Heavy rain, floods, and landslides have claimed the lives of at least 129 people in Rwanda and six in Uganda, according to authorities. Rescuers are searching for survivors who may be trapped in their homes following weeks of rainfall in the region.
One video posted by the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency depicted muddy waters rushing down a flooded road, destroying houses in the process. In the Karongi district in western Rwanda, at least 16 people died, leaving local residents in shock.
115 people have been confirmed dead in Western and Northern Provinces following the heavy rains and floods last night, and the death toll is still increasing. #RBANews pic.twitter.com/6C89ubXnXk
— Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) (@rbarwanda) May 3, 2023
Alain Mukurarinda, Rwanda’s deputy government spokesperson, confirmed the death toll had risen to 129. François Habitegeko, the governor of Rwanda’s Western Province, said that their main priority is to reach damaged houses to rescue anyone trapped inside. Some survivors have been rescued and transported to hospitals.
The River Sebeya burst its banks, causing landslides and road closures. President Paul Kagame assured that the government is supporting affected individuals, including providing temporary relocations.
In the Kisoro district, a mountainous region in southwestern Uganda near the Rwandan border, at least six people lost their lives. Emergency workers have begun excavations to retrieve the bodies. Both Rwanda and Uganda have been experiencing heavy rainfall since late March, leading to landslides and floods that have destroyed homes and displaced hundreds.