News reports indicating that about 15 people have passed away so far, including a family of four in Gikondo, due to the heavy rains that the country is enduring is tragic.
What makes this even more tragic is the fact that many of these deaths could have been avoided. The deceased family was at home when rainwater, emanating from Rebero hill, washed through their home, destroying everything in its path.
Rwanda is a mountainous nation and the issue of landslides and gushing rainwater is something that is inevitable. However, we can, and must, reduce the impact of these natural forces. The issue of soil conservation, tree planting, terrace building and proper construction is something that must be put at the forefront of the collective conscience.
The environment is at a delicate balance and we must ensure that we are able to sustain it. We must not let environmental protection be simply the concern of the government but rather, we must make this issue our very own.
Before we tackle the long-term issue of environmental protection however, we must, as a community, lend a hand in whatever way we can, to those who've lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the treacherous weather. Every bit of help counts. We mustn't wait for anyone else to help our fellow citizens. To do so is to lose an opportunity to prove that we are a nation that takes care of those in dire straits.