Rwanda: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action - DREF n° MDRRW018

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. The most affected districts are Ngororero, Nyabihu, Nyamasheke and Rusizi in Western province, Musanze and Rulindo in Northern Province, and Gisagara Southern province.

Particularly, on 6th and 7th December 2019, extensive floods were observed along Nyabarongo river and its affluents in Ngororero district, damaging crops in Matyazo, Muhanda, Shyira and Kabaya sectors with maximum recorded rainfall at 60.8mm. For Gisagara district, four sectors were affected, namely Mamba, Gishubi, Kansi and Muganza, with maximum recorded rainfall at 35.6mm. In Rusizi district, the sectors of Bugarama Butare, Gitambi, Gikundamvura, Muganza, Mkungu and Nyakabuye were affected with maximum recorded rainfall at 44.9mm. According to the initial assessments conducted by the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and Rwanda Red Cross Society (RRCS) on 7-9 December, it is estimated that approximately 5,360 people (1,072 households) have been affected as a result of these floods. Sixteen people were reported to have died and 33 were injured. In addition, a total of 1,016 hectares of crops grown up in the marshlands and the swamps near the rivers were damaged and, in most cases, completely destroyed. Three water supply systems in Rusizi District (one in Gitambi and 2 in Muganza sectors) were also destroyed.

Uphill, these rains caused extensive damages on 791 houses which were partially or completely destroyed, while 407 latrines were washed away. 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 blankets and sleeping mats. Some of the affected populations and others in the highrisk zones were forced to flee their homes and are now temporarily accommodated by Faith Based Organizations, government houses, schools and others are hosted by their neighbors and relatives. The affected families are prone to the poor health and hygiene conditions as a result of over-extended host families.

The situation presents a risk for the spread of diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and malaria. The most affected families are the ones with the weak/damaged houses, and most 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 under five children, 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.