3 die, 500 left homeless by floods

Three children died Tuesday night and over 500 left homeless after heavy downpour flooded several parts of Kigali City. The affected areas include Kacyiru, Ndera, Kinyinya, Kibagabaga and Gatsata sectors in Gasabo district and Gatenga in Kicukiro district.
A Woman weeps after losing all her property as neighbors ponder what do next in their flooded compounds yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda)
A Woman weeps after losing all her property as neighbors ponder what do next in their flooded compounds yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda)

Three children died Tuesday night and over 500 left homeless after heavy downpour flooded several parts of Kigali City.

The affected areas include Kacyiru, Ndera, Kinyinya, Kibagabaga and Gatsata sectors in Gasabo district and Gatenga in Kicukiro district.

Two children drowned in Gatsata and a third was swept away in Kicukiro in one of the heaviest rainfall the city has experienced in the last few years.

The rains said to be 94mm, far above the 20mm normally experienced in Kigali, lasted for over six hours destroying 120 houses.

In Kigugu village, Kacyiru sector, about 70 houses were destroyed leaving the affected residents scampering to the nearby Evangelical Mission Shalom Tabernacle Church while others were sheltered by neighbours throughout the night.

When The New Times reached Kigugu village at about 10 A.M, most of the houses were still flooded, with distraught residents standing by.

Government institutions that included the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the Disaster Preparedness Unit and city authorities had also rushed to the area to assess the depth of the disaster.

They immediately held an emergency meeting at the scene to chart a way forward for Kigugu residents who are said to be at high risk should more rain fall.

The meeting resolved that with immediate effect, all Kigugu tenants look for alternative accommodation.

Rose Mukankomeje, the Director General of REMA, said that the Government is going to help those without shelter get temporary housing.

Eugene Habiyaremye, one of the affected residents called for immediate assistance.

“We welcome anyone who can extend support in finding secure places for our children,” he appealed.

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