Rwanda: 183 acres of crops destroyed by rain

APA - Kigali (Rwanda)

Scores of houses and 183 acres of banana plantation and maize were washed away as heavy rain lashed Kirehe, a district in southeastern Rwanda near the border with Tanzania earlier this week, district officials revealed on Friday.

According to the officials, homes, a health  facility, electrical installations and one local church were destroyed  or badly damaged due to the downpour and that hit parts of this region.

"The downpours were characterised by strong winds that ripped off roofs" from 52 houses leaving several people homeless," said Modeste Nzirabatinya, the Executive Secretary of Nasho Sector in Kirehe district. 

The disaster hit the region after the Rwanda Meteorology Agency issued a warning earlier this month that moderate rains mixed with violent winds which could lead to floods and  landslides were expected in some parts of the country between September  and December.

Reports by the weather department indicate that the western and southern regions are also expected to witness high rainfall while in the Eastern Province, the highest rainfall is expected in Nyagatare, Gatsibo and Kirehe districts.

Latest official estimates indicate that 41 people had been killed while more than 160 others were injured across Rwanda by disasters triggered by heavy rains since March 2018.

The disasters, including floods and lightning, also killed more than 600 domestic animals, destroyed property including more than 3,000 houses, school structures and more than 1,700 hectares of plantations, it said.

Studies show that disasters triggered by rains in Rwanda cause Rwf200 billion (about US$220 million) in economic loss per year, which is 10 percent of the total national budget.

The Rwandan government says it is targetting to irrigate 102,000 hectares by 2024, up from the current 50,000 hectares, to reduce weather induced agricultural losses.


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