EDF grants go to Kenya drought, flood responses in Missouri and W. Virginia

Church of the Brethren Newsline
May 22, 2017

Destruction caused by flash flooding in West Virginia. FEMA.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed its most recent allocation from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support Church World Service (CWS) response to a drought in Kenya. Another recent grant funds the start of a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project site in Missouri. Earlier this year, a similar grant funded a limited project in West Virginia.


An allocation of $25,000 supports the CWS response to a drought that is affecting 2.7 million people. Crop failures are projected at nearly 70 percent. The Kenyan government has declared a national disaster and issued an urgent call for global assistance. The drought is projected to last until July, and is attributed to a late start to last year’s short rainy season.

CWS is leading the ACT Alliance response to address emergency water, sanitation, food security, and protection needs. CWS and local partners have been supporting community-based access to water, education, livelihoods, and disaster preparedness in four counties. The broader ACT Alliance response includes a larger geographic area than the CWS response alone.

Funds will support CWS and ACT Alliance in emergency water provision and food assistance as well as broader food security work, repair and rehabilitation of water sources, seeds and agricultural support, emergency preparedness, recovery, and livelihood restoration.


An additional allocation of $25,000 opens a Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in Eureka, Mo., following flooding caused by winter storm Goliath in December 2015. The dangerous combination of heavy rain, snow, and river flooding set historic water level records across the state of Missouri. Brethren Disaster Ministries worked with multiple partners in Missouri to arrange for three separate groups to serve for one-week periods in the Eureka area to help affected families rebuild.

Recently, a volunteer group arrived on April 30 to find the area bracing for more devastating flooding, and worked to fill and place sandbags to try and spare buildings in downtown Eureka from flooding. The group also moved furniture and appliances out of homes expected to flood. The recent storms brought at least 10 inches of rain in 10 days, damaging or destroying hundreds of businesses and homes, many of which had just recovered from the 2015 flooding.

Following a confirmed opening date, this grant covers expenses for moving equipment and setting up volunteer housing, and will underwrite the first several months of operational expenses related to volunteer support. Small portions may go to local partners and for weekly groups that serve prior to the opening of a full Brethren Disaster Ministries project site. Prior EDF grants to this project amount to $4,000, in a grant given in October 2016.

West Virginia

An allocation of $35,000 funded a limited Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in Clay County, W.Va., in response to flash flooding in June 2016. The project was active from mid-February to mid-April. Brethren Disaster Ministries worked with the Greater Clay Long-Term Recovery Committee and the organization that received the FEMA Disaster Case Management Program funding to help repair and rebuild homes for survivors of the flood.

Find out more and donate to the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/edf .

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