Rwanda: Seventy Households in Musanze Evacuated From High Risk Zones

11 December 2019

At least 70 households in Musanze District have been relocated to schools as local authorities move to protect them from potential landslides during this rainy season.

The evacuation comes just a week after the landslides hit Muko, Kimonyi and Nkotsi sectors, burying 16 homes in the process and destroying acres of plantations mainly beans, banana, maize and Irish potato among others.

In a move to safeguard people from similar disasters, the district decided to relocate those believed to be vulnerable to landslides.

Meanwhile, victims of last week's landslides have appealed to the Government to help them rebuild their destroyed houses and to provide them with basic materials.

The victims were left homeless, forcing them to seek refuge at their neighbours and relatives who were not affected by the landslides.

The New Times visited the affected villages and talked to the victims. Most of them were worried about the uncertainty that surrounds their future and hence appealing for humanitarian assistance.

"I think we need to be assisted by the Government to build our own houses as we can't do that on our own due to financial constraints. We relocated to our neighbours but we don't really know how long this will last," said Fabien Nsanzimana, a victim and a subsistence farmer from Kimonyi Sector.

If I was financially independent, he said, I would have relocated from the high risk zone long ago.

The victims also said they were afraid of possible food shortage in the near future as most of their crops were swept away by the disaster.

"Honestly speaking no one knows how the future will look like without food because our crops were completely swept away," noted Léonille Dusabemariya, another victim.

Executive Secretaries of the affected sectors told this reporter that the victims were being sheltered at their neighbours and relatives as a short-term solution because the district was yet to avail the budget for their assistance.

The Musanze District vice mayor for social affairs, Axelle Kamazi, said the district was still assessing the damages for them to plan for vulnerable victims accordingly.

"The district officials paid a courtesy visit to the landslide victims on Sunday, assessed the damages and heard from the victims' inquiries for us to capture the kind of support we should provide from the budget meant for social protection," She explained

Kamazi further said that the district was set to provide support that include resettling the victims and giving them humanitarian assistance that includes temporary shelter among others.

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