Tanzania: Earthquake Final Report DREF Bulletin No. 05ME075


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In Brief

Period covered by this Final Report: 30 December 2005 to 22 March 2006.

History of this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)-funded operation:

CHF 31,364 was allocated from the Federation's DREF on 30 December 2005 to respond to the needs of this operation. Refer to the DREF Bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05ME075.pdf

This operation was implemented for three months and was completed by 22 March 2006.

This operation was aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and summary

On 5 December 2005, a strong earthquake struck the Lake Tanganyika region of Tanzania. The tremor, which occurred at around 15:20hrs and lasted for less than a minute, caused injuries and panic in the affected areas. Buhingu Division in Kigoma Rural District was most affected by the tremor, with 5,000 people (9.2% of the total population) reportedly affected. A total of 54 houses completely collapsed in 11 villages while 705 houses had cracked walls.

In response to immediate needs of those affected, the Federation allocated CHF 31,364 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to Tanzania Red Cross National Society (TRCNS) on 22 December 2005. The funding was to facilitate the provision of assistance to 54 affected households with essential non-food items (NFIs) for three months and for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged structures. The national society was the only humanitarian organization on the ground, and coordinated the whole response - from the assessment to actual implementation of activities - to support the affected communities. As such, the timely response by the TRCNS volunteers distribute relief items to beneficiaries in Buhingu division.

Red Cross was highly appreciated by both the affected communities and the local government authorities. This ultimately contributed to the visibility of the national society as a reliable and leading humanitarian actor. A serious food security situation generalized across a number of countries in the Greater Eastern Africa region was experienced in early 2006; a period which coincided with the final reporting for this operation. The situation prompted fresh assessments and the subsequent launching of a drought emergency appeal (Appeal MDRTZ001) for Tanzania in March 2006. It also necessitated the national society's active involvement, especially in terms of its reporting capacity. The involvement in the drought operation resulted to some extent, to delays in reporting on the 2005/ earthquake operation.

Analysis of the operation- objectives, achievements and impact

Objective 1: To provide emergency temporary shelter (tarpaulins) and essential household items to 54 affected households for 3 months.


The national society distributed 162 blankets, 54 tarpaulins and 648 bars of laundry soap to 54 affected households.


The distribution was not an easy exercise as it involved moving from one village to another to ensure that relief items reached targeted beneficiaries. In some cases, the distribution team had to wait for several hours for beneficiaries to arrive due to lack of efficient means of communication between villages. Hence it was difficult to relay the information in advance.


Generally, blankets and tarpaulins were very useful as they protected children from cold-related illnesses such as pneumonia (the earthquake occurred during the rainy season). Laundry soap used for washing purposes contributed towards maintaining proper hygiene practices.

Objective 2: To maintain the physical well being, health status and environmental hygiene of the affected through the reconstruction and repair of damaged homes, latrines and water tank(s).


The 54 affected households in Buhingu division in Kigoma Rural District were able to reconstruct their houses using construction materials provided by the national society. In addition, one water tank, 11 primary school classrooms and one dispensary were successfully rehabilitated in Sibwesa village, Buhingu division.


The 54 affected families were able to improve their hygiene practices through the construction of latrines. The TRCNS used 25 volunteers to fabricate 54 slabs, thus contributing to their capacity building.


Given the remoteness of the affected area and its poor accessibility, it was not easy to access reliable information about the situation in a timely manner. This necessitated the TRCNS with financial support from the Spanish Red Cross, to organize an assessment mission. The assessment team that comprised of representatives from local government authorities and the TRCNS traveled for more than 20 hours to reach the affected areas by boat. Team members from the national society included the logistics officer and assistant medical officer based at the Kigoma branch. The government was represented by the district administrative, development and social welfare officers, and also provided police escort for the team as it traveled from Kigoma town to the affected areas. At community level, respective community leaders and other key opinion leaders were contacted during the assessment. Red Cross officials inspect a rehabilitated water tank in Sibwesa. village.

For information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Tanzania: Adam Kimbisa, Secretary General, Tanzania Red Cross National Society, Dar-es-Salaam; Email: logistics@raha.com; Phone +; Fax +

In Kenya: Esther Okwanga, Federation Head of East Africa sub-regional office, Nairobi; Email: esther.okwanga@ifrc.org; Phone +; Fax +

In Kenya: Per Jensnas, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email: per.jensnaes@ifrc.org; Phone +; Fax + or Youcef Ait-Chellouche, Acting Disaster Management Delegate, East Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email: youcef.aitchellouche@ifrc.org ; Phone +; Fax +

In Geneva: Amna Al Ahmar, Federation Regional Officer for East Africa, Africa Dept.; Email: amna.alahmar@ifrc.org; Phone +41.22.730.44.27; Fax +41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org