Vacate flood-prone areas, Samia says

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed all citizens to leave dangerous flood-prone areas as El Nino rains continue to wreak havoc in Dar es Salaam and other coastal areas.

She made the statement during the installation service of the elected Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT), Dr Alex Malasusa, which was held in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Samia said the impact of heavy rainfall has been felt in different areas across the country as previously forecasted by the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), adding it was important for citizens to move from areas prone to floods.

In different parts of the Dar es Salaam, on Sunday roads were flooded following the rainfall which started at around 7 am, making them impassable and leading to transport chaos.

Houses in flood-prone areas were submerged forcing the dwellers to flee their houses to save their lives.

The President said she has directed key ministries including the Ministry of Energy, water, health and the Ministry of Work to respond timely to the effects brought about by climate change including floods which require emergency services.

Dr Samia said she had also ordered the Fire and Rescue Force to be on standby to provide emergency service whenever needed in areas affected by climate change including flooding.

She also extended condolences to all families who have lost their loved ones due to heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the United Nations (UN) has pledged to strengthen the National Disaster Committee in the country through, among others, capacitating employees with rescue skills.

Mr Majaliwa said after talking with UN’s General Secretary Mr Antonio Guterres in Kampala, Uganda.

Mr Majaliwa is in Kampala on behalf of President Dr Samia at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of 77 (G77) plus China summits.

He said in his talks with Mr Guterres, they touched on key issues including the disaster that occurred in Hanang District, Manyara Region.

Hanang District was hit by floods and landslides killing 89 people and injuring other 139. Some 261 houses were affected apart from the displacement of key infrastructures including roads, water and electricity.

Mr Majaliwa briefed the General Secretary, Mr Guterres on how the National Disaster Committee handles natural calamities when occur.

In another development, Mr Majaliwa said Mr Guterres was pleased with Tanzania’s progress in protecting refugees saying the UN will provide support for returning refugees whose country is currently peaceful.

He said the refugees were encouraged to return to their countries to join their fellow citizens in building their economies.

Premier Majaliwa explained that the UN leader thanked Tanzania for the way it helps other nations, including sending its soldiers to participate in peacekeeping missions.

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