“We are still waiting for his body to float if at all the remains are still intact,” said Donata Mukanyana, whose husband was killed by a crocodile last Friday.

Mukanyana and other residents along the banks of Nyabarongo River in Kamonyi District, Southern Province, are suffering from crocodiles that prey on people and livestock. The villagers have reported frequent crocodile attacks to local authorities and said seven people this month were killed by the reptiles as they tried to fetch water from the river.

Crocodiles used to attack people along the river banks in Nyarugenge District in the capital city of Kigali, on the other side of the river. Nyarugenge authorities barred people from fetching water from the river, which helped reduce cases of such attacks.

“My husband was killed by the crocodile on a Friday morning when he had just gone to fetch water from the river for making banana brew (a local alcoholic drink). We immediately rushed to the river when we heard screams from passersby. We shouted at the crocodile so that it can release his body, but all in vain,” recalled Mukanyana, 43.

She appealed for help from the government of Rwanda to compensate her family and help cater for her six children.

Mukanyana’s husband Oreste Habamenshi, 53, was attacked by the enormous beast at 6 a.m. when he went to fetch water from the crocodile infested river.

According to Jean Marie Habimana, one of the residents, the crocodiles have been attacking people and livestock for the past years.

“If the government avails us with water near to our homes, there would be no need of going to Nyabarongo River to fetch water. We appeal for long-term and permanent solution to crocodile attacks,” he said.

To prevent further crocodile attacks, Southern Province authority cautioned the Kamonyi residents against fetching water from Nyabarongo River saying that the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) will pump water from the river and bring it closer to the residents.

Speaking to Xinhua in a phone interview, Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, Governor of Southern Province, said that she held a meeting with residents near the banks of Nyabarongo River on Monday and urged them to stop fetching water or doing any activity from the river.

“The government through Special Guarantee Fund (SGF) is set to compensate victims. We are also in talks with WASAC to extend piped water to communities along Nyabarongo River, as we look for a permanent solution to this challenge,” she noted. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/