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El Niño-induced Heavy Rains Leave 155 People Dead in Tanzania

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa says the ongoing torrent has also destroyed over 51,000 homes and affected over 200,000 people nationwide.

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Dar es Salaam. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told the parliament on Thursday that the ongoing El Niño-induced heavy rains in Tanzania have killed 155 people across the country, with 51,000 households destroyed, affecting over 200,000 people nationwide.

Mr Majaliwa said that 236 other people have been injured thanks to the ongoing floods in the country, which apart from being responsible for the killing of dozens of people, have also destroyed key infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and market buildings, among others.

Majaliwa, who doubles as Ruangwa MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi—CCM), said areas of the country that have been severely hit by heavy rains that started in October 2023 include Rufiji and Kibiti in the Pwani region, Malinyi, Mlimba, Kilosa, Morogoro municipal, and Ifikara in the Morogoro region and Ilala, Kinondoni, Ubungo, Kigamboni, and Temeke in Dar es Salaam.

Other areas include Same, Hai and Moshi in Kilimanjaro; Mbarali, Kyela and Mbeya municipality in Mbeya; Kigoma Ujiji municipality and Kakonko in Kigoma; Iringa rural in Irnga; Tabora municipality in Tabora; Bahi in Dodoma; Lindi municipality, Kilwa, Liwale and Nachingwea in Lindi; Masasi in Mtwara; and Arusha city, Monduli and Karatu in Arusha.

Other areas are Muleba and Bukoba municipality in Kagera; Shinyanga municipality in Shinyanga; Geita town, Nanywale and Chato in Geita; Mbozi na Momba in Songwe; Nkasi, Sumbawanga and Kalambo in Rukwa; and Hanang in Manyara.

READ MORE: How Do We Face Natural Disasters?

“Madam Speaker, let me use this opportunity once again to extend my sincere condolences to the victims of heavy rains that continue in the country,” Mr Majaliwa said in the parliament. “I urge everyone to take all necessary precautions during this rainy reason.”

Tanzania is among several other East African countries that have been hit hard by El Niño-induced heavy rains, causing multiple casualties and severe other damages. Other countries affected by the deluge include Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

Mr Majaliwa associated the ongoing flooding in Tanzania with the effects of climate change and environmental destruction, which leads to global warming and its associated effects, including heavy rains.

In his address to the parliament on Thursday, Mr Majaliwa urged pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution when walking down the flooded streets, pleading with them to be patient and wait until the streets have somehow dried up.

He called on the disaster management committees at district levels to stay vigilant and prepared to respond to emergencies when reported, directing them to develop proper strategies and mechanisms that would allow them to carry out such tasks successfully. 

READ MORE: Welcome to Tanzania, Where El Kura Is More Important Than El Nino

Mr Majaliwa said authorities at both local and national levels are taking several measures to address challenges associated with the ongoing heavy rains, including undertaking mass education campaigns on precautionary measures and fixing broken infrastructures.

“The government has also provided humanitarian aid to affected people, including food, construction materials, and sanitation tools,” the premier told the parliament. “Several other measures are being taken by the government and partners, including rescue, food and shelters.”

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