Tanzania Rain Tragedy: 155 Dead, 230 Injured as Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc

Tanzania is grappling with a devastating toll as Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa confirmed today that heavy rains persisting in the country have claimed the lives of 155 people, with over 230 others sustaining injuries.

The catastrophic downpours have left approximately 200,000 individuals and more than 51,000 households affected, causing widespread damage to vital infrastructure across the nation.

Addressing the parliament on the escalating climate crisis and the government’s response, Prime Minister Majaliwa urged disaster management committees at district, regional, and national levels to swiftly implement emergency measures to mitigate the impact of the ongoing crisis.

Majaliwa underscored that over 10,000 houses, as well as roads and railways, have borne the brunt of the inclement weather. He attributed the unrelenting rainfall to global temperature shifts, triggering El Niño rains that have inundated various regions of the country.

“From October to December last year, Tanzania experienced a significant surge in rainfall, measuring a total of 534.5 milliliters compared to 227.2 milliliters in 2022, marking a staggering 135 percent increase. Moreover, heavy rains persisting from January to April 2024, with forecasts indicating continued monsoon rains until May 2024,” Majaliwa stated, cautioning against the detrimental impact of the deluges.

Among the hardest-hit regions cited by Majaliwa include Pwani, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, and Kigoma.

Additional areas grappling with the aftermath of the torrential rains encompass Arusha, Mtwara, Lindi, Shinyanga, Kagera, Songwe, Rukwa, Manyara, Geita, Iringa, and Dodoma.

Expressing remorse for the victims, Majaliwa emphasized the importance of caution while traversing waterlogged areas and roads.

Meanwhile, citizens have implored the government to extend aid to affected families, providing essential supplies such as food, medical equipment, and shelter during this challenging period.

Residents have lamented the unprecedented devastation unleashed by the incessant rains, attributing the catastrophe to both climate change and human activities such as deforestation.

“I have never witnessed such destructive rainfall before. Previous El Niño occurrences did not wreak havoc like this. Today, I have lost everything – my house, belongings, and crops. It’s evident that climate change is exacting its toll, compounded by environmental degradation,” remarked a resident of Siha district in northern Tanzania.

April 26, 2024

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