CCM presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli yesterday in Dar es Salaam said that his government has allocated 32bn/- to reshape Ng’ombe River and in turn, will control floods in parts of the city.
He said the government is aware of the challenges facing the city dwellers and that plans are on course to tackle the problem.
However, Dr Magufuli challenged the residents, saying some of them have been erecting buildings in unauthorized areas and turn block free and smooth water passage, adding: “Some people here build houses on rivers, when someone blocks the rivers, it is obvious the water will find a way, and this is how floods happen in Dar es Salaam.”
On Tuesday, Dar es Salaam Region came to a standstill after a heavy downpour paralysed transport in some major roads, including disrupting the much-dependable Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Morogoro road.
At least six people are reported to have been killed by the latest flooding that hit the city, according to Dar es Salam Special Zone Police Commander –Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP) Lazaro Mambosasa.
According to the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), the heavy rain pounded many parts of the country’s coastal region on Tuesday, attributing the event to low pressure in the Indian Ocean, which caused humid winds to blow from the Sea to northern coastal areas.
The rain which started in the wee hours of Tuesday caused some sections of the major roads in Dar es Salaam to be submerged, leading to their closure for hours.
“These rains are expected to be short-lived, and as we have seen today (Tuesday), there have been periods of rains in many parts of the northern coastal Region, especially in the regions of Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Morogoro, Pemba and Unguja Islands, and on October 14 (today) we expect a decrease in rainfall in those areas,” TMA Weather Analyst, Ms Joyce Makwata, explained.
The meteorologist mentioned some regions which are likely to receive rain today as Dar es Salaam, Tanga, some parts of Morogoro, Pemba, Unguja and Mafia Islands.
However, on October 15, 2020, she said these areas should expect a slight increase in rainfall, although it will not be the same as the amount witnessed yesterday.
“TMA advises members of the public to make close follow up on weather updates issued by the authority so that they can take necessary precautionary measures,” Ms Makwata advised.
For many years, Dar es Salaam has been prone to flood-related disasters notable the 1997 El-Nino rains that left the city almost afloat.
Since then, there have been floods almost every year, and so far Dar es Salaam residents have witnessed at least one flood event in each of the following years: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. When it rains heavily, within a few hours the water rises to a height of two metres or more above the banks of the river.
On December 17th, last year, heavy rains caused severe flooding in the Msimbazi River Basin and the surrounding areas of Dar es Salaam.