24 April 2018

Rwanda: 19 Killed in Monday Night Downpour

Nineteen people have been confirmed dead and seven others injured in Gastibo, Gasabo and Rulindo districts following a Monday night downpour that also left a number of families homeless in different parts of the country.

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) on Tuesday reported that landslides had killed seven and injured two in Rulindo District.

Also, eight were killed and five injured in Gasabo while three were killed in Gatsibo District.

The ministry was by press time counting 79 houses which were washed away by floods as a result of the downpour, including 31 in Nyabihu District and 48 in Rwamagana District.

The rain also triggered floods that damaged crops covering 56 hectares; 45 hectares in Gatsibo and 11 hectares in Nyabihu, while Shyira-Jomba road, in Nyabihu, was also destroyed.

Speaking to The New Times while on field assessment of the full extent of the damage from the rain, Claude Twishime, the ministry's public relations and communication officer said they were still collecting data.

"These are provisional figures because we have not yet got all the figures of the affected households. We are calling upon people to strengthen the roofs of their houses, ensure rainwater harvesting and drainage, and quickly relocate for those in high risk zones to avoid more disasters," said Twishime.

He said the families of the victims will be supported during the burial of their loved ones while the households which were left homeless were given basic relief supplies.

According to Twishime, the ministry delivered basic materials, including non-food items like kitchen kits, tents, and hygienic materials, while the injured were immediately taken to hospital for emergency treatment.

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