Rwanda mourns as flood death toll reaches 130

By Laureen Fagan - 4 May 2023 at 4:01 pm
Rwanda mourns as flood death toll reaches 130

The death toll in Rwanda has risen to 130 following heavy rain and floods that devastated parts of the country’s northwest and southern regions earlier this week.

Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente visited the Rubavu District to attend funeral services and assist families on Wednesday. It is one of the nine hardest-hit districts following forecasts of higher than usual rainfall for the month of May, which is normally between 50 and 200 millimeters of rain, according to Meteo Rwanda.

A statement from President Paul Kagame’s office said that people displaced by the deluge on Tuesday night are receiving assistance from the military and other government agencies. Humanitarian aid groups say two main roads remain impassable due to flooding and landslides.

“My deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the landslides and floods,” Kagame said.  “We are doing everything within our means to address this difficult situation. I am personally following up the response closely.”

At least six people also died in floods affecting neighboring Uganda. In Kenya, helicopter pilots with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescued a truck driver from flash floods that trapped him on the Galana-Kulalu causeway in the country’s south.

Other countries in the region, including Burundi and Somalia, also have experienced flooding disasters in recent weeks, in some cases after facing years of extreme drought.

“Extreme weather events are not slowing down – the population is exhausted from battling a debilitating drought, and now wading through life-threatening flood waters,” said Sarah Borchers, head of the World Food Program at Kenya’s massive Dadaab refugee camp.

Image: Rwanda PM


Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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