Friday, 5 March 2010

Mudslides In Mabale

Frank Armstrong; Chair of the Love Africa Steering group writes...

News reached the 2 St James from ACET Uganda on Thursday 3rd March of the disaster in Mbale. Love Africa has two major projects in the region, one with ACET Uganda who run community mobilisation projects and the second with Uganda Womens Concern Ministry led by Edith Wakamere who run a number of Church mobilisation projects.

Views of the region recently taken by a St James team

We spoke to Paul Kabunga of ACET Uganda who briefed us on the situation as follows,

Following heavy rains there were mud slides in the Bududa region on the slopes of Mt Elgon These mud slides covered many villages. The death toll has been estimated at over 300 people, though the numbers may never be known, families have been separated and many people have lost their homes and possessions. Reports from local papers are attached

The reporting of the disaster has been low key in the UK with a couple of items on the BBC web site

One oF Edith Wakumire's Community Mobilisation teams in the Mt Elgon region

Many people from the 2 St James have visited the projects in Mbale with ACET and UWCM and have travelled up to the mountain villages, e.g. Bulago.

Paul has reported that none of the communities that Love Africa has been involved with have been directly affected and he will keep us up to date with news and requests for support.

The family of the two St James will clearly want to support the victims of the Mbale disaster – what can we do?

1. Pray for the victims – we have asked Paul to provide specific prayer request but meanwhile we should pray for the needs of the victims and the aid workers.

On the 3rd March the Psalm reading from the Bible in a Year programme was Psalm 46, verses 1-6 which can provide a focus for our prayers

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
11The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress

2. Participate – we have asked Paul and Edith to suggest to Love Africa any specific financial support we can offer, or other practical support and we are waiting for a response. E.g. Many people have lost all their homes and possessions and still more people will want to move from their villages which are in areas at risk of further mudslides

3. Give – If you want to give directly to Tearfund to help them support ACET as they assist in the relief work you can send a cheque to them c/o Tim Raby made out to Tearfund. Their address is Tearfund 100 Church Road Teddington TW11 8QE their website

Our hearts go out to these people who are generous and joyous in their faith