Rwanda evacuates 6,000 residents from areas threatened by heavy rains

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 11:03 |
Rwandan Minister of Environment Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya (R) speaks at a press conference in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, Dec. 18, 2019. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)


The Rwandan government on Wednesday said it has evacuated close to 6,000 residents from high-risk zones in different parts of the country threatened by heavy rains in the first three weeks of December.

Some 4,000 of them are staying with their relatives, 1,500 living in government-rented houses while about 300 others being temporarily sheltered in schools, Minister of Local Government Anastase Shyaka told a press conference on the evacuation.

The government assessment showed these people lived in high-risk zones to be hit by heavy rains, he said.

Although the heavy rains began to cease in the third week, disaster management and mitigation measures would be still necessary, Minister of Environment Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya said at the press conference.

Floods and landslides caused by heavy rains this year have affected 22 national roads, and 42 district roads and bridges, said Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete.

Official data showed extreme weathers have caused more than 250 deaths in the African country last year, and this year have left more than 100 people dead, some 5,000 houses damaged and more than 9,000 hectares of plantations destroyed.

In eastern Africa, at least 280 people have been killed and more than 2.8 million others affected by unusually heavy rainfall and flooding by early December this year, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (Xinhua) 

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