HEAVY rains wreaked havoc in the Dar es Salaam and some parts of the country last week, destroying properties, road infrastructure and claiming lives of a number of people.
The death toll caused by the rains in the city was last known to have risen to four when the rains stopped on Thursday. Various leaders within the city were quoted by the media explaining how the rains had ravaged their areas of jurisdiction.
However, what is disturbing is that the Kinondoni District Commissioner, Ally Hapi, said two people had died, over 100 houses collapsed while 700 were submerged.
He gave these statistics after touring the affected areas in his district and went on to say that some of these effects were caused by some people who constructed their houses within 60 metres from rivers contrary to the laws.
After the tour, he directed ward executives to make sure all people whose houses are within that range to vacate for their safety. It is unfortunate that people continue to dice with death due to arrogance.
The authorities at all levels of leadership have been pushing for all the people who erected their houses in valleys and near river banks to demolish and vacate the areas for their safety, but their pleas have been falling on deaf ears.
What is disturbing, however, is that the problem of floods submerging and destroying houses occurs every rainy season. It is well known fact that whenever heavy rains pound the city, then there will be a group of people who will be rendered homeless.
And, the first thing they do is to cry foul, blaming the same leaders they refused to listen to for failure to help them. This problem has been perennial and has to be brought to an end. Wananchi should complement government efforts to safeguard their welfare.
People should take heed of the leaders’ call and shun areas that put their lives in danger whenever it rains. This vicious circle has to end. What baffles one’s mind is that every time the TMA gives out warnings about imminent heavy rains, people seem to never care.
They will continue living in flood prone areas until it is too late hence unnecessary loss of lives and destruction of property. All these can be prevented if people could take heed of the weather forecasts and all the warnings that are made.
It is high time we join hands and prevent unnecessary deaths and loss of life. This is achievable though if people respect the country’s laws, cooperate with government and adhere to advice and weather forecasts from TMA.