After the devastating downpour that led to floods and landslides in the Western, Northern, and Southern provinces, local communities particularly in the most affected Districts, have been scrambling to marshal whatever help to rescue some of the most affected victims. The government, alongside several entities, has pulled efforts together towards search and rescue operations in a tragedy that claimed 130 lives. But much of the early aid effort has been spearheaded by ordinary citizens. By Thursday afternoon, 130 people had been confirmed dead, with more than 100 sustaining severe injuries. Over 5,000 houses were destroyed. Niyonkuru, a resident of Rutsiro district, Musasa village commonly known as Gisiza center, wasn't deterred from trying when floods almost swept off a neighbor’s home in the area. After finding himself staring at a family that was crying out for help, drowning under the flood, with slabs of concrete over them, he had to do something. “By around 2 (in the morning) the neighbors called for help as we also struggled to save ourselves,” Niyonkuru recalls. “But I thought I couldn’t just stand by and watch them getting wiped away by the waters.” We are meant to support one another According to Niyonkuru, who was speaking to the national broadcaster in an interview, Gisiza center borders the Rwishywa and Koko rivers which caused the floods in his area. “I rushed to help them evacuate but other neighbors also joined. Luckily, no one died at that time.” Despite all their household property – ranging from beds, the television, and foodstuffs – being carried away by the flood, Niyonkuru says the biggest reward is “seeing another person survive.” ALSO READ: Flood disaster: Kagame says personally following up on response effort “We are meant to support one another.” Several residents who talked to the national broadcaster in the same interview said that not everyone can help in the same way. For instance, one survivor said that she was given shelter in a neighbor’s home on Tuesday night, given food, and was able to follow the incident live on Television. She said: “Not everyone has a tractor or extra food to give. So, they are doing what they can. We also thank the government which has since intervened.” “My neighbors opened up their home for me to stay because our house was damaged. If anyone has no place to go, this house is open,” said another survivor. People on social media, championed by one user identified as Tito Harerimana, have organized a Go.fund me page, through which he is looking to raise Rwf50 million. Beyond residents stepping up to support the survivors, the government has also intervened to relocate those whose houses were destroyed. By Thursday, the government, alongside several partners, had started providing critical aid to those in need. The support is in the form of shelters, and food, among other essential supplies. The initial first aid response provided includes 60 tons of relief supplies – 30 tons of maize flour and 30 tons of beans. Basic necessities such as hygiene supplies and others have also been provided to the affected people.