Tanzania:Heavy rains leave countrywide trail of destruction, deaths

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On 14 March 2017 saa 09:36
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Heavy rains yesterday pounded in different parts of the country, killing two and destroying infrastructure, crops, houses and livestock.

In Dar es Salaam, rains wreaked havoc in the morning destroying roads and houses rendering them inaccessible, while in Morogoro more than 1,800 people were left homeless as rains ‘washed’ away their houses. In Kaliuwa District, Tabora Region, two children died after they were struck by lightning during heavy rains that were accompanied by thunderstorm.

A snap survey conducted by the ‘Daily News’ witnessed flash floods in different parts of Dar es Salaam, including flooded houses and roads creating long traffic jams while in other areas people were forced to carry their clothes in plastic bags and cross flooded roads in their underpants.

The downpour which lasted for more than five hours caused flashfloods in areas such as Mwenge, Mikocheni, Mbezi Beach, Sinza Tandale, Mwananyamala, Jangwani and Kinyerezi areas forcing hundreds out of their homes. In Morogoro, floods caused by rains that have been pounding the region since March 2, this year, have rendered 1,892 people homeless after some of the houses were swept away and others flooded with water in four wards of Sali, Ruaha, Cholombola and Euga in Ulanga District. The floods also destroyed six bridges linking the wards in the region.

In a briefing report during an emergency meeting of the disaster management team in the district, the Executive Director of the Committee, Yusuf Semgurka, said the rains that started early this month destroyed property, road infrastructure and livestock.

While inspecting the damage caused by the rains, the Chairperson of the Disaster Management Committee who is also the Ulanga District Commissioner (DC), Jacob Kasembe, called for patience from the public as the government works to restore affected services.

Early this month, Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) Director General, Dr Agness Kijazi, warned on the possibility of flash floods during this rainy season where rains are expected in most parts of the country.

The TMA chief said there will be ‘enough’ rains in the country before urging farmers to seize the opportunity and increase crop yield. But, she also warned the disaster management unit and respective authorities to be on high alert over possibilities of flash floods.

During TMA’s weather outlook, Dr Kijazi said areas that normally receive both short and long rains which include the Lake Victoria Basin; Kagera, Mara, Mwanza, Geita, Simiyu and Shinyanga will receive average to above average rains.

The Northern Coast: Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Tanga regions, the isles of Unguja and Pemba and the Northeastern highlands of Kilimanjaro, Manyara and Arusha will receive average and below average rains.

Dr Kijazi explained that the November to April rains, in regions that have one rainfall season a year such as Western, Southern and Central regions, Southwestern highlands and Southern Coast areas, will continue to receive rains that will be average in most areas and above average in Njombe, Songwe, Ruvuma, Mtwara, Lindi and Mahenge in Southern Morogoro.

Source:Daily News