With the bedrooms of his home already filled with water, Alou fought to keep the floodwaters at bay. But when the sandbags failed, he had no choice but to flee with his family.

Alou is one many affected by recent flash flooding in Nara, Mali. Triggered by heavy rain, the deluge began at the end of August and caused widespread damage in the small town of Nara and surrounding villages.

Along with other survivors, Alou describes tells us of his desperate effort to save his home – and the hardship he now faces.

“Water completely filled the house. I had to leave the house with my family. More than 40 houses collapsed in [our] area,” says Alou.

“Those that lost their homes are now living in schools, religious centres, and the houses of friends or family. Our families are added to theirs, looking for a place to sleep. In the morning we all move out, go and sit under trees to cook,” he adds.

Gabkoro had 52 people living in his home when the flood hit. Coming during the lean season, it destroyed all his farmland and precious food stocks.

“It worries me a lot. My granary is completely empty,” he says.

Gabkoro assesses the damage to his home in Falou, Nara.

Islamic Relief’s cash vouchers provide lifeline for residents in Nara

Islamic Relief’s emergency relief efforts have helped over 1,200 families. With our cash vouchers, families have been able to buy vital items like blankets, cookware, and hygiene products.

Kondio is among those helped by the project, which was funded by the Humanitarian Coalition, through member agency Islamic Relief Canada, with support from the Canadian government.

“This voucher system is better than cash. Today with the insecurity you will be exposed to robbery, but with the voucher you can safely get your cash,” he says.

Kondio says receiving vouchers is safer than cash.

Islamic Relief is encouraging communities to protect vulnerable people

Vulnerable people are typically at greater risk at times of crisis. So Islamic Relief has expanded our programme to tackle gender-based violence and child protection issues in Nara. The area’s community team are receiving fresh new training, and several new teams have already begun pushing for positive change.

We are working hard to help families left in dire need by this disaster. Donate to our Global Emergencies fund to support Islamic Relief’s lifesaving work.