Christmas downpour: Police urges motorists to heed officers’ warning

Commissioner of Police John Bosco Kabera, the spokesperson of Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Thursday urged the public to obey warnings given by police, including the ones from officers deployed on different roads-for law enforcement and security, because they are there for the public interest.

“Rwandans should understand that warning is vital, and abide by it. The warning could be made by institutions in charge like Meteo, but there is also warning given by police on different roads. One of the challenges that we have faced, is people’s mindset. Another one is how they don’t abide by the warnings”.

Kabera said this explaining instances of some people who were rescued in a police operation, during the heavy rain on the night of December 25 that ravaged different parts of Kigali and led to the temporary closure of some of the main city roads.

He gave an example of people warned by police against using some roads, but insisted, saying ‘but my house is just there’.

“Someone in charge of security, who is in uniform, and in charge of protecting you is obligated to advise you, and not to inconvenience you, so you should immediately understand that what they are telling you is correct.”

He further explained cases of people who disobeyed the police command, but later found themselves in trouble and required police to again go and rescue them.

“There are some people that were almost crushed by a wall in Kimihurura, they drove through a garden to save their lives," he said, adding that these had just defied police officers who had tried to stop them.

“There are some who just drove until their cars were stuck. It happened on Poids Lourds, and also in Kanogo.”

Kabera added that no one should risk their lives, and that when there is a forecast warning, one should immediately seek ways to be safe by avoiding going to places that are likely to face floodings.

“You shouldn’t go there. You must pass in safer roads, or even ask the police where it is safe. When you find that where you were heading it is flooding, do not keep going forward, and please call police.”

Rescue operation

Kabera explained that the police rescue operation began shortly after it started raining, and ended way after the rain was over.

Some of the rescue operations conducted involved; people who had hid rain under the Poids Lourds bridge, people who were stuck in their vehicles in flooded roads, among others, while some fallen trees that had blocked roads were cut, so as to make ways for vehicles.

21 motorcycles and five cars whose owners didn’t manage to save were recovered by the police, and the owners were requested to collect them.

In case of an emergency, toll free lines for the police are; all emergencies 112, traffic Accidents 113, ambulance services 912, fire Brigade 111, marine 110, and complaints against a police officer 3511.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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