The rainy season is here. Rain is equally a source for socio-economic development as it blesses crop production and humidifying the air. However, heavy downpour can be destructive, affect the wellbeing of the people and destroys property.
Since last month, heavy downpour destroyed at least 293 houses in different parts of the country, according to statistics from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs.
At least five people were reportedly injured, 178 hectares of crops destroyed, four churches and three school blocks, among others destroyed.
Majority affected houses were built in high risk areas, built illegally and poorly.
According to Claude Twishime, a communications specialist in the ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, some houses were destroyed by untapped water from neighbour’s houses.
He noted that preventing disasters is possible if people follow standard construction planning and do away with “poor construction planning which exposes them to windstorms, floods and mudslides.”
He urged them to harvest rainwater off rooftops to prevent destroying their neighbour’s houses and plant trees in areas prone to strong winds to act as windbreakers.
“We just want to make sure everyone is safe at all times; we appeal to the general public to take safety precaution and implement government safety policies to prevent such disasters,” Rwanda National Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Theos Badege, said.
RNP as well as other security organs and ministries including that of Local Government and Disaster Management constitute a national disaster response committee.
ACP Badege appealed to the public to relate to safe allocated zones.