JPM warns city dwellers off flooding areas

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday warned against building houses in flood-prone areas, saying those ignoring the caution should not cast blame on the government.

A day after a heavy rain wreaked havoc in many parts of the commercial city of Dar es Salaam, Dr Magufuli responded by urging the citizens to be cautious and take precautions during the ongoing rainy season.

A new round of disruptive downpour hit the Dar es Salaam city for several hours on Tuesday, flooding its environs and bringing the city to a standstill.

Most of the houses along the Msimbazi River and those located at Jangwani area were submerged, forcing the occupants fleeing their homes.

Various home appliances were seen floating on the running waters of the flooded Msimbazi River sailing towards the Indian Ocean.

“You should beware of the ongoing heavy rain season and should avoid building near valleys,” the Head of State emphasized when speaking in Chato district when launching a 340m/- water wells project at Chato Primary School, a donation from the Islamic Foundation Tanzania.

The president counseled individuals who thought of building houses to study the history of where they want to place their investment in order to establish if the area is safe from floods.

“You decide to build a house in the flood-prone area then later on you blame the government. Was it the government that told you to build there?” wondered Dr Magufuli.

The rain season should be considered a blessing and not a curse, and the president encouraged the citizens to make good use of it by growing crops for commercial and food purpose.

With the heavy rains, the President said he would not expect to hear of any district affected by hunger.

“Now there are enough rains and I don’t see district commissioners motivating citizens to cultivate crops. Should I hear any district complaining over hunger its DC should leave their positions,” he stated.

Meanwhile, President Magufuli implored the public to protect constructed water projects because the government invests a lot of money to implement those projects.

Citing an example from the Chato district, Dr Magufuli noted that in the past the district had water pipes laid at different parts but were almost all destroyed.

“As we receive this donation from our colleagues of Islamic Foundation we should regret over what we did to our water infrastructures. We have destroyed them,” he said.

Earlier, Water Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa, explained that the government currently implements major water project in the district, worth 8.2bn/-. Prof Mbarawa said the project has reached 83 per cent so far and will be fully completed by February, next year.

Meanwhile, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr Paul Makonda yesterday inspected impaired infrastructures and promised the residents that the government would immediately repair damaged roads.

Mr Makonda said the government had done a great job in constructing water channels and expanding valleys but the residents had a tendency of dumping wastes into them, a situation which led to blocking waterways, thus causing floods.

He also instructed the citizens who have built houses in flood-prone areas to leave those areas for their safety because the heavy rain season is still here.

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