By Padili Mikomangwa, Daily News/NECJOGHA (with contributions from Salma Said and Mubaraka Islam)
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – Heavy rains in the Tanzania commercial city of Dar es Salaam on Tuesday caused floods damaging property estimated in billions of shillings.
The heavy rains were earlier forecast by the Tanzania Meteorology Authority (TMA) days before.
The weather forecast produced by TMA indicated a series of heavy rainfall within the southern highland’s regions, Dar es Salaam and southern part of coastal zone.
The heavy rainfall in the East African region has been blamed on the positive Indian Ocean Diapole (IOD)
The rainfall has induced serious impacts to long-known chronic areas, including Jangwani—which is a flood prone basin, found within the Central Business District of the city.
Most of the roads connecting to the city, wards with high density population and economic interaction such as Kigogo, and Tabata have also suffered.
On different occasions (2009, 2010,2011,2014, and 2015) the commercial pulse of Tanzania—Dar es Salaam (with more than 5 million people), has been hit by heavy rains, triggering floods which destabilized vital economical functions of the city.
According to World Bank, in May 2019, a series of heavy rainfall, led to serious flooding in Dar es Salaam, sweeping away almost 1,560 homes, displacing over 1,215 families, while destroying roads and bridges necessary for cities economical interactions.
Health impacts alone, cause a great deal of pain to victims and an enormous amount of human capital and funding dispersed to attend large numbers of people affected by water-borne diseases such cholera, which is chronic in Dar es Salaam.
A careful study on 2011 flood socio-economic impacts on Dar es Salaam, indicated that: the flood events damaged properties worth millions and the government was forced to spend a total amount of $ 796,968 on rescuing and relocating vulnerable communities that lived-in low-lying areas of Dar es Salaam’s districts.
Per World Bank research, which offers clear-cut insight on the matter, pointed out that; exposure to floods is a wide-spread phenomenon affecting at least 39 per cent of the population, or two million people, having been impacted either directly or indirectly by floods
At the moment hawkers and road side trades have ceased to operate, as water has taken a toll in their area. This is not a new thing in Dar es Salaam, just last year floods costed the city over $ 100 million in damaged to infrastructures, according to World Bank.
Jangwani floods in pictures
Further, Tanzania’s Climate Change Strategy (2012), estimates that, the cost of building adaptive capacity and enhancing resilience against future climate change in Tanzania is $100 to $ 150 million per year, further– aggregate models indicate that net economic costs could be equivalent to a further 1 to 2 % of GDP per year by 2030.
How the Tanzanian press reported the Tuesday floods
A total of 11 newspapers gave a front page picture or story to the Dar es Salaam floods. Here below is how they covered them (Courtesy Salma Said -DW):