At least eight people were killed in the weekend downpour that devastated different parts of the City of Kigali, according to district leaders.
The victims of the rains that became rampant on the night of Saturday, were confirmed from districts of Nyarugenge and Gasabo.
In Kicukiro, some houses and gardens were reported to have been washed away but no human life had been lost there, according to Angelique Mukunde, the vice mayor for finance and economic development.
Of the deceased, five are from Nyarugenge while the other three are from Gasabo District.
Public infrastructure like bridges, including the one on Nyabugogo River, were also temporarily submerged making them impassable for the better part of Sunday morning.
The vice mayor for social affairs in Nyarugenge District, Jean Marie Vianney Ndayisenga, told The New Times on Sunday that on top of the five people killed Saturday night, two people had earlier been killed in a Thursday downpour.
He said all the seven victims were from the sectors of Kimisagara, Gitega, Nyakabanda and Nyamirambo and they died after their houses collapsed onto them.
He also said the Sunday downpour destroyed 46 houses, adding that they are still assessing the value of the damage.
“Those who have the means will be given permission to renovate their houses, but for those who are unable, we will talk with Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDMAR) and see how they can be supported,” he said.
In Gasabo District, the vice mayor for social affairs, Languida Nyirabahire, said the torrential rains claimed three lives, on top of destroying property, including houses and gardens in the rural parts of the district.
In Gisozi Sector, Musezero Cell, a house that sheltered four men collapsed leaving one Daniel Nzanzimana dead and three seriously injured.
She said the injured were taken to Kagugu Health Centre where they are undergoing treatment.
In Gisozi Sector, Ruhango Cell, the rain that started at 3am destroyed Felix Uwizeyimana’s house, killing his wife Jeanne Nyiratabaro, 32 and their one-year old child, identified as Olivier Intwariyayesu.
Nyirabahire said that rice plantations in Jabana marshland have also been submerged because of the rain. Also affected is a Jabana-based sugarcane processing plant.
She said they would work with MIDMAR and other partners to offer support to the victims, adding that they are still carrying out a survey to establish the extent of the damage.
The heavy rain started at around 1am in various parts of the city.
One of the affected people, Jackson Ndicunguye, a resident of Kigali Sector in Nyarugenge District, said; “Water started entering the house at about 7am (on Saturday). It washed away all the furniture in the house plus some utensils. The house has been severely weakened; we are afraid of entering it because it is on the verge of collapsing,” said Ndicunguye, adding that they will have to relocate.
Affected residents near the Nyabugogo River said they want a remedy to the problem, proposing that MIDMAR and other concerned players to help them relocate to a safe place.
The public relations and communication officer at MIDMAR, Frederic Ntawukuriryayo, said last evening that they were still receiving reports before they could come up with an overall countrywide figure on the extent of damage caused by the rains.