Photograph — Thierry Falise—LightRocket/Getty Images

Unfortunate events have followed the extreme rainfall in Rwanda in the past few months. The loss of lives and property, in addition to severe fatalities that have now become a norm in the East African country in recent times.

Over the weekend, landslides as a result of heavy rains killed at least 18 people in Rwanda’s Northern and Western province. The government confirmed these deaths, which means the total number of people who have died from landslides have reached over 200 since January this year.

The rainfall has been aboveboard this year. “The four months have been far worse than other years. This is terrifying,” Philippe Habinshuti, from the disaster management ministry, told Reuters.

Interior Minister, Francis Kaboneka said that residents in areas which the government had identified as “high risk” were asked to leave. But unfortunately, may people didn’t heed the government’s warning and this resulted in loss of more lives.

Rwanda isn’t well known for landslides but only recently, especially in the years with above normal rainfall and high increase in population per kilometer square, the loss of life and property from landslides and mud flows is increasing.
Rwanda, also known as “the land of a thousand hills”, is one of Africa’s most densely populated countries. Photo credit: Rwandan Red cross
Heavy rain caused the Sebeya River to burst its banks, flooding Kanama, Rugerero and Nyundo in Rubavu District. Photo credit: Rwanda Red Cross
Nearly 10,000 homes, 58 roads and seven churches were destroyed, the Rwandan disaster management ministry said. Photo credit: Rwanda Red Cross
On Monday, people dug through mud searching for missing people in the western province, where three people were missing and six injured. Floods and landslides in Karongi, Western Province, Rwanda, May 2018. Photo credit: Rwanda Red cross.
Landslides and floods had hit several parts of Rwanda between 07 and 08 May 2016 after a period of heavy rainfall. Over 49 deaths and 500 buildings were completely destroyed then. Photo credit: Government of Rwanda.
Every year, rainfall has become a sour point and a curse to these Rwandans. The government must surely do more than warn these residents to evacuate their homes and fields whenever there’s rainfall.


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