The number of people killed by heavy downpour in the Northern Province and Western Province of the country since Wednesday 6, 2020 has increased to 72 as of Friday, the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) said on Friday,
The heavy rains caused trails of landslides and floods that killed people from Musanze, Gakenke, Rulindo in the Northern province, and Nyabihu and Rubavu of Western Province.
“The number of deaths has increased from 65 to 72,” Claude Twishime, communication specialist at MINEMA said on Friday.
“As the heavy downpour washed downhill, it caused landslides that buried people and destroyed several infrastructures. Other deaths were caused by overflowing muddy rivers that also killed people and washed away crops and infrastructures,” MINEMA reported on Wednesday 6,2020.
Rwanda Meteorology announced early last week that heavy rain would continue until June 2020.
MINEMA reports that over 500 houses, 7 bridges, and water supply channels of Muhanga-Ruhango and Nyanza have been destroyed.
“Several properties have been destroyed across the country. We are still counting them.For people whose houses were destroyed, they have been evacuated in school classrooms near their areas. The fast emergency help was also extended to them including beddings and food,” Marie Solange Kayisire, minister of MINEMA said.
According to the Ministry of local government, over 8000 families have been displaced by heavy downpour and mudslides across the country, and they have been evacuated in school classrooms.
“In some areas, rain disasters came as a surprise, but in other areas that are facing disasters now, they were warned before. We should work together with local authorities and leave these areas that were said to be a risk. They are dangerous zones.” Prof. Anastase Shyaka, Minister of Local government said.
“The first thing is protecting our lives from duo death threats, rain disasters, and COVID-19. All of these disasters came abruptly and we must defeat them. The evacuees have been evacuated in enough classrooms, to maintain social distancing and also using masks whenever in public,”Prof. Shyaka said.