WGC’s partners in Bukoba, Tanzania, continue to survey the extreme damage to their homes after an earthquake hit a few days ago. The effects of the tragedy were even more severe and widespread than we previously believed, although we are so grateful that members of the Bukoba Women’s Empowerment Association (BUWEA) and their families were not injured.
As with many in the remote area in northwest Tanzania, affected BUWEA families continue sleeping outside with very little shelter after their homes crumpled amid the tremors. Grace Mshongi – a longtime BUWEA leader who has benefitted and helped lead the WGC-supported microfinance project known as the Ettling Revolving Loan Fund – completely lost her home.
The latest news report from Reuters puts the death toll at 16, with 253 people injured. The first main shock measured 5.7, toppling structures in the impoverished area where many homes are built with mud, low-quality bricks and mortar. The prime minister’s office recently said in a statement that 840 homes were destroyed and 1,264 were damaged.
Our WGC partner boarding school located just a few miles outside of Bukoba, the Hekima Girls Secondary School, also continues cleaning up after three of its dormitories were damaged beyond repair. Sr. Esther Buberwa, headmistress at the school, says the situation is dire with school in session and with so many girls’ shelters now compromised or nonexistent. She is searching for funding resources for rebuilding and has asked WGC for help.
Please keep everyone in the Bukoba area in your prayers. Sr. Dot first met our friends here in 2003 and helped what originally was an 8-member women’s prayer group become a now almost-600 member women’s microlending and soy production collective. Because of the dedication and the support of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and WGC volunteers and donors, these women are able help other women throughout small villages around Bukoba begin generating their own income to escape poverty.
Please help us spread the word that people may donate to our ongoing Bukoba Earthquake Relief efforts at http://www.womensglobalconnection.org/. Use the yellow Donate button at the top right corner and in the next “donation notes” field, please list “Bukoba.”
Any amount will go a very long way towards the rebuilding of homes and lives.
Women’s Global Connection.