Rwanda National Police statistics indicate that about 100 people, majority children, have drowned in the last two years across the country. The majority adult victims committed suicide due to drug abuse and drunkenness, domestic oppression and harassment.
Rwanda National Police (RNP) has called upon parents and guardians to take precaution and monitor their children against playing in water bodies and ponds, which have resulted into drowning.
According to police, other drowning incidents are caused by drunkenness and suicide triggered by domestic oppression, harassment or psychological illness.
With regards to children who have drowned, it has also been observed that such cases are common during school holidays where juveniles play in and around water bodies and swamps.
In the last two weeks, three children reportedly drowned in the City of Kigali.
According to Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, police spokesperson in Kigali, the three victims drowned in ponds including a three-year old, who had followed other children to swim in a pond in Rudiro of Kibagabaga cell in Kimironko Sector.
Two other incidents happened in Gisozi and Nyabugogo suburbs where children aged four and 15, respectively, were washed away as they were playing in a water channel.
“These are unfortunate preventable incidents. As a parent or a guardian, you should take precaution and monitor the children. It is so unfortunate that some parents in some cases don’t mind on the whereabouts of their children or what time they leave and come back home. Parents should keep a close eye on their children and educate them on dangerous places” said Supt. Hitayezu.
He, however, appealed to owners of sand mining sites, the major cause of drowning, to always cover them.
Most cases were reported in the Western Province with Nyamasheke District (15 cases) Rusizi (11 cases) and Rutsiro (seven cases) in the same region registered high incidents countrywide.
Other cases include smugglers or drug dealers that drown attempting to cross water bodies, and fishermen, whose weak boats capsized.