Monday, 9 May 2016

Heavy rains devastate northern, southern and western parts of Rwanda

A car stuck in the mudslide is being
pulled out by volunteers and locals
At least 54 people have been killed by heavy rains that flooded Northern, Southern, and Western Province districts of Gakenye, Muhanga, and Rubavu and Ngororero respectively.

Many more are nursing injuries in various hospitals and health centres in the hit districts.
The heavy rains recorded over the weekend decimated over 419 houses in Gakenye and 80 in Muhanga leaving thousands homeless. This is in addition to the devastation to people’s crops where over 3850 ha of bean fields and about 600 ha of rice and sugarcane plantations on the banks of River Nyabarongo have reportedly been washed away by floods and landslides.

This region was hit by heavy rains that resulted into flooding and mudslides leading to heavy losses of lives, destruction of homes and decimation of farming fields.

Among others, this has exacerbated fear for tough times ahead for most of the devastated families.

In Gakenye where the downpour had the most devastating impact, rain is reported to have started in the midnight of Saturday and devastated six sectors of the district, mostly Gakenke sector where 16 died that night and Nemba where 9 lives were immediately lost.
Most people were killed by houses that collapsed while others were killed by floodwaters.
Currently, Rwanda Red Cross volunteers in the area have joined government and other local organisations in offering first aid to the wounded and trying to rescue those who are still stuck in the rubble of what were formerly homes.
The heavy downpour that devastated these regions for over 30 hours also interrupted traffic flow from the city of Kigali which has challenged transportation of relief items to the areas. However, the Rwanda Red Cross teams will be providing relief support including 998 sleeping mats, 998 blankets, 499 kitchen sets, 2495 pieces of soap, 998 jerry cans, 499 tents and clothes for children and women who are the most vulnerable in the situation.
According to weather forecasts, more rains are expected in this region the whole of today and the Rwanda Red Cross will surely require more support and involvement of all parties so as to be there for everyone everywhere and on time.
thousands of people who cross River Nyabarongo to and from Kigali City each day are unable to carry obn their daily activities now that the river has flooded the road

By Matthew Rwahigi

Correction: earlier version mentioned 91 instead of 54 people reported dead

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