Rulindo mourns landslide victims

A funeral service was held yesterday for four children who died in a landslide that hit a village house in Rulindo District on Sunday.
Mourners gather at a family of two of the landslide victims in Shyorongi Sector, Rulindo District.  File.
Mourners gather at a family of two of the landslide victims in Shyorongi Sector, Rulindo District. File.

A funeral service was held yesterday for four children who died in a landslide that hit a village house in Rulindo District on Sunday.

The rain-triggered landslide buried ten people in a house in Nyarutovu cell in Shyorongi Sector.

Residents, local leaders and police managed to rescue six people with minor injuries.

The area which, received heavy downpour last Sunday, is said to be located in a high risk zone prone to disasters.

Two of the deceased children were from one family.

The incident also interrupted a traditional introduction ceremony in the neighbourhood. Charles Aime Karake, who lost two children said it was so depressing.

“We saw people scampering after the house collapsed. We rushed to rescue them but found my two children and two others already dead,” Karake said.

His wife was too devastated to utter a word.

“The landslide struck with high velocity and ravaged the house. It was very difficult to rescue the occupants. We, however, managed to rescue six of them  who sustained minor injuries,” he said.

“Some people were traumatised and were rushed to a nearby health centre,” he said.

“They were the only children we had.  I am trying to remain strong but their mother is yet to recover from the shock. But residents and local leaders have stood with us,” Karake added.

 Annonciate Mukanziza, 30, who lost a five-year-old son in the tragedy, said it will take her long to cope with her loss.

“It was unfortunate that our ceremony ended in tragedy. I pray to God to keep me strong,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks. 

Superintendent Emmanuel Hitayezu, the Northern Province Police spokesperson, said the incident happened in one of the areas identified as high risk zones.

“The owner has delayed to relocate yet some other families have already relocated. People are dying from high risk zones which should be avoided. We urge people who are still in high risk zones to relocate before the rainy season in March and April to prevent more deaths,” Hitayezu said.

The Mayor of Rulindo District, Justus Kangwage, said most parts of the district are prone to disasters but they are relocating people to safer areas.

He, however, said the problem of relocating people from high risk zones had been hampered by lack of funds.

Last year, landslides killed 35 people, injured 18 and demolished 379 houses countrywide, according to information from the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs.

Rulindo suffered more disasters compared to other districts last year, which claimed 13 lives and injured 20 others. 

 

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