Rwanda: Disasters Kill 15, Injure 37 in Less Than a Month

Vehicles and people wade through a flooded street during heavy rains on Kinamba-Gakiriro-Kagugu road in Gasabo District in Kigali (file photo).
27 January 2022

At least 15 people died from disasters while 37 sustained injuries from January 1 to 25 this year, according to a report from the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management.

Floods, landslides, lightning, mine disasters, fire, rainstorms and windstorms are major disasters.

According to the ministry, lightning claimed seven lives and injured 26 people --the biggest number compared to other disasters -- followed by landslides and rainstorms.

The report shows that 130 houses and 132 hectares were damaged by disasters this month, mostly rainstorms and floods.

The most affected districts were Muhanga, Huye, Gisagara, Huye, Nyabihu, Ngorero, Rusizi, and Rubavu.

At least 13 livestock were also killed by disasters which also damaged seven classrooms, one road and one transmission line.

Last year 2,685 hectares of crops, 310 classrooms, two health centres, 44 roads, 32 bridges, four water supply systems, 59 electrical transmission poles, 22 offices, 19 churches, four markets and three factories, 3,977 houses were also damaged by different disasters.

At least 100 people lost lives and 195 injured from January to Mid-October last year.

Required measures

According to the ministry, anti-erosion measures, planting trees among others should be embraced by farmers.

Other measures include rainwater harvesting, relocation from high-risk zones, wetlands and buffer zones for water bodies, drainage rehabilitation among others.

According to the Rwanda Meteorology Agency, enhanced rainfall was expected over southwestern parts of the country from January to February 2022 compared to the same period last year.

Rainfall ranging between 250-300 millimetres is expected in most parts of Rusizi and Nyamasheke Districts, western parts of Nyaruguru Nyamagabe and Rutsiro Districts, southern parts of Karongi, Ruhango and Gisagara District, Eastern Nyabihu and Rulindo and some pockets in the north of Nyanza and northwest of Huye Districts.

One millimetre equals one litre of water on the soil, the weatherman explains, meaning the more millimetres increase the more it could cause effects.

Rainfall ranging between 200-250 millimetres is expected in eastern parts of Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, Karongi, Huye Districts, in southern parts of Muhanga, Nyabihu, Ngororero Rulindo, Burera and Gakenke Districts.

The same rainfall amount is projected in the northern part of Gasabo, northeastern part of Rutsiro and southeastern part of Rwamagana district.

Rainfall ranging between 150-200 millimetres is expected in most parts of Rubavu, Musanze, Kamonyi, Gisagara and Burera, northern parts of Nyabihu, Muhanga, Bugesera, Rulindo, Ngoma and Gicumbi Districts, southern parts of Kirehe, Ngoma and Gicumbi, remaining parts of Rwamagana, Nyanza, Kicukiro, Gasabo and Nyarugenge.

Rainfall ranging between 100-150 millimetres is expected in the other parts of Eastern Province (Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza, eastern parts of Rwamagana, Bugesera and Kirehe, south-western parts of Ngoma and Bugesera, and most parts of Kirehe) and eastern parts of Gasabo Districts.

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