DEFINITELY we need rains not floods but if the worse comes, such floods should not be taken as a curse as floods could be managed and turned into fortune.
The recent floods that stormed the Dar es Salaam city came and went living us helpless, singing the usual old song, “people living in the Msimbazi valley should vacate those areas.”
Is it the first time such incidence happens in Dar es Salaam? By this time we should have gathered practical experiences on how to deal with this situation, yet after such disasters we seem to run out of ideas, standing with our hands akimbo only to condemn the poor people living in those impoverished areas.
Indeed, it is time now we should wake up and think anew on how best we can face these challenges in those areas prone to such hazards. Most of these floods are man-made as we have neglected the civilised norms of taking care of our environments.
The haphazard unplanned construction of houses has blocked the natural tributaries collecting rain waters to the ocean making it difficult for the rain waters to flow and also the solid waste is thrown without due to regards to health hazards.
Grand corruption must have played a role in influencing those officials to disregard the plight of land degradation. The sewage system is awful the skyscrapers are mushrooming while the sewage system is as old as the country’s independence.
Don’t we have town planners in our City? What is the use of carrying out census exercise if we cannot make use of the data for planning purposes? We should by this time have underground tunnels for our sewage system in the City.
Improving the city sewage infrastructures should be equally a priority just like the Dar es Salaam fly-overs, to avoid further deaths of our people. Notwithstanding, our risky environmental surroundings can be modified to neutralize the floods disasters.
It requires innovative people who can pull and push as has been the case of our mineral resources on copper concentrates. Msimbazi River should not be a problem. Look at the Thames River crisscrossing the London City without any menace, why can’t we turn our Msimbazi River into an attractive tourist attraction?
We have everything in our country rich in natural resources, friendly weather pattern, and manageable skilled human resource from our Tertiary Institutions. It seems there is a brain drain from our country where most of the qualified people are effectively working outside our country in places like South Africa, Botswana and Namibia managing in what we are complaining of here.
You cannot understand a country like Tanzania with three big lakes and other numerous rivers and tributaries graced with good rains yet her people are perpetually labouring for water and the agricultural sector is still heavily dependent on rain fed fields.
There are countries within Africa, Egypt or Namibia with erratic rains, perpetually dry yet they know how to utilise the little rains and water they have for productive purposes. Namibia is a semidesert country with erratic rains but when rain comes, it brings floods yet that water is not wasted, is harvested and reserved.
The country has three rivers mainly situated in the borders with Angola, Botswana and South Africa, Kunene, Kavango and Orange Rivers respectively. These rivers are very far away from the Windhoek City and in no way they feed Windhoek residents for their domestic uses.
Windhoek city is surrounded by water reservoirs mostly filled with rain harvested water. The rain water is never wasted and is reserved together with the domestic used water being recycled through the water reclamation plant.
In this water reclamation plant, there is a byproduct produced in the process- fertilizer that is used for gardening adding value to the beauty of the Windhoek city regarded as one of the beautiful cities in Africa.
Out of these challenges faced in Namibia, having a lot of river beds without water, erratic rains, dry seasons, they have used these challenges as opportunities to discover alternatives to their impediments.
Similarly even in Europe, the adverse weather conditions of severe winters and alike have forced them to be adventurous to come up with innovations such as heaters, refrigera tors and other gadgets to support their living.
In our case, by virtue of having everything in plenty, this has made us not to be innovative to come up with new ideas that would be beneficial for improvement of our living standards. We live in a world of plenty resulting into laziness in thinking.
It is unfortunate that politics have taken centre stand in lieu of other progressive issues. We waste a lot of time talking on politics rather than solving perpetual problems that keep on recurring. I very much agree with JPM that let us put politics aside and concentrate on developmental issues.
The issue of the management of the City of Dar es Salaam should be left alone without interference with party politics. The City should be responsible for the necessary provision of utilities for its subjects in water, electricity and wastage collections.
The city Council would buy in bulky electricity from Tanesco and Water from Dawasco and distribute to its subjects and make it inclusive in the monthly bills to its tenants. In other countries, the City Council is responsible for development and issuance of already worked out housing plots and furthermore they have auxiliary police force for keeping of law and order inclusive traffic officers.
This is how the City Council would be accountable to its subjects and possibly raise funds for the necessary improvement of the city. I do not see why this cannot work out here if it has worked very effectively and efficiently elsewhere.
The city fathers should take a leaf from other countries. This would alleviate the heavy burden of production and distribution services to corporation such as Tanesco or Dawasco.