Same district in distress after key dam collapses amid heavy rains

28May 2018
James Lanka
The Guardian
Same district in distress after key dam collapses amid heavy rains
  • Increasing calls for humanitarian assistance after runaway waters from the overflowing River Pangani submerged houses, farms, roads

MORE than 2,000 people in Same District, Kilimanjaro Region, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance after their homes and food stocks were destroyed by floodwaters from River Pangani following heavy rains in the area over the past week.

The rains led to overflowing of the Nyumba ya Mungu dam along the river, with the runaway waters submerging nearby villages and washing away houses, farms, and roads.

According to Same district commissioner Rosemary Senyamule, the most affected villages are Marwa and Ruvu-Mferejini.

“Some schools are not recording proper class attendance numbers because of the damaged infrastructures such as roads which are keeping pupils away,” Senyamule told Kilimanjaro regional commissioner Anna Mghwira who visited the area yesterday with members of the regional defence and security committee.

The DC explained that some areas have become inaccessible and vast swathes of farmland have been washed away. 

On her part, Kilimanjaro RC Mghwira said various aid agencies such as the Red Cross are working with government institutions to bring food, clean water, shelter, and medical aid to the people affected by the floods.

Many of them have sought refuge in emergency shelters in the Bagamoyo and Loresho emergency camps within the Ruvu-Muungano hamlet, she said.

According to a senior official from the Pangani Basin Water Office (PBWO), Vendelin Basso, residents of the Ruvu-Darajani ward were alerted about the looming floods since May 6 this year.

Basso said all the communities in the area were strongly advised to move away, but only some of them responded while most ignored.

Same district commissioner Rosemary Staki (facing camera, with hat) pictured at the weekend addressing people moved to safety after floodwaters burst the banks of River Pangani and engulfed their houses. Photo: Godfrey Mushi

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