RUFIJI, KIBITI FLOODS: Govt pours relief aid

  • Assures maximum support to victims

COAST REGION: THE government has guaranteed maximum and close support to flood victims in Rufiji and Kibiti districts, Coast region as it began providing relief aid to individuals who are in dire need of essential services, including shelter, food and healthcare.

Earlier reports indicated that the ongoing heavy rainfall in Rufiji and Kibiti districts, Coast Region has caused widespread devastation, leaving more than 88,000 individuals in dire need of the vital services.

A team of ministers led by Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliament, and Coordination), Ms Jenista Mhagama visited one of the floods’ affected areas in Rufiji and Kibiti on Wednesday to address the challenges.

Minister Mhagama said that the government has already begun providing food aid, such as maize flour and beans, to the affected residents noting that sufficient food will be distributed. She urged the regional and district leaders to ensure the proper distribution of the food aid to the affected people.

“Our responsibility is to ensure your safety and availability of basic services. We do not expect anyone to lose life while we have the means, except when it is beyond our capabilities,” she pointed out.

Adding: “As you have heard that we are here with the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs with his rescue team and Minister for Defence and National Service and your safety is in their hands. Minister Mhagama said that one of the directives given by President Samia Suluhu Hassan is to ensure that the flood affected citizens receive prompt services, including healthcare.

Furthermore, Minister Mhagama explained that the government, through the Ministry of Health, has already deployed its health personnel to provide medical services and ensure health safety to prevent outbreak of diseases.

She said Minister for Community Development, Gender, Children, and Persons with Disabilities and experts from the docket are also at the area to provide social services, adding that the team will also be dispatched to other areas in the country which have been affected by floods.

“We do not want to see outbreak of diseases, so we have instructed the responsible ministries, and they have arrived here to serve the victims before going to other areas,” said Ms Mhagama.

Minister further said that she will continue to instruct healthcare personnel and social welfare and community development professionals, along with the Minister for Community Development, to identify people, who fall in special groups, including expectant mothers, widows, children, and the elderly who require immediate assistance during this period.

“We are directing these sectors to ensure the distribution of preventive medicines to control eruption of diseases and provision of clean and safe water, both within and outside the camps,” she said.

Furthermore, she urged the victims to make sure that they seek alternative ways to build temporary shelters in order to make way for the school infrastructure, which is being used as sanctuary in the provision of educational activities.

She also mentioned that the floods have caused significant damage to the electricity infrastructure, and a team of experts from the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) is conducting assessments to identify and promptly address the issues to ensure that life returns to normalcy.

Speaking during the Eid Baraza fete in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, President Samia extended her message of comfort the people affected by floods in the Region, and assured them with the government support in addressing the challenges they face.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa, during the Iftar for staff of the Prime Minister’s office and associated institutions at his office in Mlimwa, Dodoma issued the directives for the team of ministers to rush to the flood affected area and join a group of experts evaluating the impact of floods in the two districts.

Out of the 13 wards in Rufiji, 12 have been affected by the floods. Assessments have revealed that 23,000 households have been affected, with a total of 88,000 individuals in need of essential services such as shelter, food and healthcare.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Committee led by Minister Mhagama yesterday visited other areas affected by floods in Mlimba Council in Kilombero District, Morogoro Region.

Speaking to residents in Mlimba B village, she assured them of the government’s support in addressing the challenges caused by floods following ongoing heavy rains in various parts of the country.

She said that the government will make sure that it promptly restores damaged infrastructures like roads, bridges, water and electricity, as well ensure availability of food and health services.

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