In the early hours of December 3, 2023, the tranquil life in Katesh and Gendabi areas within Hanang District, Manyara Region, Tanzania, was interrupted by severe flooding. The overnight rains triggered mudslides and instigated the partial collapse of Mount Hanang. The aftermath – a shocking tally of at least 20 fatalities and 70 injuries, with homes, shops, business areas, and the main bus station in Katesh lying in ruins.
Casualties and Rescue Efforts
Janeth Mayanja, the District Commissioner of Hanang, confirmed the casualties and the ongoing rescue operations. The rescue mission, however, is fraught with challenges, as many of the affected areas remain inaccessible. The Chairman of the Hanang District Council, Rose Kamili, shared these concerns, indicating the complexity of the situation on the ground.
Local Voices and Concerns
Jeremiah Siay, a local resident of the area, spoke of his missing relatives and the extensive loss of property and livestock. His narrative paints a vivid picture of the catastrophe, echoing the distress and uncertainties that many residents are grappling with. Queen Sendiga, the Regional Commissioner of Manyara, is scheduled to visit the district, raising hopes of expedited aid and relief.
This disaster underscores the urgent need for robust water resource management solutions and disaster preparedness in the region. It also highlights the vulnerability of these areas to the impacts of the climate crisis, with scientists predicting more frequent and severe weather events. On a related note, the report also indicated a decrease in fuel prices, effective the following day, which could have ramifications on the overall economic landscape of the country.