Massive rains lead to evacuation of 6,000 Rwandans in high-risk areas

Official says some 4,000 of the displaced persons are staying with their relatives, 1,500 living in government-rented houses
Massive rains lead to evacuation of 6,000 Rwandans in high-risk areas

Emergency and other government officials in Rwanda have evacuated about 6,000 Rwandans living in high-risk zones threatened by heavy rainfall in different parts of the country.

Minister of Local Government Anastase Shyaka told a press conference on Wednesday in Kigali that the citizens had been threatened by excessive rainfall in the past few weeks hence the evacuation.

Shyaka said some 4,000 of the displaced persons are staying with their relatives, 1,500 living in government-rented houses while about 300 others were being temporarily sheltered in schools, a Xinxua news agency report said.

Environment Minister, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya also said at the joint briefing that although the heavy rains had began to cease in the third week of December, disaster management and mitigation measures would still be necessary.

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Another top government official and infrastructure minister, Claver Gatete said floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in 2019 have affected 22 national roads, and 42 district roads and bridges. An official assessment showed that the evacuated persons lived in high-risk zones to be hit by heavy rains hence the government’s action.

Official data showed that extreme weather last year has caused more than 250 deaths in Rwanda, and this year have left more than 100 people dead, some 5,000 houses damaged and more than 9,000 hectares of plantations destroyed.

A United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report also said that in East Africa, at least 280 people have been killed and more than 2.8 million others affected by unusually heavy rainfall and flooding this year.


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