Rice farmers in Gakenke District are counting massive losses after flood water from River Mukungwa submerged their farms Tuesday. The flooding was caused by heavy rains, which also made Vunga-Muhanga road impassable for pedestrians and vehicles. At least 32 hectares of rice farms were ravaged with Nyabitabire wetland being the worst hit, according to district authorities. Farmers told The New Times various water streams that flow from various mountains in Gakenke Districts had overflowed, busting River Mukungwa banks. André Hakizimana, one of the farmers said that all their rice fields were destroyed. “It is not easy to estimate how much one lost through this disaster but something real is that we will never expect to harvest, all the rice was swept away. You can now see only floods flowing in what used to be our rice farms, it is unbelievable,” he said. He added: “Government should weigh in with its support as a number of farmers had acquired loans and other debts which we were expecting to pay back after the harvest,” Gakenke District mayor, Déogratious Nzamwita told The New Times that preliminary assessment indicated that at least 100 farmers were affected. The mayor revealed that River Mukungwa overflows seasonally mainly at the end of every April, noting that the farmers should have taken the routine incident into consideration. “We had advised farmers to not plant rice in that wetland (Nyabitabire) in this season due to Mukungwa floods that are rampant, we are still urging the rice farmers especially those from Mukungwa boundaries to plant by the end of May if they are to get a safer production,” He noted Nzamwita assured that the district was holding talks with humanitarian organizations that include the Rwanda Red Cross to see how vulnerable farmers can be assisted.