Heavy rains cause deadly floods and landslides across Rwanda

Heavy rains cause deadly floods and landslides across Rwanda

Heavy rains battering much of Rwanda since May 1, 2020, triggered severe flooding and landslides, resulting in eight fatalities and hundreds of damaged homes and roads, the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MINEMA) reported on May 4.

The affected areas are mostly the mountainous and hilly areas in the country's northern and western, particularly the low-lying and plain areas in those regions.

As of Monday, MINEMA reported eight fatalities from floods and landslides, five others injured, more than 100 damaged houses and several roads closed across the country.

In the Rutsiro District in the Western Province, the Mushubati weather station recorded 81 mm (3 inches) of rain on May 2.

In the Musanze District in the Northern Province, at least 28 households have been relocated from the high-risk Mugogo Wetland area to a public school as authorities take action to protect citizens from further flooding this rainy season. The displacement came after floods engulfed farms in the area, destroying crops.

"We have identified a number of houses that were likely to collapse as they are surrounded by floods and thus water can now be seen within the walls, we have also seen some other houses that were already destroyed; that’s the main reason we opted to urgently evacuate the residents to avoid further calamities," said Musanze mayor Jeannine Nnuwumuremyi.

She added that the district government is set to provide assistance for the affected families. Locals then appealed to the government to speed up the humanitarian aid, emphasizing that they lost almost all their properties to the flood.

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Image credit: MINEMA

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Image credit: MINEMA

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Image credit: MINEMA

"Imagine heavy rains resulting in floods and landslides during a pandemic: Disasters that are occurring in Rwanda lead to loss of human life, destruction of crops and homes, loss of livestock," the Rwanda Red Cross stated as they warned of more risks posed by calamities to the people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Meteo Rwanda, more heavy rain is forecast in Kigali, Northern Province, ad Rubavu, Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Ngororero, Muhanga, and Ruhango districts, for the next seven days, increasing threats of further floods and landslides.

Intense downpour from April 17 to 20 also led to fatal flooding and landslides in the country. 

Featured image credit: MINEMA

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