Rwanda National Police (RNP) urges the general public to be vigilant and respect weather advisories to prevent falling victim of disasters, especially in this rainy period.
RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, said that some people become victims due to “lack of compliance” to weather and disaster advisories or trying to force their way through flooded areas.
“Avoid driving or passing through floods, adhere to the Police instructions especially in areas affected by floods, follow any issued advisories, either issued by Rwanda Meteorology Agency or Rwanda National Police. Forcing your way through these floods can be fatal like we have witnessed in the past,” CP Kabera said.
He further advised motorists against using some routes, which are impassable due to life-threatening floods and roads blocked by trees.
CP Kabera advised the public to always heed the weather warning and Police instructions and “avoid areas with potential danger during heavy rains.”
The spokesperson further advised people against using bridges as shelter, to prevent being washed away by floods and struck by lightening.
“Take shelter in safer places but not under bridges, water channels or trees. Don’t be a bystander; your call could save someone’s life. Don’t undermine floods; find safer places when floods start entering your house especially when it’s raining heavily.”
CP Kabera also called for timely information sharing on disasters like floods, landslides, trees falling in middle of the road and other places where it affects movement or posing threat to people’s lives, for quick response.
For disaster response, the public are urged to always call 112 (emergency), 111 (Fire and Rescue Brigade), 113 (traffic accidents), 110 (Marine security), 0788380953, 0788311224 and 0788311155.
Road safety tips for motorists
The rainy season is here. Whereas this is a good sign to some people like farmers, it can be a hazard for motorists if no precaution is taken.
It is always advisable to take extra caution when it is raining or after it has rained. Besides dealing with heavy downpour, drivers also have to contend with likely strong winds, which call for one to exercise caution when driving in such weather.
In case you are driving or riding in the rain, it would be safer to anticipate how to deal with wet roads as well as poor visibility that characterize such weather; as usual your car should be in good condition with head and tail lights, brakes, turn signals, and windshield wipers working. Ensure that tyres are in good shape and properly inflated to contend with the slip.
Turn headlights on when it’s raining to challenge the low visibility and fog, and to signal the equally affected motorists coming from behind and those from the opposite direction.
As usual, drive in your lane, go slow, give each driver space, don’t enter flooded roads, stay alert and pull-over where necessary; exercise extra caution when overtaking because heavy rains and fog can affect your visibility.
When driving under such weather conditions, you don’t have to move at 40km/hr or 60km/hr just because the traffic signpost grants that speed; it comes back to your individual responsibility to set your rules below the set maximum speed as the weather dictates. Be a responsible driver or rider and always take safer decisions when on road.