Local governments minister Jean-Claude Musabyimana has saluted religious organisations for playing a crucial part in response to the floods and landslides that hit the Western and Southern provinces of Rwanda on May 2 and 3. ALSO READ: Floods: How religious organisations are championing response effort One of the worst natural disaster occurrences that the country has witnessed, the floods and landslides claimed more than 130 lives and destroyed thousands of houses in addition to civil infrastructure. In a speech delivered on Sunday, May 7 during the conclusion of Quran recital competitions organised by the Rwanda Muslim Community (RMC) at the BK Arena in Kigali, Musabyimana recognised religions and congregations as partners of the government in the implementation programs aimed at promoting the wellbeing of Rwandans. “We are especially thankful to religions and congregations for playing a role in the rescue activities that we have been doing for days to assist those who were hit by disasters in the North and West of Rwanda,” he said. ALSO READ: Rwandans use MoMo to raise over Rwf10m for disaster victims in 24 hours He noted that the government of Rwanda chose to build strategic partnerships for transformation with various partners which include faith based organisations. “All the religions and congregations that operate in our country, as partners of the government of Rwanda, are requested to continue playing a role in the implementation of the government’s programs that are aimed at promoting the wellbeing of Rwandans,” he said. “We continue to ask you religions to assist us in solving the problems that are facing the Rwandan society including school dropout rates, stunting, teenage pregnancies, and drug abuse especially among the youth,” he added. Meanwhile, the Quran recital competition which brought together participants from up to 40 African countries, was won by Uganda’s Abdulrahman Yasin, followed by three contestants who were all locked in the second position - Abdulrahman Musa from Kenya, Abdulrahman Hussein from Somalia, Adam Yusuf from Chad.