Several businesses came to standstill across the capital Kigali and other parts of the country on Tuesday morning, following heavy downpour that started as early as 6 am.
Rwanda Meteorology Agency warned last night that heavy rains could disrupt activities in a couple of days (January 27-February 1) – sending a signal that more deadly outcomes could be experienced if nothing is done.
Rwandans endured last year’s Christmas due to heavy rains that claimed lives and damaged several properties. At least twelve people were reported dead as a result of the disaster while roads were also destroyed.
In the capital Kigali, motor taxi operators were seen struggling to hide under flyover roads while others swarmed around Petrol stations as the rain intensified.
Moving vehicles could hardly penetrate through the traffic jam, while passengers never made it to bust stations.
A statement released by Rwanda Meteorology Agency yesterday warned that between January 31 and February 1, a 25-50mm rain is expected in Southern part of the country especially in the districts proximal to Nyungwe National Park as well as districts bordering the park in Western part of the country.
In Eastern Province, the Agency warned heavy rains are expected to hit the districts of Ngoma, Rwamagana, Kayonza, Kirehe and Bugesera.
The Agency further warned strong winds measured between 5-10 meters per second will characterize the 2-day rains.
The forecast released by Rwanda Meteorology Agency on climate conditions observed over the country in December 2019 and the prediction of the rainfall in January 2020 as well as the highlights on the socio-economic impact associated with the both observed and predicted climate conditions indicated that the country is expected to receive rainfall in all districts of the country and the amount ranging between 75 mm and 150 mm.
On the impact it caused during the mentioned period, the Agency says some areas were flooded and landslides occurred in some parts of the country; the soil moisture increased which improved the pasture and foliage for livestock, while high rainfall caused the loss of life, infrastructure and crop yield.
Rain prediction for January
According to Rwanda Meteorology Agency, throughout the month of January, the rainfall is expected in all districts of the country, the expected range will be between 75 mm to 150 mm, with Southern province expected to receive high amount of rainfall than the rest of the country.
Floods, lightning strikes expected
On a positive note, the Agency says, the areas expected to receive good rainfall are likely to experience improvement in pasture and foliage for livestock, but also warned of “possible losses of final crop yield”.
Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in western and southern parts of the country, the areas should be closely monitored for floods, warns the agency.
In Western part of the country especially around the Congo Nil region, citizens are warned of Lightning strikes – as it has usually been the case before.