Tropical Storm Matthew has dissipated but rains, flooding and mudslides remain in the storms wake, affecting thousands across Central America. The storm follows persistent rains that had already swelled streams and rivers, flooded crops and sent thousands into temporary shelters.
Flooding is of particular concern across Central America as agrarian communities live alongside streams and rivers as a source of water and irrigation. At least 300 people in the region have been killed.
Nicaragua has been particularly hard hit. ACT Alliance reports the deluge has affected 255 communities, 80 municipalities in nine of the 16 provinces of the country, in the north, west and south. More than 1,000 families, some 6.200 people fled dangerous situations because of the rains in Nicaragua alone, seeking refuge in 72 active shelters. Since May, there are 271, 000 affected people affected by persistent rains.
Collapsed bridges, destroyed roads and communication lines make it impossible to contact all affected communities. As assessments continue, there is concern for the region's heavy agriculture production and the affect the torrent will have on livelihoods and economies.
CWS and the ACT Alliance enjoy a long-term partner in Nicaragua in CEPAD. CWS Staff are in contact with CEPAD, who are making the effort to provide immediate assistance to 100 families of the municipality of San Francisco Libre, 90 km north of Managua. CEPAD expects to provide food for the families for six weeks.
The 100 families assisted by CEPAD have been unable to reach government and other shelters. Most of the population of the municipality are fishermen and farmers. CEPAD has worked in the San Francisco Libre municipality for many years, in different communities. This municipality is located along the Lake of Managua, which has risen to 42.58 meters above sea level, higher than the level reached during Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
CEPAD, along with the other ACT Alliance members in Nicaragua continue to monitor the situation and are initially seeking support through the ACT Rapid Response Fund. A longer-term appeal may be forthcoming depending on the outcome of assessments that are yet to be completed.
HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support CWS emergency efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515.
Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.
For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit www.churchworldservice.org or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.
CWS Emergency Response Program special contacts: (212) 870-3151
Program Director: firstname.lastname@example.org