The Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, yesterday received 1bn/- for Kagera earthquake victims as development partners have pledged to provide technology on disaster preparedness.
The 1bn/- contribution was from public servants and public institutions and other stakeholders for people in Kagera Region who were affected by the earthquake, which occurred on September 10.
Chief Secretary (CS), Ambassador John Kijazi, presented the cheque to the PM in Dar es Salaam yesterday, saying the sum was raised by public servants as the exercise to collect more donations was still going on.
“We believe that the money will to some extent support the victims though it cannot cater for all their needs due to the massive damage caused by the earthquake.
But it can do some good,” he remarked. Earlier yesterday morning, the premier received 40m/- as relief aid to victims of the earthquake, assuring Tanzanians that the money will go directly to sufferers and their families.
Mr Majaliwa said victims should stop worrying as there was close monitoring of the contributions, adding that each of them has been recorded. The China Hennan International Cooperation Group Company Limited (CHICCO) and Indian Business Forum (IBF) each gave 20m/- as the prime minister assured all registered victims of assistance as proper procedures for such exercise were in place.
The tremor, which occurred on September 10 and measuring at 5.7 on the Richter scale, killed 17 and left 440 others injured. The quake also destroyed 2,063 houses while 14,081 others were damaged.
The premier said the construction of the two secondary schools – Ihungo and Nyakato - that were completely damaged by the 5.7 scale quake has also commenced yesterday, promising that students will resume their studies soon.
Mr Majaliwa commended all people who contributed relief aid, including cash donations to assist the victims, adding that the door was still open for more contributions as there was a lot to be done in the area.
He further said that the contributions were of great assistance in addressing the earthquake impacts, reiterating that all the support should be sent through the Prime Minister’s Office and the Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), which had only one committee dealing with the matter.
From Bukoba, Pius Rugonzibwa reports that Tanzania has received a number of offers from development partners and international institutions that are set to impart technologies on quake and related emergency preparedness.
The offers have come in as the government is also set to deploy a team of experts for special psychological and mental rehabilitation to the staff of the institutions affected by the tremor.
Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Minister, Professor Joyce Ndalichako, told the ‘Daily News’ in an exclusive interview here on Monday that the challenges from the quake have come together with a number of opportunities the country should embrace.
She said her ministry had initiated special tasks with some partners on the emergency preparedness arrangements, adding that although the country had its local experts, it was crucial for it to be well-equipped with more skilled and experienced experts.
“We have already received commitments from a number of international partners on this crucial subject, which badly need to be able to contain these calamities more effectively in the future.
And on Wednesday (today), we are going to have another session with some of them,” she said. On the treatment of staff and students in various schools that suffered psychological torture as a result of the quake, Prof Ndalichako said experts from the University of Dar es Salaam will be asked to conduct training of trainers who will undertake the rehabilitation programme.
She admitted that although the arrangement was new, the country had trained many experts in the field and that it was the right time they were fully utilised to provide a remedy to the affected members, particularly in the learning institutions - to start with. Counselling services have been deemed important for schools that were badly injured by the tremor - to pave a way for more learning and teaching programmes, she affirmed.
While final expert opinions are awaited from the Geology Survey of Tanzania (GST) whose experts have camped here since the occurrence of the earthquake, the minister said that it has been decided that all damaged infrastructure will be rehabilitated and built afresh, using technology able to overcome quake effects.
“All the agencies have been thoroughly involved in this arrangement and already the Tanzania Building Agency has promised to comply through its chief executive officer,” said the minister. Another agency, Ardhi University has also been asked to prepare designs of the required buildings to suit the demand.
Prof Ndalichako expressed her disappointment with the Kagera Regional Education Office for failing to furnish her with reliable data on the affected schools in the entire region, ordering officers to work on the matter and hand her a detailed report by yesterday evening.
However, she said from the available data, at least ten schools were completely or seriously damaged, including the popular Ihungo, Nyakato and Rugambwa secondary schools.
Already, a team of around 100 engineers and technicians from the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) has been deployed at the schools for site clearance ready for their fresh construction each expected to cost more than 5bn/-.