Floods destroy 1 746 homes, claiming 21 lives and leaving more than 15 000 homeless in southeastern Tanzania

Floods destroy 1 746 homes, claiming 21 lives and leaving more than 15 000 homeless in southeastern Tanzania

Flooding in southeastern Tanzania's Lindi region has killed 21 people, totally destroyed 1 746 homes and left more than 15 000 homeless, as of Monday, February 3, 2020. Five people remain missing.

The media, which quoted local government sources, said 15 096 have been displaced, with around 8 000 seeking shelter in evacuating centers since late January when the floods started.

Kilwa, Liwale, and Ruangwa districts in Lindi were hit the worst, according to the Red Cross. In Kilwa, 500 trapped individuals were awaiting evacuation.

"The flash floods have caused major damage to local infrastructure, livelihoods, and personal properties," said the organization, adding that about 201 ha (495 acres) of farmland was ravaged, and some areas were only accessible by boat.

"The area is prone to waterborne and communicable diseases and due to contaminated water sources and limited access to basic services for evacuees, there is an increased risk of a waterborne disease outbreak."

According to the Tanzanian ITV broadcaster, officials will provide humanitarian aid to the affected areas by helicopter and aircraft.

Heavy rains since January 27 caused local rivers to overflow, resulting in floods spreading across the region.

An alert for heavy rain was issued for southern regions Lindi, Iringa, Ruvuma, and Mtwara into Tuesday, February 4.

In late January, flooding in central Tanzania's Iringa region claimed at least three lives and left 300 homeless. Flooding was also reported in the regions of Dodoma and Songwe.

In 2019, two months of incessant rains inundated villages and farms, sending rivers of mud into homes across East Africa which killed at least 265.

Featured image credit: @voiceofbongo/Twitter

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