HEAVY rains will fall over the entire Tanzanian coast for three days starting on Wednesday, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has predicted.
TMA Director General Dr Agnes Kijazi said a heavy precipitation exceeding 50 millimetres in 24 hours is expected to be experienced in Dar es Salaam, Mtwara, Lindi and Tanga regions in the Mainland as well as on Unguja and Pemba islands.
In a statement also copied to the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam, the weather agency has attributed the downpour to the deepening of the low pressure system over the eastern Indian Ocean.
It said the condition “is associated with abrupt northward shift of the Inter-tropical convergence zone, which has enhanced moisture from the ocean towards the coastal belt’’.
Dr Kijazi added that the recent rains and the expected rains will contribute to early onset of the long (masika) rains over some areas of the northern coast, including Dar es Salaam Region.
“TMA will continue to monitor the situation and issue updates when necessary,” she said while advising residents along the areas and ocean users to take necessary precautions. Disaster management authorities have also been alerted.
The Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr Saidi Meck Sadiki, said yesterday that he hoped the floods will not hit the low-lying areas “as efforts to remove them from the flood-prone areas have met with challenges’’.
“At present there is nothing we can do to talk or force people living in the valleys out as they have opened cases that seek to prohibit the government from removing them there,” he remarked.
Mr Sadiki noted that there were four cases pending in courts, which were opened by some residents in the valleys who oppose their removal from the low-lying neighbourhoods.
In 2011, torrential rains caused flash floods in many parts of Dar es Salaam, affecting valley residents most. Some residents were forced to abandon their homes and seek shelter elsewhere.
Among the most hit areas were Mabibo, Msimbazi valley, Jangwani and Kigogo where water flooded houses, forcing residents to leave with whatever belongings they could carry.
Some were forced to relocate to Mabwepande in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam where the government had put up tents to temporarily house those affected.
However, some of the victims have since returned to the flood-prone areas despite the authorities’ move to help them put up permanent residence at Mabwepande.