Tanzania Floods Emergency Appeal no. MDRTZ005


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief


The appeal is being launched based on findings of a Red Cross assessment that was conducted in four regions of Tanzania in March 2007.

A total of CHF 93,000 was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) for the recovery assessment and immediate response.

This operation is 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.

The situation

Since October 2006, Tanzania has been impacted by extreme climatic conditions, similar to El Niño, with unusual floods that have caused population displacements and, recently, Rift Valley Fever (RVF) (1). Rains started in October 2006, which spread across the country with a growing intensity. Several lakes and rivers over-spilled, inundating large territories in the south, north, central, western and eastern regions of Tanzania. Some areas were affected by floods more than once over four months and communities were displaced several times.

Floods are not uncommon in Tanzania; a striking feature of this year's disaster was its intensity, duration and scale. Many sources claim that its magnitude was unprecedented and the effects are the worst in many years. A recent Red Cross assessment conducted in the four regions of Tanzania found 14,000 people in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

The persistent heavy rains that battered the country for months triggered devastating floods across large areas, drove many people out of their homes, destroyed their livelihoods and left many without any means to recover from the effects of the disaster.

The affected populations now live in appalling sanitary conditions, lack access to safe water and suffer from an intolerably hot climate that encourages the spread of communicable diseases. It is a 'silent disaster' and urgent action is required to help those struggling for survival to return to normal lives. They are the most vulnerable segments of the population whose conditions have been dismal over an extended period and have been aggravated by recent rains that continued unabated until the end of February 2007. These unusual rains brought with them new problems, such as the Rift Valley Fever (RVF).

Map: Tanzania: Floods - Situation Map


(1) Rift Valley Fever is a rare viral disease of which very little is known. It is transmitted primarily to humans through contact with infected animal matter such as blood or other fluids as well as animal organs. Consumption of raw milk from an infected animals, an important element in the diet of many pastoralist communities, is also thought to lead to infection. RVF is also spread by livestock via the aedes mosquito. The infected mosquito eggs are often laid around river banks and can lay dormant for years until they get submerged. The eggs then hatch to mosquitoes that spread the virus.

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: redcrosstz.sg@raha.com; Phone +; Fax +

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

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

In Geneva: Amna Al Ahmar, Federation Regional Officer for Eastern Africa, Africa Department; 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 . For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal for East Africa sub-regional programmes.