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49 Died and Properties Destroyed after Heavy Rains Swept off Houses in Rwanda

49 people are believed to have lost their lives and more than 500 houses were completely destroyed after heavy rains with landslides swept off all the houses and agricultural plantations leaving thousands homeless and others crying over famine.

People move with their belongings after the heavy torrential rains.

During the night of 7-8 May 2016, Infrastructure and other property were also put down. The most affected areas are Gakenke and Muhanga Districts.

According to the reports, 34 deaths were recorded in Gakenke, 8 in Muhanga, 4 in Rubavu and 3 in Ngororero, while 26 people have been injured in the above mentioned districts.

On the other hand, transport has become a problem especially people living along River Nyabalongo which was reportedly to be covered by water all over. It’s believed that all places around it are impassable and people are crying for immediate rescue.

The Government of Rwanda regrets the loss of life and express solidarity with affected families.

"So far, there are at least 49 people have died in landslides that buried dwellings in the district of Gakenke (north)," Frederic Ntawukuriryayo, responsible for communication ministry Rwandan in charge of disaster management. Told reporters.

"This is a big disaster," he said, adding that the aid had still managed to rescue survivors of the zone.

Between January and April, at least 67 people died in the country, according to the spokesman, 12 of which in the space of one night in the suburbs of the capital Kigali. More than 1,500 houses were also damaged due to the heavy rains.

Rwanda, little hilly and densely populated country, is subject to erosion and landslides. In recent years, the government had managed to reduce the number of accidents of this type, thanks to a policy of relocation of people living in areas at risk.

But "this year, incidents and casualties are increasing," noted Mr. Ntawukuriryayo, pointing El Nino climate phenomenon.

River Nyabalongo is now impassable after the floods took control due to torrential rains.

The Government of Rwanda praises residents who came to the rescue their neighbours, the Gov’t however, promise the most affected people to remain calm as they are looking forward to assisting them in any way.

Coordinated efforts by all stakeholders have been mobilized to prevent similar disasters from occurring during this rain season. This is according to the Ministry of Disaster and preparedness.

By Robert Muriisa.

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