BURERA - Mudslides triggered by two days of heavy rains killed six teenage girls and damaged several houses in Butaro and Rusarabuye sectors of Burera District.
The rains, which left scores of people homeless, also destroyed several hectares of crops.
According to district officials, the homes which were located on steep slopes, were swept away by mudslides, which instantly killed five of the six children, destroyed 60 homes and crops covering over 100 hectares.
The sixth child was swept by water as she crossed the Kamiranzovu Wetland in Cyeru Sector and her body was recovered in the stream.
The deceased were identified as, Jeanette Twizerimana 18, Chantal Mukamusoni 17, Godelive Niringiyimana 4, Nyiramugisha 4, Mukamusoni 14, and Nyiransabimana 18.
The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness has provided basic materials to over 51 affected families, including bed sheets, kitchen equipment like saucepans, cups, hygiene and sanitation materials.
“The Ministry intervened to show support to the affected families. The district will decide which family gets what, and we ask the residents to remain calm,’’ said Christopher Nzayikorera, an official from the Ministry.
According to the district officials, the most affected sectors were Butaro, Rusarabuye and Kinyababa. Meanwhile, in Musanze District, crops along the Rwebeye and Mukinga valleys were also destroyed.
Speaking to local residents, Burera District Mayor, Samuel Sembagari, urged them to settle in designated areas, and avoid building on hillsides.
“This tragedy has taught us lessons. Many people survived but homes have been swept away. We are now embarking on resettling all people in planned settlements for safety. This place is vulnerable to such mudslides,’’ Sembagari stated.
Residents said the rains were extraordinary and appealed for support from the local government, especially in the provision of basic needs and materials to construct houses.
“I am now homeless. The rains have destroyed everything I possessed. It is going to be difficult to survive after all my maize and beans were destroyed. I will have to leave this place,’’ said Jacques Muhawenimana, one of the affected residents from Butaro.