More than 100 hectares of banana plantations and 70 houses have been destroyed since last Friday by heavy rain coupled with hailstorm in Eastern Province.
Kayonza and Rwamagana districts were reportedly the worst hit.
In Rwamagana District, the most affected sectors include Fumbwe, Musha, Muyumbo and other adjacent areas.
Reports of hailstorm were also recorded in Murundi, Rukara and other neighbouring sectors in Kayonza District.
Leaders of Kayonza, Rwamagana and Ngoma districts on Sunday described the situation as “alarming” in some villages.
John Mugabo, the Kayonza mayor who was by press time still assessing the effects of the rain in Murundi Sector, said the affected residents will need emergency relief aid.
“It is sad that most of the houses destroyed belonged to the vulnerable. At least 25 houses had their roofs removed, while crops were also destroyed. These are houses government had built for the needy. We will have to come to their aid again,” he said.
The Mayor of Rwamagana District, Nehemie Uwimana, said the rain had devastating impact on communities.
“The rains have destroyed houses and crops, posing a danger of famine when the planting season had just begun. I appeal to the neighbours to assist the people without shelter, as we work out modalities to come to their rescue,” said Uwimana.
“Heavy rain and wind battered the village for three hours, severely damaging banana fields and other crops. By the time it stopped, plantations were flat on the ground. Most families now face hunger as banana is their main staple food,” he said.
Residents in the affected districts appealed for relief aid.
“It was sudden and exacerbated by the intensity of the winds, in less than one hour the roofs of houses had been ripped off, exposing us to direct heavy downpour. Government should urgently assess the damage and do the needful in time,” said Claude Gatabazi, one of the affected residents in Kayonza.
The heavy rain continued in the region throughout Sunday.