14 May 2018

Rwanda: Rain Destroys Over 20 Classrooms

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDMAR) has said that a total of 21 classrooms have been destroyed by heavy downpour since January.

The most affected districts include Bugesera and Nyanza each with five classrooms destroyed, while Rubavu had four classrooms destroyed. Nyagatare, Musanze and Gisagara had two classrooms destroyed by the rains, while one was destroyed in Rwamagana.

Philippe Habinshuti, the director of disaster response and recovery at MIDIMAR, said that relief was dispatched to schools shortly after the rain-induced disasters which struck at different times.

He said new iron sheets and training equipment had since been distributed to the affected schools.

"We continue to provide them with further relief supplies to ensure the learning process is not disrupted," Habinshuti said.

He added that parents have also intervened to help restore normalcy at the affected schools.

Faustin Harerimana, the Executive Secretary of Syndicat National des Enseignants au Rwanda (SNER), a teachers' labour union, said that, in collaboration with local leaders and parents, they helped move affected students to other classrooms to ensure minimal interruptions.

He added that all partners will continue to work together to keep students safe and focused on their studies.

According to figures from MIDIMAR, over 200 people have been killed by disasters associated to the rains across the country while a total of 4,973.5 hectares of crops were washed away between January and May 10.

The rains have also killed livestock, and damaged roads, bridges, livestock, water supply lines, electrical lines, and churches, among others.

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