The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Strong Winds Affect 350 Houses in Bugesera

Bugesera — Strong winds that hit Mwogo and Ntarama sectors in Bugesera district on Monday left 350 houses and farmland destroyed, according to district officials.

Officials were yesterday continuing with assessment of the damage in the affected areas as they waited for relief.

According to the district Mayor, Louis Rwagaju, the heavy wind destroyed many houses particularly those that were poorly constructed.

"The rain wasn't much but the wind was terrible...it was the first of its kind in the history of the district. Hundreds of houses were destroyed, crops and trees were knocked down, it was indeed a strong wind.

"We are facing another task of planting of more trees as a result of the storm...thousands of hectares of trees were destroyed by the wind. Trees have very vital economic implication in our district," the mayor said.

One affected resident, Laurent Habimana, 56, said his house was practically reduced to rubble by the storm, forcing them to seek shelter at neighbours.

Oswald Mukwaya, a resident of Ntarama sector told The New Times that the incident was a major blow to district's reconstruction effort, adding that life for the most vulnerable communities had become even more precarious.

"Most of these families have lost their houses, all their property, and their livelihoods.

Three hundred and seventy five houses have been partially or completely destroyed," he said.

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