Floods death toll rises to 161

DODOMA: AT least 161 people have been killed and 210,000 others affected by floods and landslides following the torrential rains that have hit several parts of the country since the end of last year.

Chief Government Spokesperson Mr Mobhare Matinyi told journalists on Friday that the death toll from the floods has risen, calling upon the public to take precautions as more heavy rains are expected, especially for regions along the coast.

On April 26 of this year, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said that the heavy rain had killed 155 people and affected more than 200,000 others.

Mr Matinyi said that as of the end of April this year, 210,000 people and more than 52,000 households were affected in the regions of Dar es Salaam, Coast, Morogoro, Kagera, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Mtwara, and Lindi.

Moreover, he said 15,000 houses have been destroyed while more than 250 people were injured, instructing the regional, district and local government authorities to come up with the best model on how the students in flooded schools will be compensated in terms of the time lost for their studies. He urged families living in low-lying areas to move to higher ground.

The heavy El Niño rains, accompanied by strong winds, floods, and landslides in various parts of the country, have caused significant damage.

“These include loss of life, destruction of crops, homes, citizens’ property, and infrastructure such as roads, bridges and railways,” said
Mr Matinyi.

He called for timely alert and notification to the public on the dilapidated infrastructures and giving an alternative route to avert dangers.

Mr Matinyi said the government has issued 20,000 tonnes of relief food to flood victims in Morogoro region, especially in Kilombero, Kilosa, Mlimba, Ifakara, and Malinyi, whose houses have been surrounded by water.

“Helicopters have been distributing the relief food as the roads have been badly affected and some camps are downsizing the number of victims while in some areas the situation is still not good,” he underscored.

He said on April 27, 2024, Bushabo Ward in Kagera region experienced a mudslide in which ten houses were covered, but there were no deaths. However, 29 households’ properties and crops were affected.

TMA had forecasted that 14 regions in the country would be receiving normal to above-normal rainfall during the rainy season expected from November 2023 to April 2024.

In its weather forecast report for the season last November, TMA said the torrential rains could lead to excessive soil moisture, flooding and crop damage.

The affected regions include the southern part of Morogoro, Iringa, Lindi, Singida, and Dodoma; the northern part of Kigoma, Rukwa, and Tabora; and Njombe, Songwe, Rukwa, Mbeya, and the northern part of Katavi.

TMA’s Weather Expert Ms Joyce Makwata had said that the first half of the season (November to January) is expected to be wetter than the second half (February to April).

She had also noted that the seasonal rainfall is expected to be influenced by El-Nino.

Ms Makwata urged the public to exercise caution and assured that TMA will maintain 24-hour monitoring of the weather, providing regular updates to the public.

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