Rwanda

Rwanda: Floods and Windstorm - Emergency Plan of Action - DREF n° MDRRW0119

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A. Situation Analysis

Description of the disaster

Since the beginning of November 2019, Rwanda has increasingly experienced heavy rains, affecting most parts of the country. As a result, many rivers across the country received huge levels of rainwater and overflew along their courses, causing flooding in Ngororero, Nyabihu, Nyamasheke and Rusizi districts in Western province, Musanze and Rulindo districts in Northern Province, and Gisagara district in Southern province. In December 2019 3,000 people were estimated to have been in evacuation centres and most of them still do not have shelter due to the disaster.

More recently, from 3rd to 5th of March 2020, extensive flooding and windstorm were registered in Gisagara District and observed in other districts including Gasabo in Kigali City, Gisagara, Ngoma and Nyagatare District in Eastern Province. This led to extensive destruction of houses and crops.

For Gasabo Districts, five Sectors were affected including Ndera, Jabana, Kacyiru, Nduba and Jari, with maximum recorded rainfall at 75mm in Ngoma; Rukumberi and Zaza sectors with maximum recorded rainfall 60mm and Gisagara: Mukindo Sector with maximum rainfall at 80mm.

According to the initial assessments conducted by the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and Rwanda Red Cross Society (RRCS) from 3rd to 5th March, it is estimated that approximately 5,220 people (1,044 households) have been affected as a result of these floods and accompanying windstorm. Three people were reported to have died and 22 others have been injured. A total of 204 hectares of crops grown up in the marshlands and the swamps near the rivers have been damaged and in most cases destroyed. Two water supply systems in Nyagatare District and six electricity lines in Gasabo and Nyagatare have equally been destroyed.

Cumulatively, these rains caused extensive damage to 369 houses which were partially or completely destroyed, while 133 latrines were washed away in all four districts. In addition to damages on the houses, a variety of household items and clothing were swept away, leaving the affected populations without the basic amenities, including lost food stock. Bedding was also destroyed, creating the need in mattresses and blankets. Some of the affected populations and others in the high-risk zones were forced to flee their homes and are now temporarily accommodated by Faith Based Organizations, government houses, and some of them are hosted by their neighbours and relatives. The affected families are prone to the poor health and hygiene conditions as a result of overextended host families.

The situation presents a risk for the spread of diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and malaria since the disasters are happening in sequence. The most affected families are the ones with the weak/damaged houses, and 78% of them are in category one and two of Social Economic Categories of UBUDEHE (Rwandan social stratification system), which means that their poor living conditions have further worsened due to the current situation. The lack of food stuffs may result in malnutrition in the short term, especially among children under five, lactating mothers and the elderly. The situation is worsened by the fact that most crops in the swamps were washed away and the expected yields for current agriculture season will drastically decrease.