Heavy Rains and Flooding Kill Over 150 in Tanzania, Prime Minister Warns of Continued Danger

Severe flooding and landslides in Tanzania kill 155, displace over 200,000, highlighting the urgent need for climate resilience and disaster preparedness measures in the region.

Ebenezer Mensah
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Heavy Rains and Flooding Kill Over 150 in Tanzania, Prime Minister Warns of Continued Danger

Heavy Rains and Flooding Kill Over 150 in Tanzania, Prime Minister Warns of Continued Danger

At least 155 people have died in Tanzania due to severe flooding and landslides caused by torrential rains linked to the El Niño climate pattern, according to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa. The heavy rains have affected over 200,000 people across the country, with more than 51,000 households impacted. Homes, crops, and critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and railways have been damaged or destroyed.

Prime Minister Majaliwa attributed the devastation to environmental degradation, including deforestation, unsustainable farming practices, and unregulated livestock grazing. He warned those living in low-lying areas to move to higher ground and urged district officials to ensure that provisions reach those in need. Majaliwa also cautioned that the heavy rains may persist into May, further exacerbating the situation.

Why this matters: The deadly floods in Tanzania highlight the severe impact of climate change on vulnerable populations and the urgent need for improved disaster preparedness and response measures. As extreme weather events become more frequent and intense, it is imperative for governments and international organizations to prioritize climate resilience and support affected communities.

The East African region as a whole is experiencing heavier-than-usual rainfall, with flooding also reported in neighboring Kenya and Burundi. In Kenya, at least 45 people have been killed since the start of the rainy season in March, while in Burundi, around 96,000 people have been displaced by the relentless rains. Somalia's 'Gu' rains have also been intensifying, leading to flash floods.

The UN's World Meteorological Organization has warned that the impact of the current El Niño event, one of the five strongest ever recorded, will persist in the coming months. Above-normal temperatures are predicted across most land areas between March and May, fueling the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases.

Prime Minister Majaliwa emphasized the need for immediate action, stating, "I urge citizens to exercise caution and patience when dealing with the heavy rains and flooding. The weather forecasts indicate that the torrential rains will continue until May." The Tanzanian government is working to provide relief and support to the affected communities, but the scale of the disaster poses significant challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • At least 155 people killed in Tanzania due to severe flooding and landslides.
  • Over 200,000 people affected, with 51,000+ households impacted across the country.
  • PM attributes devastation to environmental degradation, deforestation, and unsustainable practices.
  • Flooding also reported in Kenya and Burundi, with 45 and 96,000 affected respectively.
  • UN warns of persistent impact from one of the strongest El Niño events on record.