Ignace Habumuremyi is reeling from the unexpected loss of 1,300 chickens, worth between Rwf19 million and Rwf20 million, which he incurred when devastating floods hit his poultry farm on the night of May 2. Habumuremyi, a Karongi District resident, is one of the farmers affected by the disasters recorded on May 2 and May 3. Among other damages, the disasters killed 135 people and left over 20,000 homeless. ALSO READ: Death toll from disasters reaches 135, over 20,000 left homeless Particularly in agriculture, floods and landslides destroyed the livelihoods of some farmers. Habumuremyi told The New Times that his poultry farming consisted of more than 2,100 chickens in two separate shelters; one shelter, which counted 1,300 chickens, was affected when heavy rainwater inundated it, leaving all of them dead. He said he started rearing layer chickens in October 2022, adding that they died after laying eggs for about two months, starting in March 2023. He added that they died after an animal feed firm gave him 2.9 tonnes of feed on credit to nourish them. The feed was worth over Rwf2.2 million. “I lost a lot of money because I had estimated the value of one layer at Rwf15,000, considering each could lay eggs for 18 months,” he said, adding that a tray of 30 eggs is sold at Rwf4,000, and there was a market opportunity for this poultry product in the western part of the country, which had the potential to improve his livelihood. For a remedy, he suggested, “If possible, the government can help us recover the devastated livestock from the effects of the disaster,” indicating that he was struggling to repay a bank loan he had taken to support his investments in the poultry business. The cost of recovery During the budget hearing held on May 9, the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) Director General, Telesphore Ndabamenye, told members of Parliament that an assessment of disaster losses in agriculture – including crops and livestock – and inventory of the needed interventions were made. “We did the costing of needed recovery interventions, and realised they are estimated at Rwf9.5 billion,” he said. Ndabamenye indicated that the affected areas include approximately 3,500 hectares of crops such as beans, rice, maize, cassava, potatoes, wheat, and bananas; while livestock include cows, goats, rabbits, pigs, and chickens (which were most affected, especially in companies that engaged in poultry farming). According to data shared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) during the budget hearing, the inventory indicated that livestock animals that had died from the disasters included 47 cows and 3,336 chickens, among others. Data from MINAGRI indicated that the recovery covers various supports, including helping the affected farmers to continue farming and livestock activities, such as providing them with seeds and restocking their farms, with the aim of restoring their livelihoods.