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Raw Material Europe provides an update on its relief effort in Nyabihu District, Rwanda

Nyabihu District
Individuals at the delivery point of the vital resources funded by the global coffee community's support of the Nyabihu Relief Fund

MILAN – Following the devastating floods that hit Nyabihu District in Rwanda in May 2020, Raw Material Europe has put in place a three phase relief effort: Immediate Response, Rebuild, and Resilience. Following the tremendous support from the global coffee community Phase 1 (Immediate Response) is fully completed and funding of Phase 2 is well under way with a total of over $100,000 USD raised so far. Considering the impact of COVID-19 this represents an amazing effort by the global coffee community to come together and support some of the most marginalised coffee producers at the hardest of times.

You can view the exact breakdown of how funds have been used by consulting the recovery plan Google Sheet here.

Better yet, you can watch the implementation video here.

Yet the work is far from complete in supporting these coffee producers and their families. “We still urgently depend on like-minded groups and individuals in our industry to continue to spread awareness of this ongoing relief effort,” says Jessie May Peters, from Raw Material Europe, in a statement.

Raw Material work with smallholder farmers all over the world with the goal. However, the term “smallholder farmers” means even more in Nyabihu District. With Shyira and Vunga being such small volume producing stations (yet with the highest number of farmers), the impact of the flooding has been felt much more.

Evariste (Shyira Coffee Washing Station Manager) has said:

“If you talk to old people in Nyabihu district, they tell you that the heavy rain, flood and mudslides that occurred on 07/05/2020, were the first worst catastrophic event in their history of life caused by weather. Almost everyone in Nyabihu, were affected by what happened; houses, roads, bridges, crops in fields, domestic animals were all touched, what makes it much worse; 28 people lost their lives.”

So far, the relief effort been able to:

  • Clear 170 debris sites
  • Distribute food (rice, maize flour, beans and sunflower oil) to 312 families
  • Distribute care packages (gumboots, kitenge, towels, rain jacket, cooking pot) to 312 families

Phase 2 will allow to:

  • Rebuild 35 houses
  • Rebuild 10 non-residential buildings
  • Replant 4,500 coffee trees
  • Replant 15 hectares of beans and maize
  • Replant 7 hectares of banana
  • Replant 4 hectares of sweet potato and yams
  • Replant 507 assorted fruit trees
  • Provide income support 247 farmers whose livelihood will be lost or affected before these new crops harvest

If you would like to make a donation here is the link to the The Go Fund Me Page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Rwandan-landslide

Raw Material Europe is a Community Interest Company (CIC). They operate for the benefit of the coffee producing communities they serve and 100% of profits are reinvested back into these communities. Read more here.