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Devastating floods continue to devastate Tanzania

Tanzania is grappling with ongoing floods that have claimed lives and left thousands of people affected across the country. Triggered by heavy rainfall, the floods have wreaked havoc causing extensive damage to infrastructure and livelihoods.

In the last two weeks, the ongoing floods have been catastrophic, with official reports indicating a death toll of 58 people and affecting over 120,000 across the country.

Heavy rainfall, swollen rivers, and inadequate infrastructure have compounded the situation, leading to the widespread destruction of homes, roads, and agricultural land. Regions such as Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and Morogoro have borne the brunt of this disaster, battered by severe flooding and landslides.

The human cost of the floods is profound, with families torn apart, livelihoods destroyed, and communities displaced. Thousands continue to flee their homes, seeking refuge in overcrowded shelters such as schools and makeshift camps.

Access to clean water, food, and healthcare has become increasingly challenging, exacerbating the vulnerability of those affected. Children continue to face disruptions to education and heightened risks of disease outbreaks reported in Tanzania.

The Northern part of Tanzania has been impacted the most. Last Friday, eight school children including a volunteer drowned after their bus plunged into a flooded gorge. This tragedy follows the death of 63 people in December floods which triggered massive landslides.

The government spokesman Mr. Mobhare Matinyi in a press briefing, insisted on the government’s measures to counter future heavy rainfall disasters. ‘The government plans to construct 14 dams to prevent flooding in the future. Many lives have been lost due to flooding, more so our northern part,’ he said.

Beyond Tanzania’s borders, the effects of extreme weather events are reverberating across the region. In Kenya, torrential rains have triggered floods and landslides, causing further loss of life and widespread displacement in more than 40 counties.

South Africa closed schools weeks ago due to storms lashing its coastal regions, causing extensive damage including deaths and prompting evacuations.

While extreme weather events are a natural occurrence, several factors have amplified their impact in Tanzania and beyond. Climate change has altered precipitation patterns, leading to more frequent and intense rainfall events.

Deforestation, unplanned urbanization, and inadequate infrastructure have further exacerbated the vulnerability of communities to flooding. In most African countries, weak disaster preparedness and response mechanisms have hindered efforts to mitigate the impact and provide timely assistance to those in need.

It is imperative that the government, humanitarian organizations, and international partners work together to continue to provide immediate assistance and implement long-term solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change and build resilience in vulnerable populations.