We are relieved to report that Heifer International projects appear to be minimally impacted by recent severe rainstorms and flooding in western China. Heifer works in several of the affected counties, but no Heifer China staff, project participants, or animals have been killed or harmed by the disaster.
Rainstorms sweeping across parts of China have affected millions, and Sichuan province has been hit the hardest by floods and landslides. At least 31 people in the region have been reported dead since the rains began, and some 160 others are missing. The disaster has affected about 3.73 million people, forcing the evacuation of 212,000 residents, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
Heifer works in the affected area helping rehabilitate rural communities affected by the magnitude-7.9 earthquake of 2008. Transportation and communication continue to be difficult, but Heifer staff have confirmed that no project participants have been harmed, and no infrastructure was damaged.
Project activities will be delayed in one project area, Beichuan, Jiangyou, due to washed-out roads and difficulty with transportation. It is estimated that grain production for some of Heifers project communities in western China will drop 30 percent this year due to the rain and flooding. Heifer China staff will continue to evaluate the effect of the rainstorms on projects and participant families.