Tanzania:Government response to quake victims thrills religious leaders

Published by Daily News
On 26 September 2016 saa 02:03
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Religious leaders have commended the government’s rapid response to the quake damages, with the Catholic church dedicating its countrywide offerings at yesterday’s masses to support the victims.

Speaking at different occasions, the leaders said they were encouraged by the response, notwithstanding limited country expertise on how to deal with natural calamities like earthquakes.

Bukoba Catholic Diocese Bishop Desderius Rwoma and the Ahmadiya Community leader in Tanzania Sheikh Waseem Ahmad Khan said in separate interviews with the Daily News that the country needs to go extra mile in countering such disastrous occurrences in future.

“I am so far satisfied with the government efforts, which have managed to mobilise various partners to donate for the victims of this historical disaster in our region. However, there is a room for improvement in some aspects,” said Bishop Rwoma.

As different aid keep flowing in for the quake victims from all corners of the country and beyond borders, the Catholic church through the Catholic Secretariat had directed all the dioceses to dedicate offerings during the Sunday mass last week towards supporting the victims.

The Bishop said the church was readily available to support the government efforts, adding already its organisation Caritas, was mobilising various aids for the victims. Bishop Rwoma said it was crucial for all well wishers to join hands to ensure sufficient resources are mobilised, contributed and supplied to the victims, proposing the representation of some entities that made donations to witness the distribution exercise if they wished to do so.

“There were mixed feelings when it was announced that only the Regional Commissioner was responsible for overseeing the contribution and distribution of the aids. In my opinion, representatives of other organisations could also be allowed to witness the exercise for the sake of transparency,” he said.

As the aid and other humanitarian assistance are required to reach all the needy equally and timely, Bishop Rwoma cautioned people with vested interests to stay away from the exercise. On his side, Sheikh Khan said the quake calamity was a wakeup call that the human beings should return to God and repent instead of shifting blames.

Sheikh Khan whose Community donated different items worth 6m/- for the victims said cheap politics had no chance in dealing with the emergency.

Another leader who visited and consoled the victims over the weekend was Chadema member of the Central Committee and 2015 presidential candidate Edward Lowassa who challenged the media to expand the coverage of the calamity to attract more attention and aids.

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Houses damaged following a 5.7-magnitude earthquake in Bukoba region in northwest Tanzania.