Rivers overflow in Tanzania, causing severe floods and destruction

tana river flood as seen by copernicus sentinel-2 satellite on november 11 2023

Heavy rainfall since late October 2023 has severely affected northern Tanzania, especially the Arusha Region. The resulting floods and river overflows have led to at least 10 fatalities, displacement of approximately 90 families, and significant damage to houses and bridges. The worst-hit areas in the Arusha District include Muriet, Terrat, Elerai, Morombo, Lolovono, and Ngarenaro. Further heavy rainfall is forecasted for most of the country.

Since late October 2023, northern Tanzania, particularly the Arusha Region bordering southern Kenya, has been grappling with heavy rainfall and devastating floods.

As reported on November 16, the flood have resulted in at least 10 fatalities and the displacement of approximately 90 families. The Arusha District, comprising villages and neighborhoods like Muriet, Terrat, Elerai, Morombo, Lolovono, and Ngarenaro, stands as the hardest hit.

The floods have wreaked havoc on the region’s infrastructure. Numerous houses, along with critical bridges, have been damaged or destroyed, significantly disrupting daily life and mobility. The crisis has heightened in the affected areas, with local authorities and relief agencies scrambling to provide necessary assistance to those impacted. The situation is further exacerbated by ongoing rainfall, which continues to pose a threat to already vulnerable structures and communities.

The Tanzanian government and various aid organizations are actively engaged in relief and rescue operations. Efforts are being made to provide shelter and aid to displaced families, while attempts to repair damaged infrastructure are underway.

Heavy rains and floods are also affecting neighboring countries, especially Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. The death toll across the Horn of Africa has reached at least 121, with more than 700 000 displaced, as of November 17.

The worst affected is Kenya with at least 46 fatalities, Ethiopia with 33, and Somalia with 32.

tana river flood sentinel-2 november 11 2023
Image credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2. Acquired on November 11, 2023

The Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) has issued warnings of more heavy rainfall, accompanied by strong winds, particularly affecting regions like Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Morogoro, Pwani, Mafia Isles, Lindi, Pemba, and Unguja.

With the vuli rainy season expected to continue through December, there is an urgent need for heightened preparedness and response mechanisms to mitigate further impact.

Featured image credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2. Acquired on November 11, 2023.


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