Children found dead as rains paralyse Dar

14May 2019
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Children found dead as rains paralyse Dar

TWO children died in mysterious circumstances amid the ongoing rains in Dar es Salaam, meanwhile as rains are disrupting transport, damaging properties, and paralyzing education and health care provision.

The week-long downpour has compelled regional authorities to suspend classes for some schools such as Kibasila Secondary School in Temeke Municipality.

Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander Lazaro Mambosasa told reporters that on Wednesday last week at around 9 pm at Matosa area in Ubungo District, a body of a six year old child was found in a 30 feet pit after disappearing for two days.

RPC Mambosasa said in another incident, on Monday this week at Mongo la Ndege in Ukonga area another dead body of a child aged between four and five years was found floating along Msimbazi River, noting that the body was currently being preserved at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).

Cart pushers cash in on the mess due to the impassability of the flooded Jangwani Valley stretch of Dar es Salaam’s Morogoro Road yesterday to earn a quick buck ferrying people and all manner of ‘cargo’ across. Photo: Correspondent Miraji Msala

SACP Mambosasa said the rains wreaked havoc on infrastructure including Mwale primary school and Majani ya Chai primary school where water has flooded and there is no learning going on.

“The rains have led to the closure of Morogoro Road at Jangwani since 4 am, Kawawa Road which has also been closed at Mkwajuni area,” he said.

He urged Dar es Salaam residents to take precautions and take a closer look at children, noting that the police continue to monitor the situation.

As it happens every long rains season, clogged drainage has created ponds in most parts of the commercial capital’s central business district, making driving a hassle.

For a week now Dar es Salaam has been experiencing rains with the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) forecasting more rains in the coming days.

The weatherman says rains will continue pounding today through tomorrow even as low-lying parts of the city, especially settlements along the Msimbazi Valley, already face an accommodation challenge.

A survey conducted by this newspaper in various parts of the city witnessed roads, bridges and houses especially in low-lying areas like Mkwajuni, Sinza Uzuri, Tandale, Jangwani, Boko and Msimbazi valley being badly flooded. Many shops remained closed for many hours over the weekend.

The situation also affected some schools in low-lying areas like Msasani, causing havoc to teachers and school children. At Msasani Primary School in Kinondoni district, some classrooms were filled with water, inconveniencing the conduct of classes and disrupting attendance.

Many roads starting from those on the outskirts to the city centre, the Post Office area, were filled with water especially during the morning hours.

Every time it pours in the city, the story is the same: homelessness, losses of belongings and instances of drowning.

Extreme situations are not rare as in March 2015, where scores of people died after it rained heavily for days. Earlier 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 urbanization and unplanned housing settlements, often in flood plains and close to seasonal outlets to the sea that were rivers in better days.

An estimated 70 percent of city inhabitants live on informally constructed houses, land use data and demographic surveys affirm.

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