Rwanda: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF: MDRRW016

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 3rd March 2018, at around 16:00 local time, Rubavu District, located in the Western Province of Rwanda, experienced heavy rains, which resulted in flooding along Sebeya River and other areas where people live on steep hills were affected by landslides due to heavy rains. The affected areas are in four sectors of Rubavu, namely Nyundo, Nyakiliba, Rugerero and Kanama. In fact, the flooding resulted more from increased rainfall upstream than in the affected areas. There were no predictable signs of flooding downstream. According to the data gathered during joint rapid and detailed assessments conducted by RRCS, volunteers and local authorities, around 5,000 households (25,000 people) from 7 cells of the four sectors were affected by the floods, of which 4,750 people from 950 households were directly affected. These 950 Homeless families are being accommodated in the nearby communities after their homes were either destroyed or damaged by flowing waters and mud debris.
Immediately, the flash floods caused 5 severe injuries, 141.5 hectares of crops flooded (including plantations of beans, potatoes, maize and tea), 643 livestock washed away, 10 bridges destroyed, 1 school affected, and students’ school materials washed away. At onset, 28 houses were destroyed. Houses are essentially made of mud bricks. Therefore, if they remain flooded for a longer period, many others are likely to fall down or become uninhabitable in coming days.
The water supply system was interrupted forcing the people to look for alternative and unsafe sources of water, thus increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. In the same time, the sanitation infrastructures were affected by flowing waters whereby 356 latrines were completely destroyed, and the faecal waste mixed with rain water. This remains a threat to the affected population and requires rapid response, to avoid diarrhoea or a cholera outbreak.
The extensive damage to households’ dwellings resulted in the destruction of a variety of household basic items and clothing, leaving the affected population without the vital amenities (food stocks, beds, household materials). This situation has created an increased need for food products, adequate shelter, various non-food items (including blankets, sleeping mats) as well as hygiene promotion activities. The disaster also severely impacted people already living in vulnerability conditions, especially the chronically ill, elderly, female-headed households, lactating mothers, pregnant women, under-five children and single parents.