Thousands affected by heavy rains and floods in Rwanda

The Rwandan Red Cross Society is currently assisting displaced people in flood-affected areas of the country, including Musanze in Northern Province, and Nyabihu and Rubavu districts in Western Province. Recent heavy rain has affected water supplies and also damaged roads, schools, clinics and over 700 homes.

An estimated 2,200 households, or 11,000 people, are affected by the floods. The Rwandan Red Cross has warned that flood damaged water supplies could lead to contamination, and that food insecurity is also an issue as many crops, including almost 1,000 hectares of potatoes, maize, bananas, tea and sugar, have been inundated.

Most of the flooded housing has been damaged beyond repair or completely destroyed due to their fragile mud brick structure. An estimated 348 houses have been destroyed and 446 are partially damaged or are still underwater.

Local Red Cross committees in Rubavu, Nyabihu and Musanze have mobilized 90 volunteers to support authorities in rescuing flood victims. They are also distributing relief items to 300 households, offering psychosocial support, assisting communities to recover bodies, and tracing displaced children. The orgnization will target a further 560 households and 2,800 vulnerable and displaced people over the next three months.

The rains are currently ongoing, and are hampering relief efforts. The area bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, along the Virunga mountains stretch, is also likely to be affected.