NYAMASHEKE - Heavy rains claimed the lives of seven people in Nyamasheke District on Monday, including three family members, whose house collapsed on them, Police said yesterday.
“The rains started at around 6:30 p.m. on Monday and stopped on Tuesday morning. Many people were left homeless after their houses collapsed,” a Police source in Nyamasheke told The New Times.
The dead were identified as David Uwimana, 10, Alphonsine Nyanzira, 15, both from Mahembe sector, Alex Dusabe, 17, and Angelique Uwera,13 from Kirimbi sector.
Others who died in Rangiro sector included a 58-year old woman, Valerie Mukankusi and her two children, Nyiranzacahinyeretse Ndarihumbye, 15 and Lillian Uwineza, who were sleeping when their house collapsed.
During an interview, Theoneste Mutagawa, the husband to Mukankusi, said he fled the house just before it collapsed.
“What I can only tell you is that water entered our house while we were all deep asleep. When I woke up, I saw the house going down and I fled,” he said with tears rolling down his face.
Mutagawa said the bodies of his family members were retrieved from the rubble on Tuesday at around 10:45 a.m.
Claude Ntagayisha, the Kirimbi Sector official said the victims in his sector also died after the house they were sleeping in collapsed.
The father of some of the deceased, Thaddeus Ndahimana, said the rains did not damage anything in the bedroom but when he woke up together with his wife they were shocked to find their children missing.
“We began raising the alarm,” he narrated, “when the nearby residents arrived they mounted a search and found their bodies in the compound.”
Gabriel Mutuyimana, the Executive Secretary of Mahembe sector, said that 11 houses were also destroyed by the torrential rains in Kagarama cell, but no death was registered.
Catherine Gatete, the Nyamasheke vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs said several rice, maize and beans’ fields were also destroyed.
According to her, the road connecting their district to Karongi district was left in damages.
One Dorothy Mukyeshimana, whose over five hectares of rice crop were destroyed appealed to the government for help.
“I have been surviving with my four children on rice but now the future looks bleak as there is nothing I will harvest from there. This problem is really beyond our capacity.”