Organization: COH

Convoy of Hope responds to flooding & landslides in Sri Lanka

Convoy of Hope is currently responding to severe storms in Sri Lanka. Heavy rainfall has triggered widespread flooding and deadly mudslides. According to the government’s Disaster Management Center, the storms have affected at least 245,000 people and displaced more than 5,000. At least 14 fatalities have occurred to date.

Many locals relied on the now-flooded land to grow crops. With produce and income in short supply, food security is now a concern for many farmers and all who relied on them.

Working with local partners, Convoy of Hope is distributing food and other essentials to affected people. 

To support Convoy of Hope as we respond to this disaster, click here.

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Disaster Services

Convoy of Hope helps provide life-giving water in Kenya

Water is life. But many people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. In fact, an estimated 800 million people worldwide lack an adequate water supply. 

Convoy of Hope is passionate about getting water to those whose lives depend on it. Convoy’s work in Kenya is a prime example. Through a long-term relationship with Kenya National Director Bryan Burr, hundreds of thousands of Kenyans have better access to clean water.

“For many of the people we work with, water is not easily accessible,” said Bryan. “They walk long distances to fetch water daily, and this consumes large amounts of their time.” 

Bryan is committed to being a part of the solution. They have lived and worked in Kenya since 1997, and their partnership with Convoy of Hope goes back nearly as long. They’ve been instrumental in helping Convoy drill boreholes, which are similar to wells, that can hold millions of gallons of water. Bryan and his team have two months to capitalize on rainfall: April and October. Collecting rainwater is key to survival for the rest of the year.

“Having water available helps them not only take care of basic needs, but also gives them time to engage in agriculture and other income generating initiatives,” Bryan said.

In addition to the boreholes, Convoy has worked with local, established churches to put up greenhouses in many communities. This helps show Kenyans that they don’t only have to be reliant on cattle for food and they can depend on other sustainable food sources.

“I feel safe saying it’s hundreds of thousands of people impacted,” Bryan said. “The wells we’ve been able to put in, greenhouses, and the dams to help store up water — they are changing lives. Many come to access that water.”

Many members of the Maasai tribe in Kenya rely solely on cattle for food. However, because of very little rainfall, they have to keep their herd sizes small. Thankfully, the quality of the herds’ health is improving through rain collection. Of course, the land is benefiting, too.

“There used to be no grass, no weeds even. And two and a half years later, the ground cover has increased significantly because of the water. Now it’s bushy!” Bryan said. “We are seeing the land restored.”

Like water, hope changes shape from time to time. Both are vital. For people affected by the water crises in Kenya, hope comes in the form of a sustainable water source and is provided as a direct result of support from people like you.

Convoy of Hope will continue to provide help and hope to people in need. To join us in our mission, click here.

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Water

Against Odds, Tornadoes Claim Zero Lives In May

“La Nina could supercharge this year’s tornado season, just like it did to deadly effect in 2011,” a harrowing CNN headline from April said. Although La Nina has had a large impact on tornadic weather this year, the month of May ended with more optimistic news. Throughout the entire month of May, tornadoes caused zero fatalities in the United States.

Each year, tornadoes kill an average of 71 Americans. In the U.S., storms produce approximately 1,200 tornadoes a year, and on average, 281 of those occur within the month of May — making it the most active month of the year. Preliminary reports suggest that 289 tornadoes formed in the month of May this year, but none of them proved fatal.

“Last month was a rarity in the weather world,” Weather Channel meteorologist Orelon Sidney said. “If we look at every May going back to 1950, only 15% of them were free of fatalities.”

Unfortunately, although tornadoes did not claim any lives in the month of May, severe weather did. With or without tornadic activity, the strongest of the storms that occur in spring months have still proven themselves deadly. As seasons shift, experts still urge those who live in storm-prone areas to remain prepared for the possibility of severe weather.

“Even though spring was relatively quiet in terms of major tornado outbreaks, it is important not to let your guard down in terms of preparedness because tornadoes can happen at any time of the year,” said Stacy Lamb of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team.

To learn more about how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during storm season, click here.

Throughout storm season — and year round — Convoy of Hope stays prepared to respond in the event of a disaster. With your help, we can provide hope in every storm. To support our disaster response team, click here.

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Disaster Services

New ways to stay safe this hurricane season

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than usual. They are expecting 13-20 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes, approximately half of which may be major hurricanes.

Recent research suggests a new focus for hurricane safety this year. A look at last year’s hurricane season showed that, while preparing for this year’s hurricane season, residents of coastal areas should plan for indirect threats in addition to the immediate dangers hurricanes present.

For years, storm surge has been regarded as the most deadly of the threats that hurricanes pose. Hurricane Laura brought a record-breaking 17-foot storm surge when it made landfall in August 2020. However, nearly all fatalities occurred after the storm passed. At least half were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from improper generator use.

“It appears that most of the deaths are going to be indirect,” said Ed Rappaport, Deputy Director of the National Hurricane Center. “Most of the deaths appear to be … associated with the aftermath of the storm, the recovery period, and long times without power.”

Hurricane Laura caused severe damage to Louisiana’s electric grid, leaving many without power for weeks at a time. This proved to be Laura’s deadliest trait. Experts urge people in coastal areas to prepare for the effects both during and after a storm. Long periods without power may be unavoidable after a hurricane makes landfall.

Convoy of Hope has created a family preparedness plan, which can be found here. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has started a campaign to help stop carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, the National Weather Service has numerous resources to provide hurricane safety information.

“Last year was a record season,” Deanne Criswell of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. “We don’t know what this season is going to be, but it just takes one storm.”

Throughout this hurricane season, Convoy of Hope suggests you stay informed and prepared to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. To donate to Convoy’s Disaster Services initiative as we continue to respond in times of disaster, click here.

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Disaster Services

Convoy of Hope Recognized by city of Houston, Texas

The city of Houston, Texas, honored Convoy of Hope — marking June 1 as “Convoy of Hope Day.” The recognition from Mayor Sylvester Turner comes after Convoy’s relief efforts following winter storm Uri in February.

The storm crippled gas stations, grocery stores, and homes. Many were without power or running water for days to weeks.

Convoy of Hope delivered 89 tractor-trailer loads of needed supplies that mostly contained bottled water. Volunteers set up stations with local churches and handed out nearly 3 million bottles of water.

“You are invaluable, your volunteers incredible. We deal with storms and disasters between April and October, but not extreme weather events in February. Winter storm Uri was a big one for us. On behalf of the city of Houston, we appreciate what you do and consistently have done throughout the years,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Convoy of Hope is thankful for the many local churches and partners who offered the use of their parking lots and facilities as points of distribution. Convoy is also thankful to the city of Houston and its leadership for the proclamation, and for the people of Texas who helped distribute essentials to those in need.

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Disaster Services / In the News