When a torrential downpour caused a devastating mudslide in Hanang District, Manyara Region, Tanzania, it claimed 69 lives and left over 110 injured. The disaster, which occurred on December 3rd, also swept away homes, businesses, and infrastructures, instigating an outpouring of grief and shock in the wake of the calamity.
Amid the debris and despair, a resilient community is now raising its voice to President Samia Suluhu Hassan, seeking assistance in restoring their lives and livelihoods.
Endeavoring to Endure
The mudslide has left a significant impact on the residents of the affected region. Among the victims is a businessman, Nicholaus Lucas, who stored crops such as maize, beans, and pigeon peas in six storage facilities, all of which were engulfed by mud. Lucas had borrowed 30 million Tanzanian shillings from the bank with hopes of expanding his business. Now, with his crops buried under mounds of mud, he faces the daunting task of repaying his loan amidst a financial crisis.
Similarly, Victoria Kimambo, who ran a second-hand clothing business, lost her source of income when her store was swept away by the disaster. Their stories echo the plight of hundreds of affected residents, struggling to salvage their lives from the aftermath of the mudslide.
Recovery and Resilience
As the community grapples with the disaster's aftermath, the government, through its spokesperson Mobhare Matinyi, has initiated an assessment of the infrastructural damage in Katesh and four other villages. The focus is on restoring roads, water systems, and electricity, while restoring normalcy is the topmost priority. Various agencies, like the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) and the Rural and Urban Roads Agency (Tarura), are working tirelessly to repair the battered areas.
As Tanzania battles this calamity, the international community has extended their support. Hungarian President, Ms. Katalin Novak, along with other global leaders, including the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Tanzania, Sweden Embassy, Belgium Embassy, European Union Delegation to Tanzania and East Africa Community, and Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General, have sent condolence messages. The outpouring of support is a testament to global solidarity in the face of such disasters.
In the aftermath of the disaster, the residents of Hanang District are calling upon President Samia Suluhu Hassan, appealing for loans, housing, and assistance for business recovery. As the community rebuilds, the echo of their appeal serves as a stark reminder of the human resilience and spirit in the face of adversity.