Restoring Damages after Niger River Floods
6 February 2013
The recovery and restoration of the Sahel Academy campus has been a slow and ongoing process. That restoration process which continues today was facilitated by team after team who came, responding to our need and offering their skills and willingness to work hard. If you have prayed, if you have given, if you have put your hand to the hammer, the rag, the wheelbarrow, the pressure washer, the dolly, the paintbrush or any other tool on our behalf, we say, "Thank you!" Through you, the Lord helped us to realize the goal of beginning the new school year back on our river campus.
Please read our message: THANK YOU from Sahel Academy
UPDATE February 6, 2013:
Learn more about the volunteer teams who are arriving from around the world to help with restoration and rehabilitation of the flooded campuses of Sahel Academy and CBN in Niamey:
UPDATE December 12, 2012:
The flood of the Niger River into the city of Niamey in August 2012 has had continuing complications for Sahel Academy and for CBN (Centre Biblique de Niamey). CBN is home to many missionaries and local students, as well as the ESPriT Bible School, the Christian education department of SIM, and a local church. While neither campus is currently flooded, the buildings and facilities remain in great disrepair.
Sahel Academy and the Bible school are meeting in temporary rented locations this school year, with hopes to return to their restored campuses in August and October 2013, respectively.
We are praying for at least two teams to come each month during March, April and May 2013. The first phase of cleanup and rehabilitation will include: washing, scrubbing, cleaning, scraping, sanding, varnishing, painting, landscaping and sorting.
We are looking for more teams in June, July and August for the second phase. It may include some of the first phase work as well as moving school materials from the temporary locations back to their original campuses in time to open for the next academic year.
Teams will be housed at the Sahel Academy and CBN campuses in order to keep fundraising costs down.
For more information please contact Nancy DeValve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!
PRAISE GOD WITH US
UPDATE September 18:
Your donations to SIM project 88600, Disaster Relief Fund, will help SIM Niger respond to urgent needs in their community brought on by this crisis. Thank you for your donation!
PRAISE GOD WITH US
PRAY WITH US
See, I am doing a new thing!
We are so thankful to report that God has provided new housing locations for all SIM and Sahel staff who were in need. Contracts have also been signed on the secondary school (high school) building and dorm housing for Sahel. Please pray for those preparing and setting up the houses as well as for those still in transition between homes.
SIM has also partnered with a few churches to work with the refugees living in local schools. This week they have been able to begin the grain distribution! Please pray for good coordination with the grain trucks and for protection and energy for those from the local churches who are handing out the food. May they be a sweet testimony of the love of Christ.
UPDATE September 6:We are very thankful to be able to share some great progress with all of you concerning the building and housing search for our displaced missionary families and ministries!
At Sahel Academy, the contract has been signed for the primary school building in Koura Kano! The primary teachers were able to see the new location today and explore its possibilities. (see photo)
Please continue to pray for the process of signing a contract for the secondary school building. We are also thankful to announce that we are in need of only one more house for our mission/Sahel staff! Please pray for the next steps in the housing process as all contracts are being signed and the houses are being cleaned and repaired. Pray for the families that will be moving into them.
Today was spent at the CBN (SIM’s Bible Center) compound. Many hands helped to pack up belongings and rescue the furniture from the flooded buildings. The water level is still down which greatly aided in the efforts today. Once the truck was packed up it was taken across town where a large group were ready and waiting to begin bleaching and cleaning the furniture before it was packed into a container to be stored until a new location is found. Pastor Solomon the head pastor of the EEI church that meets at the CBN compound joined Steve today as they worked to remove more of the church belongings.
Many others helped to begin moving different people’s belongings to their new homes. There is much to do but it has been incredible how many people are sacrificing their time to work so hard! We are so blessed in SIM Niger to have such incredible leaders who are the first ones to jump into the work to accomplish what needs to be done everyday. So thankful for their example! To God be the glory!
4000 families have been counted in three neighborhoods across the river. Three churches are working together to systematically asses their needs. Many are sleeping in schools, and many more are living outside in empty lots, often without protection from the mosquitoes. Nets are greatly needed.
SIM Niger plans to offer direct assistance to 500 family units. Hundreds and even thousands more will be impacted by rescuing and restoring the Bible Center campus and Sahel Academy.
Sahel Academy is key to keeping missionary families serving in West Africa. The campus is under water and not usable this school year. The work of salvaging books, equipment, furniture and personal belongings and transporting them by canoe to a dry place is nearly completed! Much has been saved, but many bookshelves are damaged. Preserving the buildings from further damage while the floors are submerged is a next priority. SIM continues to search for homes for more than 50 displaced missionaries including children.
UPDATE August 30: From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Niger:
For the city of Niamey:
Household's affected : 12,365
UPDATE August 29:The CBN compound in Niamey, Niger, is home to ESPriT (the Bible school), a church, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Emmaus Bible Correspondence School, and the Navigators. The church, seminary and all the ministries will need to find new locations to work from. Homes on the campus are also flooded. The river may slightly recede, but will crest as usual in January. It is expected that the buildings will have standing water until March or April 2013. Please pray for the immediate, urgent need for housing and alternate locations for offices, church and classes. Thank you for standing with us.
UPDATE August 27:The SIM Crisis Management Team in Niger has identified five priorities as follows:
Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund, will help SIM Niger to quickly respond to critical needs over the next days and weeks.
UPDATE August 23: Flood map courtesy of the Niger River Basin Authority:
How can you pray?
UPDATE August 21 evening: Today started with an early morning thunderstorm which yielded 1.6" (41mm) of rain. The river continued to rise and flow over the dikes.
SIM owns two pieces of property along the riverfront, the seminary property (Esprit) and Sahel Academy. Water flowed into both properties all day long despite efforts to pump it back out again. By early morning, workers realized they were fighting a losing battle on the seminary property. Everyone had already been evacuated. Later in the day a section of the wall holding back the river water collapsed under the pressure. Water flowed in freely; the grounds of the entire property are now under water.
At Sahel Academy, volunteers spent the day making sandbags and placing them in front of doors of the campus buildings. The hope is that when the water reaches the buildings, the sandbags will slow the flow and that any water the comes in can be pumped out. This is our last line of defense. Pumping continues at the wall but there are now many leaks in the wall.
UPDATE August 20: The water has not yet flooded the Sahel Academy campus, but is threatening all around. The rice fields and factory nearby are flooded. Water is heading down the road towards the school. Rain north of Niamey has caused a surge which is anticipated to arrive on Tuesday.August 19: Please pray for the people of Niamey, the capital of Niger in West Africa. Although typically dry with little rainfall, Niamey and areas upstream have received torrential seasonal rains. The Niger River has crested, causing several dikes to break.
SIM owns two large properties along the river, CBN (a Bible School and dorms, homes for Nigerien and expatriate staff) and Sahel Academy, where there are many school buildings, staff homes and a dorm for boarding students. Both properties are in danger of flooding.
Many volunteers worked hard all weekend (Aug 18-19) to strengthen the dikes with sandbags. Saturday night another hard rain fell. Dikes upriver and downriver from the school have broken. Many worked at Sahel on Sunday to prepare the buildings for flooding. Furniture, equipment and books were raised about three feet off the floors. The dorm students were evacuated to homes around the city. School is cancelled for the week of August 20-24.
Your donations to SIM project 88600, Disaster Relief Fund, will help SIM Niger as they continue to respond to the needs in their community brought on by this crisis. Thank you for your donation!