Team set up to monitor rain-induced disasters

The Government has established a team to speed up the relocation of citizens who live in high risk zones and whose lives are in danger due to rain-induced disasters.

The move is in response to disasters related to recent heavy rains and the team is comprised of several ministries including those in charge of disaster management (MIDIMAR), social welfare (MINALOC), infrastructure (MININFRA), environment (MOE), health (MoH), agriculture and livestock (MINAGRI) as well as defence (MOD).

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente announced the team yesterday during a news conference in which he also reassured families affected by recent heavy rains that the Government will be closer to them and provide emergency and long term support.

Many Rwandans have been affected by heavy rains that have hit the country in the last four months, killing over 200 people and destroying crops, livestock, and property worth billions.

“The Government will continue to help in any way it can,” the premier said during the briefing held at his office in Kimihurura.

The team will work closely with local governance institutions to monitor the situation in different areas and advise citizens to relocate in case their lives and property are in danger.

“When you live in a high risk area, the Government asks you to move for your own safety. We ask Rwandans and all the country’s institutions to help us in executing this programme,” the premier said.

Early this week, the Prime Minister, together with several cabinet members and other officials, visited Karongi, Rutsiro, Rubavu, Ngororero, Nyabihu, Gakenke and Burera districts to assess the damage caused by rain and reassure citizens of government assistance.

He said that the Government’s immediate duty is to first ensure that no human lives are lost and then move to help those who are relocated as a result of disasters.

“Every life counts. We don’t think as Government that anyone should lose their life as a result of disasters. The Government will continue to help in any way it can and every year there will be money allocated for disaster management,” he said.

With 853 families displaced by disasters in the last four months, according to the Prime Minister’s office, the Government has also moved to deploy relief supplies and facilitate relocations in heavily hit areas.

From the beginning of the year, the Government has provided iron sheets worth over Rwf141 million, over Rwf200 million of basic utensils, as well as emergency financial support to affected families, the premier said yesterday.

He said that the Government is committed to continue supporting those affected by the disasters and step up efforts to mitigate impact of natural disasters both in the short- and long-term.

Last week, the Government resolved during a cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame that it will put special emphasis on environmental protection, infrastructure development and maintenance, organised settlement as well as improved agriculture practices to mitigate effects of climate change in the future.

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