Heavy rains: 53 people killed since January

Motorists wade through a flooded road during heavy rains in Kigali. The recent heavy rains have killed 53 and injured 84 since the start of the year. File

Statistics from the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) have revealed that 53 people died and 84 others were injured since January this year due to heavy rains.

In addition to the deaths, 858 houses and 196 hectares of crops were destroyed.


Lightning, floods and rainstorms are the major causes of the deaths.


According to the Rwanda Meteorology Agency, rains are expected to ease in late May except for the districts of Musanze, Rubavu, Nyamasheke and Rusizi, which will continue to experience rainfall until June.


This is per the Agency’s recent findings that made “above normal” rainfall predictions between March and May this year.

Minema told The New Times that “activities like taking injured people to hospitals and restoring damaged infrastructures, were done and are still ongoing as a response to the damages.”

The Ministry’s statistics last year revealed that damages between January and September 2019 were worth about Rwf744 million.


Earlier this week, Olivier Kayumba, the Permanent Secretary in MINEMA, told The New Times that citizens should be vigilant during the rainy season.

“We advise citizens to strengthen the roofs of their houses, avoid going in water bodies, under trees or using electronic gadgets when the rain has lightning,” he said.

He added that people should also put lightning conductors on their houses, as it limits risks of being killed by lightning.

Meanwhile, Rwanda National Police also on Monday, March 2, advised motorists to be cautious during this period. 

Driving in the rain can be risky even to the most experienced driver, the police said, giving some tips that may help in avoiding road accidents during the rainy season

“Don’t drive through floods. It can lead to vehicle mechanical failure and hydroplaning. During such conditions, we advise drivers and motorists to use alternate routes rather than attempting to drive through floods,” Police said in a tweet.

It said that “Drivers should avoid parking under trees,” adding that, “Reduced speed is imperative in the rainy season. On wet roads, your vehicle’s reaction time is much slower than on dry roads. Drivers should drive considerably slower than they normally do and keep a greater distance between their vehicles and the car in front of them.”


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