And more still risk losing their homes and livelihoods as the flooding, caused by non-stop rain, is forecast to last the whole of the rainy season – a month and a half. Kilombero in Morogoro region, about 250 miles from the capital Dar es Salaam has taken the worst hit.
A pregnant woman died giving birth when blocked roads stopped her from getting to hospital, said children’s charity Plan International.“These floods have affected the livelihoods of 1100 households or 5,000 people, out of which more than half are children,” said the charity’s Gerald Magashi. “Due to the incessant rains, more than 150 houses have collapsed and people’s belongings have been destroyed.” “The local government through its disaster response and prevention committee and other government departments, has assessed the situation and come up with a plan of action to avert a looming disaster,” Mr Magashi added.
So far, about eight people have died in the flooding since last week, according to The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System which put out an alert. “The frequency and ferocity of floods are increasing worldwide,” warned Plan’s Dr Unni Krishnan. “Since seasonal floods have a degree of pattern and predictability, early warning and community preparedness measures can go a long way to minimise the impact of floods. Often with schools being submerged or suspended and play and study materials lost during floods, children are doubly hit.”
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world and more than one-third of its people live below the poverty line. Nearly half of the country’s 38 million people are children and more than 54 per cent of Tanzanian children are malnourished, according to figures from Save the Children. And those living in cut-off areas are often the worst hit. Many children there still miss out on a good quality education. Climate change is a serious threat to public health, and causes death and disease through natural disasters, such as heat-waves, floods and droughts, says The World Health Organisation.
Also, many important diseases are highly sensitive to changing temperatures and rains… diseases such as malaria as well as other major killers such as malnutrition and diarrhoea. “Climate change already contributes to the global burden of disease, and this contribution is expected to grow in the future,” it said