Rwanda: Govt Sends Emergency Aid to Rain-Hit Households

Children use a boat in the flooded Kenyan village of Kakola Ombaka on May 12, 2021.

The government has started providing food and temporary shelter among other aid support to families affected by the recent heavy rains across the country.

This is according to Philippe Habinshuti, the Director for the Response and Recovery Unit at the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Habinshuti told The New Times on Tuesday that the government is also still gathering information about the extent of the damages caused by the rains.

Nyamasheke District is the latest victim of the prevailing heavy rainfall.

At least 39 houses in the district were totally swept away by landslides occasioned by Monday night's heavy down power while 117 houses were damaged, the official said, disclosing that hundreds of families were displaced.

No deaths were recorded.

Over 208 houses in Burera District were damaged while hectares of crops and hundreds of livestock were affected.

The displaced families, he said, will need support to relocate or build new houses.

The Nyamasheke District Mayor, Appolonie Mukamasabo, said that 74 families made up of 395 members have been given temporary shelter.

Some 43 families made up of 236 people are yet to be relocated.

This is in addition to more than 14,000 households that were displaced by disasters last year that need shelter.

Habinshuti said that constructing of shelter for the over 14,000 households is at 71 per cent complete.

Out of these, the government is building houses for 11,696 households whereas 2,355 were offered plots of land in safe zones because they can build houses for themselves.

Rwanda Housing Authority earlier announced that 48,000 households that live in high-risk zones need resettlement.

Habinshuti said the classification of high-risk zones needs to be looked into.

Official projects suggest very heavy rains between May 8 and 12 in the Southern, Western and Northern provinces.

The expected impacts, meteo says, include widespread flooding of major rivers and catchments, damage to infrastructure, landslides, loss of livestock and risk to human life.

It also projects increased accidents and danger to life due to fast-flowing and deep water.

In another forecast, meteo says rainfall expected between May 11 and May 20 will range between 40 and 120 millimetres across the country with intense rainfall activities expected in the Northern part of the country.

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