Accident à Nyagatare

Un immeuble en construction au centre-ville de Nygatare s’est effondré hier au milieu de l’après-midi. Six personnes sont mortes. Trente autres ont été blessées.

Parmi les blessés, des piétons et de nombreux ouvriers qui ont été retrouvés sous les décombres par les sauveteurs.

Ce qui restait ce matin, mercredi, des décombres de l'immeuble écroulé...

Ce qui restait ce matin, mercredi, des décombres de l’immeuble écroulé…



Les causes de l’accident ne sont pas encore confirmées, mais on soupçonne le propriétaire de l’immeuble (de quatre étages) d’avoir voulu, en pleine construction, agrandir et modifier la structure de certaines pieces du bâtiment… Une enquête est en cours.

La ville est en deuil et pleure ses morts.

La nouvelle de l’accident s’est répandue comme une trainée de poudre dans tout le pays. Les journaux, les radios (dont la BBC) ont relayé et commenté l’événement.

Moins de deux heures après le drame, nous avons reçu un appel du bureau de VSO à Kigali qui voulait vérifier que nous étions sains et saufs. Merci, VSO!

SVP voir ci-dessous infos supplémentaires sur l’accident:

Sur la route de l'école Gashahi, mardi matin 14 mai

Sur la route de l’école Gashahi, mardi matin 14 mai

Mon collègue Daniel et moi étions hier à l’école Gashahi, dans le secteur de Mukama, afin de donner un atelier aux enseignants et à l’équipe administrative de l’établissement. Quatre heures de moto, aller-retour, depuis Nyagatare.

En compagnie de l'équipe d'enseignants de l'école Gashahi, mardi matin

En compagnie de l’équipe pédagogique de l’école Gashahi, mardi matin



Surprise monumentale ce matin devant le résultat des élections en Colombie-Britannique.

Comment un parti (le NPD), donné largement gagnant au début de la campagne électorale, peut-il, en un mois, perdre une avance de 20 points dans les sondages?

Le parti libéral a remporté hier une quatrième victoire consécutive et gagne même 5 sièges à Victoria. Le NPD en perd 3.

Le gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique sera, encore une fois, pendant les quatre prochaines années, résolument ancré au centre-droit

Consolation pour la gauche. Un candidat du parti vert a, pour la première fois, été élu député provincial, dans une circonscription de la capitale, Victoria.

Dernier constat. Les quatre provinces les plus importantes du Canada (par la population) sont maintenant dirigées par des femmes: le Québec, l’Ontario, l’Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique.

10 réflexions sur “Accident à Nyagatare

  1. I am pained to see more suffering…perhaps the training of health and safety officers, accountability standards, building codes and infrastructure would prevent future accidents. I grieve for your community in which you reside; the families affected, the people, and the morale of the community.

    Some people have been wearing black here and grieving with the recent elections…some of us have seen years of unrest =( and another 4 years of leadership that might continue to hurt communities or bring more JOY into lives of B.C. citizens…it depends on who you are talking to …empty words and promises…lack of care…I met a substitute school support worker who pays $900. a month for childcare of the couple’s one-year old son…and prices of food, vegetables, meat, eggs, and gas keep rising…and all the building and construction going on here mean more greedy developers selling tiny spaces for exorbitant prices…many teachers on base salaries pay a huge price in rent to live in tiny spaces…Being positive can keep us bouyant but there is the reality, too…

    Stay well as you can, Max. Prayers for your community.

    • Thank you, PT. The district of Nyagatare has paid for the funeral expenses and assisted the families affected by the building collapse on Tuesday. The community is still in shock. Many residents are now having a second look at the speed of development taking place in the area. Changes will likely be made in the construction and building supervision process.

  2. We were thinking of you today, and many of us who know and care about you, and your vision and commitment to education… May you continue to exercise your energetic spirit, your joy, and your humanity…We hope you have the opportunity to meet kind and caring people along the way.

    We were reminded of the role you are playing and your presence in Rwanda as we listened to an interview with Jean Vanier at 80 of L’Arche today. He spoke of « Enchanter le monde« …caring about humanity, creating places and building bridges for relationship, working together, creating places of belonging, freedom of ‘loving’ through helping others; that life is precious when there is a vision, that you are continually growing, that you have nourishment-emotional, spiritual, physical, and that justice will fall into place…In his wise way, Jean Vanier has seen a lot of ‘humanity’ as his organization of L’Arche continues to grow through its volunteers working with disabled individuals and giving them opportunities to bloom.

    Keep up the positive changes you are making. People are thirsting for change and for FREEDOM to be who they are…Do not be discouraged if the results are not quick…planting seeds is enough for today…

    • Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom, ELM, and for your support! I also have on my desk in Nyagatare a book by Jean Vanier. It’s called La communauté: lieu du pardon et de la fête… It’s a beautiful book!…
      About two months to go before the end of my contract in Rwanda. Time to take stock. Volunteering overseas is a funny business. We come, we go. What do we leave behind? New skills? New friendships and relationships? A lasting impact in the community on how to do things differently? Only time will tell. It would be interesting to return to Nyagatare in 2-3 years to assess and observe which impact our volunteer work has had in the schools…

  3. Hi Max,
    Building accidents in developing countries happen all too often. My heart goes out to the families. Construction norms, inspection of the building plans need to be stricter, it is all so preventable. In Bangladesh, even in Laval with the overpass collapse, lives are lost due to shoddy construction, corruption by the industries and the powers that over see the plans.
    You are in the final stretch and must be counting the days to your return to Vancouver and home. As with everything, the end always seems so long and to never arrive. You have invested your knowledge, your humanity, and will leave a memory to all you have reached out to. As with all teachers, you give your best to share your knowledge. As with all students, some absorb and will flourish from all they have learned and others will have forgotten it within a month, although sometimes the lessons come back to them at some time in the future. Be assured that at what ever level they have learned, you have made a difference, and can be very proud to have given a year of your life to help the schools in Rwanda.
    You have also had the opportunity to reconnect with the memories of your childhood spent near the area, and to follow in the footsteps of your Dad in helping in the development of African countries. Your parents would have been so proud of you, as your brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews are! Even the next generation are spreading their wings internationally thanks to the example of their grandparents, aunts and uncles.
    Make the most of your last weeks to take a final look and note the good memories you wish to bring back with you. God bless, Max, and may the last weeks fly by until you are once again home.

    • Thank you so much, Nancy! Your support and words of encouragement in the last nine months have been so appreciated! So has the steady feedback from many readers and the support from my brothers and from Primary Teacher, also known as Akebono.

      The last couple of weeks here have been tough. Not on the work front. But at home. Most readers know that I share a house in Nyagatare with my VSO colleague and his Rwandan spouse. What most readers don’t know is that my colleague and his spouse are both Jehovah Witnesses. What does this mean? It means « No » to celebrating birthdays or any other (Christmas, Easter) special days, « No » to gifts, « No » to a lot of things, including reading literature or most books of fiction. References to Jehovah are ongoing, seven days a week. It has been challenging.

      It is a very fine line between allowing my colleague and his spouse space at home to practice their “faith’, and allowing me to live – in the same home – a Jehovah-free existence. The house is often full of “Awake” magazines (in 3 languages), and I have had to clarify the VSO house ground rules several times.

      With about two months to go, this unexpected living/accommodation experience is thankfully about to end – as this has been one of the most difficult challenges in my placement.

  4. Dear Max,
    I read your blog this morning. My sympathy is with you. I would like to encourage you with the following quote:
    “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
    ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    You are in my thoughts. Take good care of yourself.
    See you soon

  5. Hi Max,
    I can understand your frustration at having to live in close quarters with people whose worldview is so starkly at odds with your own and who feel free to foist that worldview on others. I hope by now your limits on what you’ll put up with are firm – but of course you’re living with them, so complete avoidance is probably impossible. If you want to vent – or just talk and catch up on things – look me up on skype. I’ve sent you an email with my handle. Bon courage!

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