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Devastating floods kill 58 in Tanzania, heavy rains persist

The floods that have swept through Tanzania in the last fortnight have proven catastrophic, claiming the lives of 58 people, prompting urgent calls for infrastructure improvements to prevent future tragedies.

The Tanzanian government disclosed the death toll as heavy rains persist in the region, exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, which has caused havoc worldwide.

Mobhare Matinyi, a spokesperson, reported that from April 1 to April 14, heavy rains caused flooding, particularly affecting the coastal region where 11 fatalities occurred. To address this ongoing issue, the government has unveiled plans to construct 14 dams aimed at mitigating future flooding.

This recent disaster follows a similar event four months ago, where floods in northern Tanzania claimed the lives of at least 63 people and triggered devastating landslides.

Furthermore, last Friday, eight schoolchildren tragically drowned when their bus plunged into a flooded gorge in the north, resulting in the loss of a volunteer involved in rescue operations.

Overall, the flooding has affected over 126,831 people, with more than 75,000 farms damaged in the coastal and Morogoro areas. Despite the destruction, efforts to provide essential supplies, including food, to affected communities have been underway.

The impact of heavy rains extends beyond Tanzania, with other parts of East Africa, including neighbouring Kenya, also experiencing flooding-related fatalities. Consequently, there is a pressing need to address infrastructure damage and relocate individuals living in flood-prone areas.

Scientists from the World Weather Attribution Group have highlighted that the rainfall in East Africa between October and December was among the most intense ever recorded in the region, underscoring the urgency of implementing measures to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events.

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Last Updated: 23rd May 2024