Brace for heavy rains, MET tells 10 regions

15Feb 2019
The Guardian Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
 Brace for heavy rains, MET tells 10 regions

RESIDENTS of the Lake Zone, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Dar es Salaam regions and Zanzibar should brace for heavy downpours in the coming weeks, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has said in its latest forecast.

TMA Director General Dr Agnes Kijazi

Addressing reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TMA Director General Dr Agnes Kijazi said the regions are expected to receive above-normal long rains expected from early March to late May.

She named the regions as Kagera, Mara, Mwanza, Geita, Simiyu, Shinyanga, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. The rest of the country will receive normal rains, the meteorology chief stated.

“As for the Lake Zone regions, the heavy rains are expected to start in the last week of this month in Kagera region before spreading to other regions,” she said.

Dr Kijazi affirmed that long rains are expected to start in the middle of the last week of this month in Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Zanzibar, Arusha, Manyara, Kilimanjaro and northerly parts of Morogoro region.

She advised the various authorities to take precautions especially in sectors agriculture, fisheries, construction and health as downpours can most likely lead to some disruptions.

“The mining sector in the Lake Zone regions should be mindful of the possibility of landfalls if the outpouring is too heavy,” the director cautioned.

On Wednesday, TMA attributed current changes in weather patterns including extreme heat, unusual intensity and frequency of rainfall in Dar es Salaam and other parts of the country to climate change.

TMA said this was the cause of the diversity of rains in different parts of the country whereby in recent days the agency recorded in some parts of the country uncharacteristically large amounts of rain.

"Climate change remains a key driver of weather patterns in various parts of the country as it is part and parcel of the weather cycle," said Dr Ladislaus Chang'a, the director of services and forecast.

He was speaking in Dar es Salam during a media workshop on weather forecasts for the long rains whose contents were released yesterday.

The long rains expose the wanting state of urban planning in many Tanzanian cities and towns every year as drainages clog and thousands of people in unplanned neighbourhoods are momentarily displaced, or become homeless.

The country’s commercial hub, Dar es Salaam is evidently the most affected region. Every time it pours in the city, the story is the same: homelessness, destruction of property and even death.

Extreme situations are not rare as in March 2015, scores of people died after it rained heavily for days and in April 2014 as many as 10 people died after widespread flooding in the city.

The culprit, experts say, is poor or blocked drainage systems, tied to rapid urbanisation and unplanned housing settlements, often in flood plains and close to seasonal outlets to the sea that were rivers in better days.

Almost 70 percent of the city’s inhabitants live in informal settlements, land demographic surveys affirm.

 

 

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