ACT Alert: Support to survivors of Land Slide in Mbeya and Arusha, Tanzania

News and Press Release
Originally published
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Geneva, 05 December 2011

1. Brief description of the emergency

On 03 of December 2011, heavy and unusual rains fell for more than 13 hours in Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Mbeya regions. The rains were accompanied by high wind and resulted to land slides. Nine people were killed and more than 6776 people were left homeless.

2. Impact


Rapid assessment made by the office of the prime minister in collaboration with Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) reported that four people were killed, hundreds injured in Lambo and Mamba Villages of Msangeni Ward in Mwanga District. Thirty-seven houses were completely demolished leaving 222 family members homeless and with no food as their food stocks were washed away. 333 hectares of paddy, maize, sunflower and sorghum were buried in mud and debris

Mto wa mbu

In Mto-wa Mbu community, three bridges and the tarmack road to Ngorongoro crater were completely washed away creating a communication challenge. 7 trucks were swept away killing two people. 280 houses were submerged in mud and/or completely washed away. 3000 people were left homeless. The affected community members are in need of: tents, blankets, water and food to survive.

Chunya in Mbeya

One health centre building, bridges and roads were completely washed away, 296 households that comprised of 1776 family members in Chunya Districct were left homeless as their houses were washed away, or submerged under water. The most affected communities include Galua “A”, Kasilo “B”, Galula “C”, Muhimbili and Ilembo communities. Further, some families have moved into Church and school buildings, others are accommodated by neighbours and others are living in few tents supplied by Red Cross.

The full extent of the destruction is yet to be established in all areas and the number of affected households may rise as more houses are submerged in mud. Hundreds of cows and goats are also reportedly swept away.

3. National and international response

The Government of Tanzania through its constituent leadership in Chunya has supplied tents, some food packages and cash amounting to 1.3 million Tanzanian Shillings (USD 812) to buy essentials and has appealed to well wishers to assist the affected population.

In Mwanga District, Redcross and other stakeholders, in collaboration with the Tanzanian Government have supplied tents, food, and some medical supplies. The Government of Tanzania has ordered residents to avoid constructing houses in areas prone to landslides.

4. ACT Alliance response

ACT Alliance member, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) through its North, Central, Southern and Pare Dioceses has assisted the local government in collecting and analysing data on the affected population. ELCT has also mobilised and provided some clothes to affected children and has offered temporary accommodation in churches to some of the aflicted members of the society.

5. Planned activities


  • Food for survivors.
  • Sanitary supplies, mosquito nets, buckets for water collection and storage. This will reduce potential epidemics amongst the identified population.

ELCT will coordinate by sharing information with humanitarian actors such as Oxfam GB, World Food Programme as well as advocating for government’s quick involvement in allocating land to the affected community members.

ACT Alliance member, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT), in consultation with other forum members in the affected area, are preparing a rapid response fund request to the ACT secretariat, so as to respond to this emergency.

Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, ACT Chief Finance Officer (jbi@actalliance.org)

For further information please contact:

ACT Regional Programme Officer, Katherine Ireri (phone +41 22 791 6040 or mobile phone +41 79 433 0592)
ACT Deputy General Secretary, Rebecca Larson (phone +41 22 791 6069 or mobile phone +41 79 376 1711)