from ALLOYCE KIMBUNGA in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
DAR-ES-SALAAM, (CAJ News) – THE death toll from floods ravaging southeast Tanzania since the end of January has risen to 24.
This is an increase from the 21 casualties initially confirmed from the excessive weather afflicting the Lindi region.
Incessant rains have continued to date, causing more flooding in most areas due to the rivers Matandu, Mavuji and Mbwemkuru breaking their banks.
About 4 300 households, or 21 485 people, have been affected.
The Red Cross is responding to the crisis that also led to major damage to local infrastructure, livelihoods and personal properties.
Public schools, main roads, religious centres, market centres and bridges have been destroyed.
In addition, Over 7 000 hectares of farmland with ready to harvest crops were destroyed impacting close to 10 000 farmers.
Livestock were also washed away.
The situation is projected to worsen after the Tanzania Meteorological Agency predicted increased rainfall until May.
A tropical cyclone, named Herold, that has been reported in northeast of Madagascar, is also feared to exacerbate the flooding crisis.
“This will worsen the already bad situation in the region and beyond,” said a spokesperson of the Red Cross.
The outbreak and declaration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic, will automatically affect movement of people and relief aid, particularly aid from outside Tanzania.
Tanzania has confirmed 24 cases of the virus and a single death.
Neighbouring Kenya and Rwanda have also reported cases of the virus.
“This means Tanzania will have to refocus their energies to the disease response, limiting intervention towards flood afflicted communities” the Red Cross stated.
– CAJ News