A hardworking and optimistic family
Today, 14-year-old Yanfeng did not accompany her father and younger brother to the rice distribution centre that World Vision set up in Du’an County, Guanxi province. She has been working the cornfield with her mother since this morning.
A few days ago, water finally subsided after 20 days of flooding – and revealed a land that was devastated in the event. Yanfeng’s family has divided the tasks amongst themselves, and they cannot wait to start working again. “We are now planting soybean, in about a week’s time they will start to grow.” Yanfeng said. Upon hearing this, her mother who was standing next to her quickly added, “Although we are still worried about the crops getting flooded again during the next rainfall, we need to take a chance. This is the only way if your next meal depends on the weather conditions; besides, if this batch of crop doesn’t get flooded this time, then we can definitely harvest it next year!” The mother finished with an optimistic grin on her face.
Yanfeng’s village is at the bottom of the hill, and her house is placed at the lowest point of the village - and because of this so her family is one of the village’s most affected in this crisis. “It was midnight when we got up and started moving things to the first floor.” Yanfeng recalls the night when the flood first started, “Our kitchen was on the ground floor. We only managed to relocate expensive things such as the fridge, and many other items were still in the kitchen when the room was filled up by water. This include our rice and corn – and the water just completely ruined them.”
Between 25th June and mid-July, the water level did not recede at all and there was a shortage of water and power supply. The family was stuck in the midst of it for nearly 20 days, surviving on ration of rice and noodles that was urgently given by the local government. Yanfeng’s father also regularly rowed the makeshift raft to the only unflooded water pool to extract some drinking water for the family. With the house flooded on all side, contact with untreated water was unavoidable. Because of this, the feet of family members had all blistered. “Before we used to have 20 ducks at our home. Some of them were carried away by the water; those that did not died for no apparent reasons.”
But the family remains optimistic. They plan to quickly restore their lives by planting crops and rearing some poultry. “Our biggest worry now is running out of rice to eat. So it was such a big help when you delivered the rice to us like you did.” Yanfeng’s mother said. “With this we should able to get by for some time. We are so grateful to you all.”
As the World Vision staff were about to leave, Yanfeng and her mother could not stop thanking them for their support. We all hope this hardworking and optimistic family can soon recover from the effect of this disaster.
The receded water reveals crops that are completely ruined by the flood water.
Yanfeng’s brother Changshou- just after receiving his family’s rice ration.