Tanzania: Floods DREF Operation no. MDRTZ006 Update


GLIDE no. FL-2006-000164-TZA

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Period covered: 23 January to 31 March 2008

Summary: CHF 88, 353 (USD 81,012 or EUR 55,648) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 23 January 2008 to support the Tanzania Red Cross National Society in delivering assistance to some 7,500 beneficiaries who had been affected by the floods.

The affected communities in Rukwa, Kigoma, Ruvuma and Pwani have received relief support and are recovering and returning to their normal livelihood. No outbreak of diseases has been reported so far. The economic and social condition of the communities has to some extent improved through social networking and harvesting of short lived agricultural crops such as legumes and sweet potatoes. This has in turn reduced the impact of the heavy downpours these communities had experienced.

Preparation for training on Community-Based First Aid (CBFA) and promotion of hygiene and malaria education was conducted using the cascade methodology of reaching out to communities. Trained volunteers have been disseminating appropriate messages and skills to other volunteers and community members. With support from National Society Headquarters, respective branches were able to organize the trainings using internal facilitators and other resource persons from Tanzanian Government regional/district health officers.

The situation

Heavy rains were recently experienced in Rukwa, Kigoma, Ruvuma and Pwani areas of Tanzania. These torrential downpours, which started on 10 January 2008, resulted in the displacement of 90 families (442 people) who were rendered homeless.

These heavy rains also flooded the tanzanite mining pits at Mererani area in Manyara Region. More than 70 people have been reported dead. After rescue efforts of pumping water out, five bodies were recovered and dozen people pulled out alive and taken to hospital. In nearby region - Arusha at Mto wa Mbu area, more than 1,500 people were left homeless after their houses flooded, following a heavy downpour between 28 and 29 March 2008. One death was reported and several houses collapsed. In Dar es Salaam, more than five deaths were reported as a result of drowning in flood water and/or stagnant water.

Low land areas and suburbs with poor drainage system were the most flooded areas. In Singida Region, heavy down pour that caused flooding in some areas was also reported.

The National Society in collaboration with local authorities has been participating in assessments and will provide some basic relief items (blankets and insecticide-treated mosquito nets) from its disaster preparedness stock. A detailed assessment was carried out following recurring volcanic activity at Mount Oldonyo Lengai. This is one of the active volcanic mountains in the world that discharges highly fluid natrocarbonatite lava, which usually contains almost no silicon. There has been volcanic activity from July 2007 to date, the mountain has been pouring lava and black dust and producing heavy smoke rising up to 20 meters. The eruption has destroyed vegetation and polluted water sources, but no human casualties have been reported so far; only cases of livestock and wild animal deaths.

Coordination and partnerships

The Tanzania Disaster Relief Committee (TANDREC) formed a task force that carried out a detailed assessment from 17 to 27 March 2008. The team involved a multi-disciplinary of members from different Ministries; the Prime Ministers Office - Disaster Management and TAMISEMI, Ministry of Home Affairs, Land, Infrastructure, Health and Social Services, Planning, Agriculture, Livestock Development, Water, Natural Resources and Tourism, Energy and Minerals, Education and Social Welfare, Community Development Gender and Children, as well as various international, national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including the Tanzania National Red Cross Society.

The National Society has been working in collaboration with the regional, district government and local authorities as well as Red Cross branches and volunteers in the implementation of the relief activities. The Federation's Eastern Africa Zone office in Nairobi (Kenya) has supported the National Society in the process of accessing DREF funding amounting to CHF 88,353.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Tanzania: Adam Kimbisa, Secretary General, Tanzania Red Cross National Society, Dar-Es-Salaam; email: logistics@cats-net.com or utouh2002@yahoo.com: telephone +255.22.2600156; fax +255.22. 2600156 OR Disaster Management: Joseph Kimaryo - telephone +255 22 0713 325 042 or Julius Kejo - telephone + 255 22 713 571 888

In Kenya: Dr. Asha Mohammed, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Zone, Nairobi, telephone: +, fax: +; email: asha.mohammed@ifrc.org or Philimon Majwa, Disaster Management Manager, Nairobi; telephone: +; email: philimon.majwa@ifrc.org

In Geneva: John Roche, Operations Coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa regions; phone: +41.22.730.4400; fax: +41 22 730 0395; email: john.roche@ifrc.org