Relief operations are underway in Rwanda. At least 50 people have been killed and hundreds left homeless when heavy rains triggered a massive landslide. CCTV’s Michael Baleke traveled to Gakenke, a village in the north where dozens died.
Future looks grim for Rwandan landslide survivorsRelief operations are underway in Rwanda. At least 50 people have been killed and hundreds left homeless when heavy rains triggered a massive landslide. CCTV’s Michael Baleke traveled to Gakenke, a village in the north where dozens died.
Washed away bridges, trees snapped like twigs, and more than 500 homes flattened; Gakenke village, north of the capital Kigali, where 34 people have died when a heavy landmass mixed with soil and water came down this hill, washing away everything in its path.
The hilly area around Gakenke has long been vulnerable to landslides during the rainy season. But what happened this weekend has stunned survivors. Survivor Charles Mubirigi witnessed the disaster as it happened.
“It all started as a light drizzle on Saturday evening. The rains increased into the night we were woken up by a loud bang in the early hours of Sunday morning part of our village broke away into the valley killing six of my neighbors,’ Mubirigi said.
For the survivors, the future looks grim.
“We have lost everything our animals and all our crop washed away downhill we have no food our children fear to go to school because of the collapsing soils,” Florence Akampir, a survivor, said.
Two days on, roads are being cleared and the government says relief operations are ongoing. Already, families have received basic support kits.
The government says it is seeking to prevent further deaths and plans to relocate people from high-risk areas like Gakenke.
But more than 30 people, many of them children, will never get the chance to leave.