Rwanda: DR Congo Volcanic Eruption Damages Crops in Rwanda's Rubavu District

Lava from Nyiragongo eruption damaged between three and five hectares of crops in Cyanzarwe Sector of Rubavu District in western Rwanda.

The volcanic eruption in eastern DR Congo, which happened on Saturday, May 22, also had other implications in Rwanda where it triggered a wave of earthquakes-which damaged houses and road in Rubavu.

The New Times has established that the flowing lava crossed into Rwanda and destroyed people's crops.

No lives were lost.

Residents said they woke up Sunday morning only to find plantations of beans, sweet potatoes and banana covered by cooling lava.

"I had close to two hectares of a banana plantation. I was generating between Rwf160,000 and Rwf180,000 every month. Now, all the land is covered in lava stones," a woman resident of Cyanzarwe Sector, told The New Times.

Another resident said they needed support from the government.

"All the crops have been burnt; there were beans and avocado trees. We need help because this could result in hunger," Marie Tuyisenge said.

Minister of Local Government, Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi, said food support to those affected by lava was to be distributed immediately.

"We have asked the district to provide food for the people whose crops were completely covered by lava. Further support will be considered later. Luckily no person has been killed or houses affected," Gatabazi said.

Officials said the lava covered between three and five hectares of land.

Rubavu District has experienced several tremors resulting from the volcanic activity.

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