President Emmerson Mnangagwa has conveyed a message of condolence to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in the aftermath of the country’s recent deadly floods and mudslides.
The disaster occurred after heavy rains hit the steep and hilly country, leading to widespread devastation of homes and infrastructure, particularly in the Western Province bordering Lake Kivu.
The government is currently counting the costs of the disaster, with families preparing to bury their dead.
In his statement, President Mnangagwa expressed deep sorrow at the tragedy, which he described as “tremendous and unbelievably horrific.”
He further noted that Rwanda had previously suffered similar tragedies in 2019 and 2020, adding that the latest calamity compounds the increasingly regular cycle of natural disasters, emphasizing the urgency of a comprehensive and collaborative African strategy against climate change-induced vulnerabilities.
The President also pledged Zimbabwe’s support to Rwanda, stating that the country stands by its neighbor during this hour of great grief and need. Zimbabwe is already mobilizing support to help mitigate the natural disaster.
The Rwandese government is racing to provide emergency supplies to the worst-hit areas, where evacuees are sheltering in tents until the rain stops.
With fear of further mudslides and flooding, they have been advised to remain in the tents, with the rivers still raging and the land unstable.
The government has also announced plans to compensate each family for every relative killed in the disaster.
East Africa often suffers from deadly weather during the rainy seasons, and Uganda has also suffered in recent days, with six people reported dead in a landslide.