Hundreds of people in Rwanda's northwestern region displaced by floods are suffering from food insecurity, a local government official has said.
"The term 'disaster' cannot really capture the suffering of the people here," Pénélope Kantarama, the governor of Western Province, said on Wednesday. "The unfolding humanitarian situation must be taken seriously. If the floods continue to threaten these people, we will have to seek humanitarian aid from other partners."
She added: "Many of the residents have lost their potatoes, beans and vegetable plantations. At least 241 people from Bigogwe and Muramba cells in the same region are particularly vulnerable and 46 other families are facing hunger."
Although the floodwaters have been receding, residents from the worst-affected areas fear more rains could aggravate their situation as they have had only a little help from humanitarian organisations and local authorities. The displaced lack adequate drinking water, soap, clothes and medical care.
The floods, in late 2006 and early this year, caused extensive damage to buildings, household property and crops in the region, submerging at least 5,000 homes and 3,000 hectares of farmland. The floodwaters caused the Sebeya River to burst its banks, causing more damage to surrounding areas.
The region's mayor, Ramadhan Barengayabo, said the floods had killed at least 24 and displaced more than 2,000 people since December 2006. The floodwaters also destroyed up to 354 homes in Rubavu and Nyabihu Districts.
The mountainous northwestern region has the largest number of flood victims, with the damage to property from the latest floods estimated at US $122,000.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
We uncovered the sex abuse scandal that rocked the WHO, but there’s more to do
We just covered a report that says the World Health Organization failed to prevent and tackle widespread sexual abuse during the Ebola response in Congo.
Our investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation triggered this probe, demonstrating the impact our journalism can have.
But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking.
We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.
The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and do more of this.