Floods kill 65 in Rwanda as heavy rains pound East Africa
May 8, 2020 12:42 AM
Floods have left 65 dead in Rwanda and heavy rains swept away scores of houses, several bridges and farms, the government said Thursday, as similar scenes played out across East Africa.
In Kenya, floods and landslides have killed nearly 200 people in the past month, while Uganda's Lake Victoria has overflown, submerging houses, a hospital and bridges and displacing thousands.
"Heavy rains that poured Wednesday night caused a number of disasters," Rwanda's ministry of emergency management said in a statement on Thursday.
"Up until midnight, 65 death cases had been registered due to floods. The rains also led to damage of infrastructure like roads, 91 houses, 5 bridges and several farms were swept away by the floors," said the statement.
In April 20 people were killed in flooding in Rwanda.
In Kenya, four teenagers drowned on Thursday after a river burst its banks, a day after the government announced 194 people had been killed due to floods and landslides since the rainy season began in April, and large areas of farmland and water infrastructure destroyed.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday wrote on Twitter that Lake Victoria was near record levels.
"Encroachers on Lake Victoria and (its) river banks should vacate before they are swallowed by the water because you're in its way" he said.
The Red Cross issued a statement Thursday saying thousands were displaced in Uganda after two rivers burst their banks, and a major hospital in western Kasese had partly been submerged by water.
Ugandan MP Alex Byarugaba from Isingiro, a border district with Tanzania, told AFP Thursday: "We lost four people after the heavy rains in last four days pounded the district. Some were buried by the flash floods which have displaced over 5,000 people".
Somalia has also experienced flooding in several areas, with six people killed in northeastern Puntland last month.