A week after the devastating floods in Rwanda which cost the lives of 131 people, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has visited the Rubavu district; one of the three most badly affected areas.
On Friday, he surveyed the damage caused by the Sebeya River and met some of the displaced people of the Inyemeramihigo camp.
Speaking to crowds, President Kagame said; “We are as sad as you are to know that you are in this terrible situation.
“You should know that we are currently doing everything we can to help you and improve the situation.”
The Rwanda Housing Authority estimates about $30m is needed to resettle displaced families after their homes were destroyed by the raging waters of the River Sebeya.
More than 9,000 people were left homeless after rivers of mud swept through villages and cut off roads following heavy rain in several parts of the East African nation.
The President last visited the region in 2021 when it was hit by the erupting Nyiragongo volcano.
Local people welcomed President Kagame.
Byukusenge Emmanuel, a displaced person in the Inyemeramihigo camp, said: “This visit (of Rwandan President Paul Kagame) is a great joy for us, because he has come to show us his solidarity.
“He has come to show us that we are not alone in this disastrous situation.”
Musabinema Divine who is also stain in the camp, added: “In this camp we have no problems.
“The children have milk, biscuits, there is food for the adults too. We also have toilets. We are treated well here.”
The Sebeya River was the first site visited by President Kagame when he arrived in Rubavu, accompanied by ministers and local leaders
An emergency fund has been set up for members of the public and Rwandan diaspora to contribute to the relief operation.
In May 2020, at least 65 people died in Rwanda as heavy rains pounded the region while more than 200 people died in floods and landslides in the first four months of 2018.
This week more than 170 people died after heavy rains and flooding in eastern DR Congo.
Experts say extreme weather events are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change.