Kigali, Rwanda – (African Boulevard News) – Rwanda’s Western and Northern Provinces have been hit hard by severe floods, killing at least 109 people. Heavy rainfall triggered flash flooding, leading to landslides, which swept away homes, bridges, and roads.
Authorities have declared a state of emergency and set up temporary shelters for displaced families. Rescue operations are in full swing, with emergency services teams working round the clock to save lives and retrieve bodies. “The flooding has caused massive damage to infrastructure and buildings, and we are doing everything we can to support affected communities,” said a government spokesperson.
The floods have disrupted essential services such as health care, electricity, and water supply, particularly in the districts of Rubavu, Nyabihu, Karongi, and Rutsiro. “We are experiencing a humanitarian crisis, and we urgently need aid and resources to provide assistance to those affected,” said Marie Claire Uwase, Governor of the Western Province.
The heavy rain and flooding have also raised concerns about the spread of water-borne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid. “The risk of disease outbreaks is high, considering the displacement of people and the lack of clean water and sanitation facilities,” said Dr. Jean Baptiste Mazarati, Rwanda’s Minister of Health.
The government has appealed to international organizations and donor agencies for assistance in providing food, shelter, and medical aid to affected communities. “We are working closely with our partners to coordinate relief efforts and ensure that help reaches those who need it the most,” said a spokesperson for the Rwanda National Emergency Management Agency.
The flooding in Rwanda is a stark reminder of the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable communities, particularly in Africa. The United Nations estimates that natural disasters in Africa have increased threefold over the past four decades, with climate change exacerbating the situation.
The government has assured the public that it will take all necessary measures to prevent future flooding and landslides. “We must learn from this tragedy and take steps to build resilience in our communities and reduce the risk of disasters,” said a government official.
As the recovery efforts continue, Rwanda’s Western and Northern Provinces face a long road to recovery, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue operations progress.