The floods swept away a whole year's food for our family.

Raging water covered the ground floor of most houses in the small village of Xucun, Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province. The floods washed away household items and destroyed the land locals depended on for their livelihood. Their harvest and food for the year are gone.

Eight-year-old Caiyu and four-year-old Wanyu are sisters. Their parents are migrant workers in another city and only come home once a year during the Chinese Spring Festival. Both are cared for by their grandparents. When the flood came, their grandparents mustered all their strength to move daily essentials and furniture to the second floor within the short time they had. "I thought, if the water level keeps rising, I'll abandon everything. We no longer have the strength to carry these things, and we have two younger ones to take care of," recalled their grandfather. "This time, we felt exhausted, so much so that we didn't want to move anymore. Both of us no longer have the energy to do this," said grandmother.

During the night of the flood, it rained heavily and non-stop. The water began to rise. "In previous floods, the water was about half a meter high. This time, the water was more than two meters high and just two steps away from reaching the second floor. The first floor was completely submerged in water." Both stayed awake the entire night and guarded the two stairways in their house.

The flood interrupted the communication lines, water and power supplies. For the next two days, grandparents and their granddaughters were trapped on the second floor without food or water. They survived on some milk and biscuits kept upstairs. "The milk made me feel thirstier and I desperately wanted water. I think we will buy a lighter-weight portable gas stove. If it floods again, we can carry it and cook meals on the second floor," said grandma.

When the water receded, grandma began to cry when she saw the condition and mess left behind. "The refrigerator, smoking hood and other large kitchen appliances are spoiled. The firewood stove is filled with water. Our pots and firewood have all been washed away. The stove area and the cupboard underneath are filled with mud. Our remaining furniture was washed out and they managed to retrieve and send them back to us using a boat." But what makes these two elderly grandparents even sadder is that the flood has destroyed their family's 4 mu farm. Not only will their income be affected, but their family will not have food for a year. 

Caiyu and Wanyu’s grandparents began to clean the thick mud and put soaked furniture out to dry. They were both so occupied that they did not have time to take care of the two sisters, which affected them. After two days of eating just milk and biscuits, Wanyu had asked her grandparents for something tastier to eat. But the shops in the villages were also flooded and their goods too were washed away. Her grandparents could not find other food to buy, making Wanyu cry.

A week has passed, but the ravages of the flood remain visible throughout the village. As water supply has not been restored, houses clogged with soil from landslides and cooking utensils covered in mud cannot be cleaned. Villagers seeking refuge with others because their homes have been damaged do not know when they can return home.

Between June 18 and 20, the heavy rainstorm affected 17 townships in Wuyuan County. As of 4:00 pm on the 20th June, an estimated 96,800 people have been affected to various degrees in the county, 9,487 people were relocated, 12,012 required emergency aid and 3,617 houses had been damaged. Approximately 3,671 hectares of crops and nearly 2,000 hectares of land have been affected. The direct economic losses are estimated at RMB140 million.

In response to the floods, World Vision China's initial plan is to distribute food aid, including rice and oil, to 1,800 households. (By Li Li)


▲The couple told World Vision about the condition of their kitchen and the watermarks on the walls that have not faded. From the marks, we could see that the water had almost reached the ceiling. 

▲After a cleanup, some furniture was moved back to the ground floor. In contrast, other furniture remains in the courtyard to dry. 

▲Sand and gravel buried large tracts of land when the floodwaters receded. It is very difficult to restore the destroyed farmland.