A heavy downpour which caused floods and landslides in the hilly Western and Northern Provinces respectively have killed nearly 100 people and fatalities are feared to be increasing.
Latest figures announced by the Rwanda Broadcasting agency indicates that so far 95 people died in the Western Province, and 14 in Northern Province, totaling 109 deaths.
In Bwishyura sector, Karongi district, a family of five lost their lives due to the collapse of the house they were in.
This fatality happens one day after the Rwanda Meteorology agency announced reported heavy rains in different parts of the country between May 1-10.
The most affected districts in Western province are Rubavu, Ngororero, Nyabihu, Karongi and Rutsiro in Western Province and Musanze in Northern province.
In these districts, landslides and floods destroyed houses and carried away several properties and plants.
The Governor of Western Province, François Habitegeko, sympathized with the families who lost their loved ones, saying that they are currently working on relief efforts as they continue counting the consequences that follow the heavy downpour.
He added that they are working with other agencies so that all support is available where needed.
Honore Ikuzwe who is in Nyabihu district, Shyira sector, Mpinga cell told KT Press that they are saddened by the loss of a family member who died in the flood caused by Mukungwa river.
“The rain started falling at around 22:00 p.m., it started as a heavy rain, and around 1:00 a.m., some of the houses in this area started to be flooded by the Mukungwa river,” he said, “When the house they were in started collapsing, they started trying to get out of the house through a lot of water that was filled in the house.”
It was during this exit that a five-year-old child who was holding the hand of his older brother swept away by the water because of the strength of the water.
“The child and his elder brother were weakened by water, and until now we are still searching without hope of finding little child who have been lost in the incident,” Ikuze said.
Apart from deaths, other properties also damaged.
Jean Louis Ishimwe, a dealer of electronic equipment in Rubavu district, specifically in Mahoko told KT Press that the rain has caused a lot of damage in Rubavu.
“I woke up at 1:00 am to go help the shopkeeper next to me, and came back after a couple of minutes to my own, only to find that the flood had invaded everything,” Ishimwe told KT Press.
The disasters caused by the rain has made the Mukamira-Ngororero, Rubavu-Rutsiro roads temporarily impassable as reported by the Rwanda Police.
Information provided by the people in different affected areas say that the roads of Kigali-Musanze, in the area of Buranga, Musanze-Rubavu and Gataraga were blocked by landslide. The Nyabarongo River blocked Muhanga-Ngororero road and The Musanze-Vunga road was also blocked.
The last such heavy rain fell in May, 2020 where more than 70 deaths was counted on top of several other damages.