14 April 2014

Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Flooding Kills 10, Displaces Hundreds

Photo: Emmanuel Gbemudu/IRIN
Floods cut off Dar es Salaam from other parts of the country (file photo).

Ten people have died, including four children, and hundreds of people lost their homes in Dar es Salaam as heavy rains continued for a third day Monday (April 14th). Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Saidi Meck Sadiki said the toll may rise with roads damaged and several bridges swept away, AFP reported.

"The victims drowned in different parts of the city. The heavy rains and floods caused massive destruction of roads, bridges and drainage systems," he said. Sadiki said several roads linking Dar es Salaam and the rest of the country were cut off, with hundreds made homeless.

Last week Tanzania's meteorology department cautioned that the country's eastern regions would receive above average rainfall for almost a week. The flooding occurred after just two days of heavy rains. In a public address at Ruvu in Coast region, President Jakaya Kikwete told stranded travellers to remain patient while the harsh weather continues.

"I sympathise with you, but this is a natural disaster that we have no control over," he said according to Tanzania's Daily News. "Let us pray that the water subsides so you can continue with your journey." He also urged food vendors not to raise prices for stranded travellers.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Commander of Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Suleiman Kova, Minister of Works John Magufuli and Sadiki were scheduled to visit people suffering from the floods on Sunday, but their trip was interrupted when their helicopter crashed during take-off in Dar es Salaam.

The four officials and the pilot emerged from the accident unharmed.

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