After further assessment, 55 homes belonging to Heifer International project participants have been damaged by recent severe rainstorms and flooding in western China, although all project staff and participants are safe and unharmed.
Heifer works in several of the counties affected by the recent disaster, but no Heifer China staff, project participants, or animals have been killed or harmed.
Sichuan province has been the hardest hit by the rainstorms that swept across China last week, affecting millions of people. At least 58 people in the region have been reported dead since the rains began and some 175 others are missing. The disaster has affected about 3.47 million people, forcing the evacuation of 300,000 residents, according to Chinas state media.
Heifer works in the affected area helping rehabilitate rural communities affected by the magnitude-7.9 earthquake of 2008. In Beichuan, several roads to project communities have been cut off by flooding. In some communities in that area, several hectares of vegetable plantings were completely washed away, and it is estimated that crop yields this year will be reduced by 70 percent.
Project activities in the Beichuan area will now be delayed due to the washed-out roads. Heifer China staff will continue to evaluate the effect of the rainstorms on projects and participant families.
Although Heifer International is not a traditional first-responder, our Disaster Rehabilitation Fund, through the support of generous donors, helps the vulnerable communities that Heifer serves recuperate after natural disasters that temporarily overwhelm our development efforts. Contributions to the fund will help project communities meet their immediate urgent needs and resume their path toward self-reliance.