Tanzania: 15 Killed as Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc

At least 15 people have died in various parts of the country following heavy rains which entered their third day yesterday. At least 250 houses in Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam and Arusha were destroyed in the downpours, and the number looked set to go up as authorities continued to carry out a countrywide assessment.

The Tanzania Metrological Agency (TMA) forecast that rains would continue to pound Zanzibar and the Tanzania Mainland regions of Dar es Salaam, Coast, Tanga, Mtwara, Lindi and Morogoro until tomorrow.The rains, which TMA warned last week would be above-average, have also damaged roads and associated infrastructure in many areas across the country.

In Dar es Salaam, police confirmed yesterday that at least nine people had died, while in Tabora the death toll stood at three. In Arusha, two people were killed, while one died in Manyara.

“An assessment conducted using helicopters has established that there is serious damage to infrastructure. So far, nine people have died, while at least six have been injured after a wall fell on them,” Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander Lazaro Mambosasa said.

He added that police were still working to establish the exact number of houses destroyed by floods and people rendered homeless. However, area councillor Eliasa Mtalawanje told The Citizen that ove r 100 families had fled their homes in Mtoni Kijichi alone since it started to rain continuously in the city on Saturday evening.

Tabora Regional Police Commander Wilbrod Mutafungwa said at least three people, including two children aged four, died in Nzega Disrict when a wall collapsed on them as they slept on Saturday. He also said that roads linking Kaliua and Kigoma and Tabora and Mpanda had been badly affected by flooding.

In Arusha, at least two people died and 50 houses were damaged as heavy rains lashed the northern city for two consecutive days. The acting regional police boss, Mr Yusuf Ilembo, said police were still assessing the damage in various parts of the region.

The Citizen witnessed serious damage to houses and roads in the city’s Murieti, Unga Ltd, Sakina, Mushono and Mianzini areas.In Manyara Region, a women died after she was swept away by raging floodwaters. Her body was recovered yesterday morning.

In Zanzibar, at least 120 houses were destroyed, and the Disaster Commission acting director, Mr Makame Khatib Makame, said the actual number could be much higher as they information they had was based on a preliminary assessment. He said the worst affected areas were Amani kwa Wazee, Daraja Bovu, Sebleni, Mwanakwerekwe, Fuoni and Kibonde Mzungu.

The Fuoni and Mwanakwerekwe roads have been closed due to flooding. They are currently impassable and will be reopened only after we are satisfied that they are safe to be used,” he said. Coast Regional Police Commander Jonathan Shana said no death had been reported in the region, but a section of the road linking Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam had been badly damaged.In Tanga, the regional police boss, Mr Edward Bukombe, also said no death had been reported so far.

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