Two die as floods ravage Musanze, Nyabihu
Ruinous floods emanating from the neigbouring Virunga Mountains have claimed the lives of two children and left scores of residents of Musanze and Nyabihu districts homeless and crops destroyed as unpredictable floods continue to hit the Northern and Western Provinces.
By yesterday afternoon, thousands of hectares of crops and several houses in the 10 sectors adjacent to the Virunga Mountains were submerged, , and fish ponds worth Rwf10milion destroyed.
According to area authorities, two boys aged 8 and 12, died in the floods in Gataraga Sector, Musanze District and Jenda, Nyabihu District, respectively.
At Nyundo Genocide Memorial Site in Rubavu District, residents struggled to salvage caskets of genocide victims after floods flowed into the site, while Nyundo Secondary School was similarly hit.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs dispatched a team to join forces with local authorities, police and RDF personnel to assess the extent of the damage and possible interventions.
“The floods have destroyed everything I possessed. The whole area has been cleared of crops we had just planted,” lamented Theoneste Ruzindana, a farmer from Gataraga.
“It is going to be a hard time to survive because all the beans and potatoes have been washed away.”
The surging water from Karisimbi Mountain, which swept the farms, changed its normal course and flooded the water channels in Kimonyi, Gataraga, Musanze, Shingiro sectors which had not experienced floods for decades.
“Floods remain the biggest challenge to our economic development. We had controlled them through construction of gabions on the eastern axis of the mountains,” the district Mayor, Winifridah Mpembyemungu, said.
“We have to support the farmers by distributing to them quality seeds and fertilisers because they have lost everything.”
“The fish in the ponds were one month old. We had invested over Rwf7.5million in it but the floods have destroyed everything. All the fish have been washed away,” bemoaned Francoise Rwakibibi, the chairperson of the fish farming association.
The Minister of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs, Marcel Gatsinzi and the Northern Provincial Governor, Aime Bosenibamwe, who visited the affected residents, assured victims of their support.