A HEAVY DOWNPOUR that pounded the rural Musha Sector in Gisagara District on Monday evening destroyed at least 39 houses and 16 hectares of banana plantations, officials in the district have confirmed.
The destroyed buildings include two churches, 14 residential houses, 15 shops and an office of a local Umurenge Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO).
The rains, that hit the area around 6pm and lasted for less than an hour, were characterised by heavy winds that blew off rooftops, leaving dozens of families homeless.
The families are currently temporarily sheltered by neighbours as authorities move to extend relief support, The New Times has established.
On Tuesday, district authorities visited the area to assess the extent of the damage with estimations putting the cost of the damage at more than Rwf20 million.
But the district vice-mayor for Social affairs, Donatille Uwingabiye, said the “exact value of the damage will be known after a full inventory” .
She said the district had secured iron sheets, nails and ‘other materials’ that would be distributed to the affected households. Foodstuff, including rice, beans, porridge flour and sugar, will also be donated to those who suffered from the disaster, she said.
“We stand with those whose properties were destroyed and will do everything possible to support them,” she pledged.
Rwanda has in the recent past experienced disastrous natural disasters that have claimed human life and destroyed property.
Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, lightning strikes and landslides, among others, cost the government Rwf1 billion annually, according to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs.