March 15, 2012

Residents in flood prone areas asked to relocate

The government has ordered those living in flood prone areas to relocate from the dangerous areas with immediate effect to avoid disaster from flash floods and mudslides. A statement from the prime minister's office noted that the warning follows recent reports of seasonal rains (Masika) by the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) that started early this month. The statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Mr Peniel Lyimo, urged town authorities to ensure sewage systems are cleaned and unblocked to ensure smooth flow of water.

According to the statement, children should be warned against playing in watercourses to prevent them from being swept away by flowing waters. "It is imperative that the public heeds expert advice issued frequently by the weather agency," the statement noted. Disaster management committees at the regional, district, ward and village levels must take steps to prepare for any possible disasters that might be caused by floods, strong winds, mudslides or outbreak of diseases, the statement noted. The PS had also directed city, municipal, town, region, and district authorities to set a side special temporary areas to shelter victims, who will lose their houses in case of any disaster. Hospitals and dispensary have also been directed to be on the alert of outbreak of diseases such as cholera, malaria and typhod. "Miners and especially artesenal miners must take precausions to ensure rain water does not flow into their mining pits," said Mr Lyimo in his statement.

The prime minister's office also warned pastoralists to harvest and preserve pastures for their livestocks during drought, adding that they should also keep abreast with advice from livestock officers in their respective areas. Likewise, farmers have been advised to follow directives from extension officers in their areas and that if utilised well, the rains could be beneficial to the society and the nation in general. (Tanzania Daily News)

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