Weekend rains leave 26 dead

Residents in Karongi District observe the aftermath of the weekend heavy downpour. Courtesy.

Heavy downpour that intensified countrywide on Sunday through Monday morning has so far led to loss of more lives through mudslides, especially in the districts of Rulindo, Karongi, Nyarugenge and Rubavu.

According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs, (MIDIMAR) a tentative report of the weekend rains. Karongi District was worst hit, with18 people killed, 12 hospitalised and 120 houses totally destroyed.

The rains caused a mudslide that submerged houses in which people were sleeping, a tragedy that occurred in the cells of Bisesero, Rubazo and Gasata all in Rwankuba Sector.

According to Jean Baptiste Nsengiyumva, the Director of Risk Reduction and Preparedness Unit at MIDIMAR, they are working closely with local authorities to have more up-to-date information on the countrywide disasters.

“We expect numbers to go up because we’re still collecting more information from across the country,” said Nsengiyumva.

Speaking to The New Times, Védaste Kuzabaganwa, the Executive Secretary Rwankuba Sector said they had been appealing to residents to relocate from the risky zones and that it was unfortunate that some were killed before they could relocate.

“Many families have moved to settle in model villages but some are still in their houses below the hills in areas which are very prone to landslides,” Kuzabaganwa said.

Meanwhile, in Nyabugogo Cell, Kigali Sector of Nyarugenge District, a family of eight was swept away by a mudslide. Three instantly died on the spot while the rest are still in the hospital.

In Rubavu and Rulindo districts, four people were reported dead and four houses totally destroyed by landslides while in Nyamasheke District, one person was killed.

In Nyabihu District two houses were destroyed while in Nyamagabe District one person was injured and two housed damaged.

Recently, the Minister of Local Government announced they were determined to relocate people from high-risk areas saying that where necessary, force would be used to move them to safety.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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