Tanzania: Technical Accident and Floods DREF operation no. MDRTZ007


GLIDE no. AC-2008-0000040-TZA and FL-2008-000041-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.

CHF 11,593 (USD 11,593 or EUR 7,365) has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Tanzania Red Cross National Society in conducting needs assessments and supporting the miners trapped under the flooded mines as well as their family members. Un earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Search and rescue operations are still in the very initial stages and so far a total of five dead bodies are reported to have been recovered while dozens were pulled out alive and taken to hospital. As of 31 March 2008, more than 65 artisan miners are still considered trapped underground, and their status still unknown.

This operation is expected to be implemented over one month, and will therefore be completed by 30 April 2008. A Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation.

The situation

Over 65 artisan miners are feared drowned/dead while on underground small scale gemstone/tanzanite mining activities in Mererani area. The incidence, as reported by the local media and as confirmed by the Central Government, occurred on the 29 March 2008. It is further reported that over 150 miners were approximately 300 meters deep underground when five mining pits they were working in got flooded with storm water following heavy rains that ensued in the area. The country is currently in the long rain season with the most parts of the country experiencing heavy downpour.

Heavy downpours have been experienced since mid March following the start of the long rains 'Masika' almost throughout the country. In nearby Arusha region - at Mto wa Mbu area more than 1,500 people have been left homeless after their houses were flooded by storm water on 29 March 2008. For more information on Tanzania floods, please refer to http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/08/MDRTZ006.pdf.

Contact information

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

In Kenya: Dr. Kiflemarian Amdermarian, Ag. Disaster Management Coordinator, email: kiflemariam.amdemariam@ifrc.org Telephone: +254.736.888.288 or Philimon Majwa, Disaster Management Manager, Nairobi; Telephone: +; email: philimon.majwa@ifrc.org

In Kenya: Ken Odur, Federation Ag. Head of Eastern Africa Zone, Nairobi, email: ken.odur@ifrc.org; Telephone: +, Fax: +;

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