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Rwanda: Heavy rains claim lives and hundreds homeless in Northern and Western Provinces


At least eleven people have died while hundreds of others were over the weekend left homeless as landslides caused by water gushing from the Virunga Mountains hit the Northern and Western Provinces.

Many people in Nyabihu and Rubavu districts in the Western Province have been left homeless and lack food, shelter and other basic needs.

Several sectors in Musanze District in Northern Province have also been seriously affected.

In the Western Province, the rains reportedly left five dead while one died in Nyabihu, according to reports. Five others died in Musanze.

“It started the day before yesterday (Friday), when residents started complaining of the waters that started invading their houses… now my children have spent a day without food,” said Patricia Nyirasavena in Musanze.

She added that she is being asked to pay Rwf 50,000 for accommodation which she maintains she cannot afford.

More than 600 people’s homes were completely destroyed in Muko sector of Musanze, including eight business structures and an estimated 30 hectares of food crops destroyed in the five sectors close to the Virunga Mountains.

The Mayor of Musanze, Winifrida Mpembyemungu, said that there was urgent need for humanitarian assistance, especially food and tents, and called on stakeholders and the general public to intervene.

‘’The district has offered to raise Rwf600,000 to buy food stuffs. We are now monitoring the situation to see if there will be no health hazards especially, to those displaced by the floods,” Mpembyemungu said.

Gen Marcel Gatsinzi, the Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs, who was at the scene in the areas most affected in Musanze, Nyabihu and Rubavu, said that after assessing the magnitude of the damage, a quick humanitarian relief will be provided to rescue the affected residents.

He said that a Disaster Management Task Force will liaise with the Ministry of Finance, and other partners to provide a quick intervention.

Sectors of Kinigi, Gataraga, Muko, Musanze and Shingiro, were littered with debris of stones and parts from a broken bridges.

Source: New Times.

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