Coffee Farmers in Nyabihu, Rwanda, Receive Aid After Devastating Floods

Raw Material and Muraho Trading Co. are expanding their recovery plan to prepare growers for the upcoming harvest season.


Photos courtesy of Raw Material and Muraho Trading Co.

In the August + September 2020 issue of Barista Magazine, “The Takeaway” briefed us on an amazing initiative spearheaded by Raw Material and Muraho Trading Co. to help out coffee farmers in Nyabihu, Rwanda. After the district experienced catastrophic floods and mudslides, these two enterprises combined efforts to start a GoFundMe that has so far raised nearly $150,000 USD to assist in clearing the mess and provide essential goods for the people of Nyabihu. They wanted to share the progress and work that they’ve been able to accomplish on the field so far.

The team at Muraho Trading Co. and Raw Material have managed to clear the debris from the floods and mudslides in Nyabihu, Rwanda.

Despite the setbacks of COVID-19, the team has managed to clear 170 debris sites. For reference, 325 homes have been lost due to the floods, in addition to 36 classrooms, 12 churches, a health-care center, the Vunga market, and plenty of sites with livestock and coffee trees. They’ve also distributed food and care packages to 312 families in the region. “(It was) overwhelming, as it was our first experience organising an appeal of this scale … it was amazing to see our coffee farmers smiling again after the disaster,” says Eustache Mutakirwa, operations manager at Muraho Trading Co. The coffee community has truly come together to help those in need, no matter what state the globe is in. For full transparency of how the funds have been distributed, you can get a breakdown here.

Although $150K USD is a phenomenal amount raised, there is estimated an additional $132,000 initial rebuilding cost to come for the washing stations in Nyabihu, where the average income is $700/year. As explained in our “Takeaway” article, Raw Material and Muraho Trading Co.’s recovery plan is a three-phase process that will also assist in rebuilding and replanting with the Shyira and Vunga coffee washing stations. The team needs an additional $50K in order to:

  • Rebuild 35 houses 
  • Rebuild 10 non-residential buildings
  • Replant 4,500 coffee trees
  • Replant 15 hectares of beans and maize
  • Replant 7 hectares of banana
  • Replant 4 hectares of sweet potato and yams
  • Replant 507 assorted fruit trees
  • Provide income support 247 farmers whose livelihood will be lost or affected before these new crops harvest

“My feelings and emotions were really touched seeing our family of farmers happy,” says Eustache. “Completing Phase One gave us more energy and drive to keep advocating and doing our best to help them overcome the impact of the disaster. I have realized that no joy can equal to the joy of serving others. God bless each and everyone who contributed to this activity.”

To donate to the cause, you can read more about the initiative here. You can also watch a guide to the transparency report here.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.