Kigali City Council (KCC) has started preparing for possible El Nino rains by drawing contingency plans to contain the situation should heavy rains fall.
Rwanda is likely to receive heavy rains during the wet season that starts this month. The anticipated seasonal rains are driven by the presence of an evolving El Nino.
City officials say they are embarking on disaster management training probably before the end of this month.
In mid-September the disaster management unit based in the Ministry of Internal Security announced that it had already trained “district disaster management committees” in almost all districts, apart from Kigali.
When contacted, the head of this unit in the ministry, CSP. Damas Gatare confirmed plans for the training session in Kigali.
“We are in the preparatory process. Right now I am meeting with staff, planning on Kigali’s training. It will take us two to three weeks,” Gatare said.
El Nino-induced rains are expected to hit hard, wrecking havoc in many parts of East Africa.
Heavy rains with dangerous hailstorms have already struck, destroying buildings and crops in parts of the country.
Over the weekend, heavy afternoon downpours in Gashonga sector, Rusizi district damaged buildings, especially classroom blocks and several houses and destroyed banana plantations.
In neighbouring Uganda, hailstorms left over 30 families homeless in Masaka district after destroying their houses. Over 200 acres of banana plantations, sweet potatoes, coffee and cassava were also destroyed.
El Nino is a phenomenon in which changing sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean affect weather around the world by bringing drought to some places, heavy storms or harsh winters to others.
The phenomenon has caused most parts of East Africa to received abnormally heavy rainfall in the past.