Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

15 April 2014

Tanzania: Set Yearly Disaster Budgets, Local Authorities Urged

Kilimanjaro — THE Disaster Management Department has advised district councils in the country to set budgets for tragedies every financial year instead of relying on the Central Government.

The Coordinator of the Disaster Management Department in the Prime Minister's Office, Lieutenant General Sylvester Rioba said this during a convention designed to tackle disasters in Mwanga and Same districts.

The retired military officer said that the country has survived a lot of natural and manmade disasters, but with an awful response due to lack of proper strategy setting.

"Many regions in the country have been prey to a lot of disasters that have negatively affected them because councils do not plan strategically to combat them.

If we prepare ourselves in advance they might not happen but if we are unprepared we may suffer worse than what we experience today," said Mr Rioba.

He urged district and city executive directors to be vigilant and make sure that the calamities do not find them ill-equipped as that will be woeful to people they dedicated to serve.

Speaking at the same gathering, Mr Kishimbi Kihara from the University of Dodoma noted that Same is notorious for disasters so much so that its economy falters and that they have to set a strategy to tackle them if the people have to flourish.

He said there have been multiple tragedies in respect of drought, famine, floods, soil corrosion as well as communicable diseases.

"Eighty per cent of Same residents depend on agriculture and cattle rearing and they have been much affected by the calamities.

We can recall that in 1979 the district survived a record disaster that affected properties, livestock and even people had to be evacuated from their quarters," said Mr Kihara.

He noted that researches conducted show that in 1974, 1984, 1996 and 2006 Same suffered severe famine in which a lot of livestock died, plants failed and people turned homeless.

He said should the council organize itself better, the effects of the disaster would be less.

Speaking on behalf of the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Mr Leonidas Gama, the Same District Commissioner (DC), Mwalimu Herman Kapufi said the region had survived a lot of disasters that caused havoc to its people and affected them economically.

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