission staff constructing the structure to be erected around the LWTS for protection. 

After undergoing pre-treatment, water flows through HDPE pipe to the LWTS. From there, the safe water flows to the emergency tap stand in the heart of the Budalangi community. Community members can now collect safe water for their families as they recover from the natural disaster. 

After the completion of the safe water solution in Budalangi, the community held a commissioning ceremony to celebrate the gift of safe water. 

Sanitation Supplies for Families in Turkana 

Florence is a widow who lives with her children and grandchildren in Natiir, Kenya. Pictured here are Florence and her three-year-old granddaughter, Ashley, at their home, which was damaged by the flood. 

“When the flood came, we were stuck in our house,” Florence remembers. “Our goats, chickens, and supplies were swept away. I was so sorrowful. I asked God for help, and then we ran to the church for shelter.” 

Water Mission’s Kenya staff members traveled to Natiir to respond to the disaster. The team distributed WASH kits to people like Florence, who were displaced by the recent flooding. This photo shows Water Mission staff member Jeff Murithi assembling the kits. 

When people experience a natural or humanitarian disaster, they often lose everything and struggle to meet their most basic needs. More than 300 families in Natiir received WASH kits from Water Mission. The kits include a 20 liter jerrycan, emergency water purification packets, soap, and feminine hygiene products 

Florence and her family are thankful to have WASH supplies to help them rebuild their lives. “These materials are of great importance,” Florence explains. Our jerrycans were swept away in the floods. The [emergency water purification tablets] will mean we can treat the river water. We are so thankful.” 

Like Florence, Rebecca’s home was damaged by the flood. Rebecca is a single mother of three living in Natiir. During the disaster, she focused on protecting her children. Meanwhile, the floods washed away everything she owned. She shared that she is thankful for the help Water Mission has brought in the form of the WASH kits. 

“The floods swept away my utensils, my jerrycans, my buckets. These [WASH supplies] will help replace those items and also help us keep the water safe,” Rebecca recalls. “I want to say I am most thankful for this help. I pray to God that he will keep blessing Water Mission so you can help even more people.”  

People like Florence and Rebecca are at the heart of Water Mission’s motivation to respond to disasters. Your generosity enables us to respond quickly and effectively when disasters strike. Thank you for partnering with us to implement our vision that all people have safe water and an opportunity to experience God’s love.

Give Safe Water