by Ben Taylor
Over forty people died in Dar es Salaam, Coast, Tanga and Morogoro regions in March and April when prolonged heavy rain caused extensive flooding. Hundreds of homes in the Tandale, Kigogo, Tabata Kisiwani, Mwananyamala, Msasani Bonde la Mpunga areas of Dar es Salaam were swamped by the water.
In many parts of Dar es Salaam, transport came to a complete standstill as storm water flooded road networks, leaving commuters stranded as services temporarily ground to a halt [See also transport section below].
In Morogoro there were reports that heavy rains that continued for three days wreaked havoc in many homes and destroyed roads and crops.
The Director of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement at the National Environment Management Council, Dr Robert Ntakamulenga, said the flood problem in Dar is a man-made disaster caused mainly by gross violation of urban planning rules and failure by local government authorities to enforce the rules. “We need to ask ourselves who is issuing permits for people to build in river beds and our wetlands,” he added.
In Dodoma, Members of the Constituent Assembly agreed to devote their TSh 70,000 sitting allowances for a single day to the ongoing government initiative to help victims of the floods that destroyed properties and damaged infrastructure.
“If we all agree to sacrifice our sitting allowances for a day, we will have contributed Tsh 44 million to the victims of the downpour that affected Dar es Salaam and Morogoro residents,” said Ms Suluhu, the deputy chair of the Assembly.