27 February 2013

Rwanda: Downpour Victims Get Relief From MTN

At least 188 households remain in need of assistance following heavy rains that hit different parts of Kigali city last Saturday claiming the death of six people. Now, MTN Rwanda has come to their rescue with a donation of iron sheets and nails to rebuild their houses.

According to the officials, Gasabo district was the hit hardest with 129 households in critical need of assistance while Nyarugenge reported 53 homeless, and 6 in Kicukiro.

Fidel Ndayisaba, the mayor of Kigali city, described the rain as one of the most disastrous events the city has had over the years. "It's very painful to record six deaths in such a short time," the mayor said.

Reports indicated that the downpour that hit city washed away city residents' properties worth millions, though the city authorities say they have not yet conducted a damage assessment to know the exact value of the loss. But Ndayisaba confirms that 915 households have been affected with 452 in Nyarugenge, 321 in Gasabo and 142 in Kicukiro districts.

In addition, there was seriousdamage to basic infrastructure such as roads, public lighting, electrical cables and trees for beautification.

"We are working with the central government to see how to help these people who suffered from the downpour," said Ndayisaba, adding that local communities and security bodies provided basic support to the victims by providing them with temporal accommodation and cleaning the city among others.

The mayor was speaking to journalists on Wednesday while receiving significant support provided by MTN Rwanda. "You are the first ones to intervene, so we are grateful for that," Ndayisaba told staff of the telecom company.

The mobile phone and internet provider gave out 1800 iron sheets and nails worth Frw 10 million to support the households that became homeless following the downpour.

"We feel that we are responsible when there is such an issue," pointed out Khaled Mikkawi, the CEO of MTN, mentioning that they have a commitment to allocate 1% of their net profit to corporate social responsibility every year.

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