The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midimar) yesterday issued a public alert on potential disasters due to heavy downpour in several parts of the country, urging the public to be more cautious this rainy season.
In a statement issued yesterday, the ministry called on the public to take precautions while dealing with the likely effects of the rains.
“Between June and September 5, disasters linked to rain claimed 32 lives; among those 21 were struck by lightning while 112 hectares of plantations were destroyed. A total of 141 houses were destroyed and eight livestock killed,” reads part of the statement.
Following yesterday’s all-day-long rain in parts of the country, the ministry urged people living in high risk zones to relocate in the quickest time possible before they are affected by anticipated heavy rains.
“To avoid flood-related disasters, the public is advised to redirect rainwater from their roofs in trenches,” the statement reads added.
Districts that are most prone to disasters include Rubavu, Karongi, Musanze, Nyamasheke, Burera, Gasabo and Kirehe.
Rwanda Meteorology Agency recently predicted a harsh rainy season which may come with a possible El Nino, going by the global trends.
The rains are expected to intensify between September and December.
According to the 2013 statistics from the Midimar, about 112 people died of landslides, floods and lightning last year. About 124 were critically injured.
In the same year, 3,934 houses were destroyed mostly by heavy rains, floods and landslides.
Over 2,201 hectares of land were also devastated in various areas.