Torrential rains hit Tanzania

08 May, 2019 - 00:05 0 Views
Torrential rains hit Tanzania

The Herald

ARUSHA. — Incessant rains have wreaked havoc in eastern and coastal areas of Tanzania due to flooded roads, which in some areas has destroyed people’s properties and some people are forced to close business.

Tanga is one of the regions which are highly affected with rains in the East African nation.

Reports said some districts like Lushoto in Tanga Region have no connection with the regional headquarters as the roads are impassable due to floods, caused by fast-flowing water from mountains that end up turning the road into a river.

Bukoba residents in western northern Tanzania are stranded after flood swept road and bridge at Kemondo, Bukoba-Geita highway in Kagera region on Friday evening following heavy rainfall in Tanzania. The road also connects with neighbouring Uganda.

Frasser Kashai, Tanga Regional Police Commander admitted that Lushoto-Mombo road in the region is one of the highly affected roads.

According to him, apart from floods, some of the road sections are covered by fallen trees.

The regional police chief said travelers from the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam to northern tourist capital of Arusha and vice versa were on Wednesday and Thursday stranded after water overflowed the road around Mombo and Mkumbala sections in Tanga region.

“We have stopped buses on both sides of the flooded section to avoid any risk,” Kashai said.

Later in the day (Thursday) when water began to recede, Kashai said police permitted the traffic to flow in the style of one bus at a time in slow speed.

But the regional police chief said the road will remain closed during the night for security reason.

“For security reasons, no passenger or private motor vehicles will be allowed to move across the flooded area after 7 pm (local time),” he said, adding that the decision was made to avoid catastrophe in case the downpour intensified through the night as has been the case in recent days. In Coastal Tanzania’s district of Rufiji, heavy rains have destroyed swathes of rice farms within five wards in Rufiji river delta, posing serious food security concerns in the area.

Khatibu Chaurembo, Kibiti District Council chairman identified the affected wards as Mpakakioni Kongoloni, Mtunda, Mbuchi, and Salali.

He said the council had already sent a team of experts to conduct evaluation exercise on how to assist the victims who need assistance.

“Rice farmers always celebrate pours but we have never experienced destructive rains like this for the past 10 years,” he said.

The chair added that the council would meet the district and regional disaster coordination committees to see how to bring assistance to farmers who have suffered huge losses after investing fortunes that have now gone with the floods.

In Tanzania’s eastern region of Morogoro, reports cited three districts of Kilombero, Mahenge, and Malinyi as the highly affected with floods, where some places rendered people homeless and roads impassable.

Ulrich Matei, Morogoro Regional Police Commander admitted on the impacts of floods, though he had no figures of people who are homeless and those who have died across the region.

The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has said that periods of heavy rainfall are likely to continue in some parts of the country especially the coastal strip during the month of May.

According to its monthly forecast, showers with occasional thunderstorms are expected over some areas in the regions of Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Coast as well as in Unguja and Pemba Islands.

Ladislaus Chang’a, TMA Director of research and applied meteorology has urged the public to take precautions ahead of the rains that may lead to another wave of water-related diseases. — Xinhua.

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