Kagera tremor damaged infrastructure and social service facilities will soon be restored, the government has promised, as the Catholic Church pleads for more efforts to help the victims.
President John Magufuli said here over the weekend that his government will work hard to mobilise more resources to restore infrastructure and social services, calling for the church to pray for realisation of the commitment.
The earthquake, which hit the region last month, left 17 people dead, over 250 injured and 900 houses destroyed.
In a message delivered on his behalf by Minister of Trade, Marketing and Investments Charles Mwijage, Dr Magufuli asked the bishops, priests and all people in the church leadership to communicate clear messages to the people on the quake calamity.
“It is time for more faith, prayers and work as we ask our spiritual leaders to lead our people to the proper direction, especially now when some people might lose hope and despair,” said the President.
The Catholic Church on Saturday launched the commemorations of the 100th Anniversary of Priesthood services in the country through which the first indigenous priests will be remembered and honoured.
Another commemoration is the 150th Anniversary since the introduction of the evangelisation services in Tanzania Mainland. Both events were inaugurated at Rubya Seminary where the first priests were ordained in 1917.
Kagera Regional Commissioner Salum Kijuu and other senior government officials were present at the events attended by members of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), hundreds of Priests, Nuns and thousands of worshipers.Delivering his own message, Mr Mwijage commended the RC’s move to convene special meetings every Friday to evaluate services offered to the quake victims, directing the District Commissioners emulate the RC.
The minister challenged all the Tanzanians, regardless of their religious, wealth and political differences to offer kind donations for the victims through the special bank account and mobile money transfers, using Mpesa, Tigopesa and Airtel Money lines that have already been communicated to them.
He congratulated the church for supporting the government in a number of areas, citing seven hospitals successfully run by the church out of total 14 hospitals operating in Kagera region.
He also applauded the Rubya Seminary which not only had produced Priests but other national leaders and renowned academicians.
And, in a similar occasion, Mr Mwijage reassured Muleba residents on the construction of Muleba –Kanyambogo road to the tarmac level as well as maintained medical supplies at Rubya Hospital.
The Archbishop of Mwanza Archdiocese Jude Thadeus Ruwaichi and Bukoba Auxiliary Bishop Methodius Kilaini presented condolences to the quake victims and survivors.
“We all pray hard for you to get out of this trying moments you are in and keep fingers closed for the restoration of calmness and hope for new brighter future,” said the Archbishop.
On his side, Bishop Kilaini asked for the government to support the church as it struggles to rehabilitate the damaged facilities, including the oldest church in the Diocese, Kashozi Parish church building.
The faithful yesterday gathered for special pilgrimage at the Nyakijoga shrine in Mugana Parish where according to Bishop Kilaini, special prayers were held for the nation before the Lady of Lourdes.
Nyakijoga is world famous for the miraculous powers of the healing waters blessed in the name of the Virgin Mary. Every year, thousands of pilgrims from all over the world convene at the Lourdes of Africa for prayers.
- President John Magufuli