By Fr John Waters
As the flooding in Tanzania continues, the Bishop of Lindi, one of the most affected areas of the country, has put out an appeal for disaster relief. Torrential rain has caused flooding in the South-Eastern region of Tanzania since the end of January.
Bishop Bruno Pius Ngonyani has called on local caritas groups, state authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and “all people of good will” to help those affected by the flooding. His appeal echoes another which was made by the Tanzanian Prime Minister’s disaster relief team, who called for more donations of money and resources as the crisis continued. At least 21 people have died as a result of the floods, with a further 21,000 people having been displaced.
Relief efforts are being hampered by the fact that rain is still ongoing in some of the worst affected areas. A number of road bridges have also been damaged by the floods waters, leaving some areas only accessible by helicopter. In January one national disaster management team said that the situation had left them overstretched and under-resourced.
Many schools have been closed to their pupils and are instead being used as shelters for those made homeless. Makeshift hospitals and healthcare facilities are also often based in these converted school buildings.
Up to 495 acres of farmland have also been destroyed by the floods, leaving many people without food supplies.