While farmers and small businesses in areas hit by the recent flooding in Britain can access a package of government support worth up to £10million, not everyone has such generous help to fall back on.

Inspecting crops - before the floods
Inspecting healthy crops in Murehwa, just a couple of weeks before the floods

Zimbabwe has also been hit by heavy downpours, resulting in massive destruction across the country. Many houses have been destroyed or submerged, and some villages have been left completely isolated after bridges were swept away and roads destroyed by the flooding. Lives have also been lost.

Those living in low-lying areas are the most affected, with about 60,000 families needing to be evacuated following the partial collapse of one of the country's hydroelectric dams.

Fields in the areas of Zimbabwe where SEED helps to empower local communities have been inundated. Damage to the crops cannot yet be fully assessed as most of the area is inaccessible due to the water.

Many people no longer have access to clean water and are being forced to draw water from contaminated pools and flooded rivers, giving rise to fears that there could soon be outbreaks of diseases such as typhoid and cholera.

First drought, then too much rain

The destruction of crops will also increase the risks of malnutrition in the coming year. Food security in the country was already at its lowest point for four years, with a quarter of the rural population expected to need food assistance in 2014.

Zimbabwe's government has appealed to the international community for $20 million in relief. Other organisations are better placed and equipped to provide short-term aid in emergencies such as this. SEED focuses on long-term assistance that empowers whole communities to make sustainable improvements to their lives. However, when things go wrong for the families we work with, we clearly have a responsibility to help them to rebuild, replant, and re-establish their livelihoods.

To help SEED provide families affected by the flooding with the immediate and longer-term assistance that they need to rebuild their lives, please donate today.

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