Tanzania: Floods Emergency Appeal No. MDRTZ005 Operations Update No. 2


Period covered: 18 September to 31 December 2007

Appeal target: CHF 969,519 (USD 797,302 or EUR 598,469)

Appeal coverage: 20%;

Outstanding needs: CHF 776,938 (USD 722,552 or EUR 481,702)

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

Summary: The affected communities in Shinyanga and Dodoma have continued recovering and rebuilding their homes. Rift Valley Fever outbreaks have not been reported since April 2007. The economic and social condition of the communities has to some extent improved through the selling of livestock and harvesting of agricultural crops such as rice and maize. This has in turn reduced the impact of the floods that these communities had experienced.

Preparation for training on CBFA and promotion of hygiene and sanitation education was conducted using the cascade methodology of reaching out to communities. The first level was to train the trainers (ToT) who will disseminate appropriate messages and skills to other volunteers and community members. With support from Tanzania Red Cross National Society Headquarters, the facilitation of the trainings has been done by the Red Cross Regional Coordinator in Shinyanga, Red Cross volunteers CBFA trainers in Dodoma and Tanzania Government regional health officers from Shinyanga and Dodoma regions.

The situation

Torrential rains that started in October 2006 resulted to several lakes and rivers bursting their banks and flooding large territories in the south, north, west, central and eastern regions of Tanzania. Due to the combined effects of heavy rains and rising levels of water, regions of Shinyanga, Mwanza, Tabora, Dodoma and Iringa experienced floods which displaced several families and destroyed field crop, roads and left some villages marooned and isolated from basic facilities. More than 2,787 households have been affected. The effects of the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) also resulted into health concerns lasting for at least seven months until the epidemic was brought in control. Overall, assessments conducted by the National Society in four regions indicated that at least 14,000 people were in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

A report from the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) on the country's seasonal rainfall outlook for the period between September and December 2007 had indicated that some areas like the regions in Lake Victoria Basin and Northern highlands would be receiving rains above normal. On 27 November 2007, heavy rains hit the town of Sumbawanga on the south western part of Tanzania. This resulted in the death of a four year old child and the destruction of 26 houses, rendering several people homeless. On December 2007, heavy rainfall was experienced in Kizungu village, Lyabukande ward in Shinyanga rural. A total of 49 houses were destroyed and

A threat of cholera outbreak occurred in Morogoro Region in December 2007. The Red Cross branch in the region has been closely monitoring this situation. In Uganda, cases of Ebola are significant and this has caused rising fears among communities living near the Tanzania-Uganda border, particularly in Kagera Region. The Government has already alerted people to take precautions and is also monitoring the disease. At the same time, the National Society, through its branches in Kagera, is scaling up surveillance on the disease.

An earthquake affected Morogoro region on 9 and 10 December 2007 leaving a total of 39 houses completely destroyed. The walls of 26 houses collapsed and the walls of another 249 houses cracked including a primary school. The most affected areas include Kisaki, Gomero and Nyarutanga villages, which lie on the Rift Valley on the slopes of the Great Uluguru Mountains. A total of 26 families were left homeless and two people out of 19 injured were admitted at Saint Francis Hospital.

Despite constant disruptions from harsh climatic conditions and earthquakes, the affected communities in Shinyanga and Dodoma have continued to recover by rebuilding their homes. Their socio-economic conditions have also improved to some extent during the reporting period. Selling of livestock and harvesting of agricultural produce such as rice and maize has reduced the impact of the food insecurity experienced as a result of the floods.

Coordination and partnerships

The Tanzania Red Cross National Society (TRCNS) has been working in collaboration with government and health authorities at the regional and district levels, as well as Red Cross branches and volunteers in the implementation of the relief activities. The Federation's Eastern Africa Zone office in Kenya supported the National Society in drafting the plan of action and budget.

The Africa Inland Church Tanzania has been supporting HIV and AIDS affected families in the Shinyanga region. The church has identified that households were especially vulnerable due to food insecurity and has requested  for assistance. Some vulnerable households have been assisted with food items to ensure that HIV and AIDS affected families, many of whom are from farming households with depleted stock and flood-affected crops, will have adequate food over the following months.

National Society Capacity Building

The Red Cross Branches in Dodoma and Shinyanga have recruited a total of 160 volunteers and trained them on Community-Based First Aid (CBFA). The volunteers have also been provided with information, education and communication (IEC) materials for conducting health education. Distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) to the flood-affected families has increased the image of the Red Cross and ultimately attracted new members and volunteers in the respective branches. This will in turn strengthen community preparedness and future potential emergencies.

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; telephone +; fax +

In Kenya: Knut Kaspersen, Deputy Head of Eastern Africa Zone and a.i. Head of East Africa Sub-Zone Office, Nairobi; email: knut.kaspersen@ifrc.org; telephone +; fax + or Dr Asha Mohammed, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Zone, Nairobi; email: asha.mohammed@ifrc.org; telephone: +; fax + or Government Health Officer facilitating RVF, Malaria and Diarrhoea training Philimon Majwa, Disaster Management Manager, Nairobi; email: philimon.majwa@ifrc.org; telephone +; fax +254.20. 271.2777

In Geneva: John Roche, Federation Operations Coordinator (Eastern and Southern Africa); email: john.roche@ifrc.org; telephone + 41.22.730.4400