© Raw Material Flood Damage At Shyira Coffee Washing Station, May 2020

On Wednesday, May 6th, heavy rains swept across Rwanda, causing flooding and landslides that have killed at least 65 people and caused untold amounts of property damage. One area that was hit particularly hard was the Nyabihu District in the northern part of the country, home of the Shyira and Vunga washing stations as well as the more than 200 families who work on them. The Nyabihu District alone has experienced the tragic passing of 28 individuals from the flooding as well as the loss of over 325 homes, livestock, and coffee trees, an estimated $132,000 in damages.

Now, Raw Material has teamed up with Muraho Trading Company to launch a GoFundMe campaign to help the people of these coffee producing communities receive the funds they need not only to rebuild but simply survive.

The damage done to the Nyabihu District is not limited to just the coffeelands; vital infrastructure—including “36 classrooms, 12 community churches, 10 administrative posts, a healthcare centre and the Vunga market” as well as electrical and water supply infrastructure—has been lost in the flooding. Beyond the $132,000 in repairs needed, there is an immediate need for an estimated $41,000 to get food, water, and clothing to those who lost their homes as a result of the natural disaster.

advert new rules of coffee now available


Raw Material and Muraho Trading Co have put together a three-phase plan to aid these communities. The first phase is to meet the immediate needs of the people. This is where the initial round of funding from the crowdsourcing campaign will go. Along with food, water, and clothing, the requested AUD $61,000 ($41,000 USD) will go towards clean-up efforts, risk isolation for future landslides, blankets, and basic hygiene items.

Once these needs have been met, Phase 2 will include rebuilding houses, replanting lost crops—including coffee—and replacing livestock. This phase will cost an estimated AUD $185,500 ($129,000 USD). Phase 3 will build resilience in the community to help prevent future disasters from occurring and better prepare the communities should they happen. This includes housing upgrades, improved land management, and investing in certified seeds and plants to promote reforestation. Phase 3 is expected to cost AUD $ 190,500 (USD $ 132,000).

But the most pressing need is the funding of Phase 1, getting food and water to those who lost everything. In a little over a week, the GoFundMe campaign has reached nearly AUD $40,000 of its AUD $61,000 goal.

The world is in flux right now. There are so many people at home and abroad doing a lot of necessary work that needs funding in a time when many folks are struggling to make ends meet. But if you count yourself as one of the lucky ones who is still able to contribute financially, please consider donating to this campaign. If you can’t provide monetary support, share this GoFundMe with your social network so that it may cast as wide a net as possible.

For more information, to donate or share the campaign, visit Raw Material’s and Muraho Trading Co’s GoFundMe page.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Top image via Raw Material

New Rules of Coffee banner advertising an illustrated guide to the essential rules for enjoying coffee