First Lady Jeannette Kagame visits disaster-affected families in Ngororero, on Friday, May 26, one of the districts affected by floods and landslides earlier this month.

The flash floods and landslides caused by heavy rains of May 2-3, killed 135 people, and displaced more than 20,000 people in Northern, Southern and Western provinces.

A total of 23 people were killed in Ngororero District.

The First Lady visited an emergency site at Rususa Catholic parish in Ngororero Sector, where more than 500 people displaced by the disasters are hosted. There are 14 emergency sites in Ngororero, accommodating more than 3,500 people, including 345 children under five.

The First Lady met with the bereaved families and gave her condolences.

“Today, we have come to see you with a message of strength,” she said.

“Although we are meeting in such tough times, following the unusual floods and landslides that affected Western and Northern provinces, at least we are happy to see that you are now safe and life has begun to return to normal.”

The First Lady also visited an emergency early childhood development (ECD) centre, where some 35 children under five get daily care.

She commended emergency response efforts coordinated by the government and its partners to support the affected communities.

The First Lady also sent her condolences to people in the other districts who lost their loved ones.

Ngororero residents thanked the First Lady for her visit and told her that the humanitarian support they got after the disasters reassured them that the country’s leadership cares about every citizen.

“On the night of May 2, we had unusually heavy rains, which destroyed our properties and killed people. The President comforted us in the aftermath of the tragedy and we felt relieved because we got the emergency support on time, and we were given food. We are happy to see you come to visit us,” said Vedaste Nzahomunyurwa, a resident of Kavumu sector.

“I was hesitant to leave my old place of residence because it was the land of my father and grandfather, but after the recent disasters I advise everyone who lives in a risky area to relocate to a safer place,” he said.

Over 7,000 families to be resettled

Minister of Local Government, Jean Claude Musabyimana, thanked the First Lady for the visit and her support to the children affected by the disasters through Imbuto Foundation.

Musabyimana said up to 7,900 families in the affected districts will be resettled in Rubavu, Rutsiro, Karongi, Ngororero, Nyabihu and Burera.

“We are planning on how all the affected people can return to their normal lives,” Musabyimana said, adding that new resettlement sites in all the affected districts have been identified.