Unite in grief: mobile companies set aside business interests

MANYARA, Hanang: FOUR mobile operators on Wednesday put their commercial business aside to come to the aid of victims of Hanang’s mudflow disaster.

Through their umbrella of Tanzania Mobile Network Operators Association (TAMNOA) Vodacom Tanzania, Tigo, Halotel and Airtel, the quartet donated heavy blankets, bathing and washing soaps, cooking oil, cartons of water and sacks of rice.

The donation by the mobile phone companies worth 240m/- have been handed over to the victims who are currently sheltered at three designated camps in Hanang District.

“We are here in solidarity to comfort and console our fellow Tanzanians following the deadly mudslide”, explained Mr Andrew Temu, Vodacom’s Northern Zone Manager who also doubles as TAMNOA Chairperson.

According to Mr Temu the gesture demonstrates the Mobile operators’ closeness to members of the public.

Apart from the humanitarian aid, the mobile operators also offered free internet bandwidths to Hanang residents, a day after the disaster to facilitate communication.

“We thought it wise to give the bundles for free, mindful that some families were in desperate search of their loved ones in the wake of the calamity”, he added.

In her rejoinder, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office (Policy Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs) Jenista Mhagama thanked the mobile operators for the support, saying it had come timely as Hanang residents were still coming to terms with the shocking tragedy.

She urged the association to continue remembering the victims even as they continue picking up pieces from last weekend’s deadly mudslide.

The official death toll stands at 70 with 116 injured, but still many residents remain unaccounted-for.

At least 1,150 households and 5,600 people have been affected where a total 750 acres of farmland have been destroyed.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who had to cut short her official trip in Dubai where she was attending the COP28 climate conference, is expected to arrive here today to have a glimpse of the harrowing situation.

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