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Sumbawanga floods : 107 houses, their walls, roofs damaged

FLOODS are being reported in some parts of the country, and this could be a result of global warming and climate change.

Floods wreaked havoc in Mtwara Region recently, but before that, residents of Sumbawanga District suffered from the same natural phenomenon.

On page 4 of the Daily Blog (January 9) is a news item entitled: “Floods kill three, leave 600 others homeless”. The writer opens this story by relating some sad news: “Three children have died and ‘other’ 600 people have been rendered homeless in Sumbawanga District, after raging floods damaged their houses due to heavy rain”.

Clearly here, “other 600 people” should read “another 600 people”. The whole sentence could be rewritten to read something like: “Three children have died and ‘another’ 600 people have been rendered homeless in Sumbawanga District, after raging floods caused by heavy rain damaged their houses”.

Goes on the writer: “The rain which was accompanied by strong wind, caused 23 people to suffer broken limbs and multiple wounds”. I prefer talking in terms of “strong winds”, instead of “strong wind”. This prompts me to rewrite the sentence into: “The rain which was accompanied by strong winds, injured 23 people who suffered broken limbs and multiple wounds”.

Throughout the article, one comes across the unnecessary use of the words “include” and “among”, individually or in combination, like the following examples demonstrate: “A Moravian Church building at Msanda B Village whose walls were broken down and the roofs of two classrooms at Lyapona Primary.

School were damaged, INCLUDING six latrine pits at Mlenje Primary School”. In the above sentence, the use of the preposition “including” is perplexing. We recommend its exclusion.

The sentence could be broken into two independent ones, as proposed below: “A Moravian Church building at Msanda B Village had its walls broken down and the roofs of two classrooms at Lyapona Primary School were damaged. Six pit latrines at Mlenje Primary School were also damaged”.

We are further told that: “AMONG the 11 villages hit by the heavy rain INCLUDED Kavifuti, Kaengesa, Lyapona, Msanda A and B and Mlelezi”. We should not use both “among” and “include” referring to the same phenomenon. I would prefer to drop “among” and have the sentence read as: “The 11 villages hit by the heavy rain INCLUDED Kavifuti, Kaengesa, Lyapona, Msanda A and B and Mlelezi”.

If retention of “among” is preferred, then “included” could be replaced and have the sentence read as: “Kavifuti, Kaengesa, Lyapona, Msanda A and B and Mlelezi were AMONG the 11 villages hit by the heavy rain”. We get more from the writer on the damage caused by the floods: “In the wake of ‘hostile’ weather, 107 houses were also damaged “and their walls and roofs were damaged”.

Now, if a house is damaged by heavy rain accompanied by strong winds, is it not given that it is the walls and the roof that get the beating? The sentence is unnecessarily long. It could be shortened into: “In the wake of the hostile weather, 107 houses had their walls and roofs damaged”. What has been done about this sad event?

The writer tells it all: “Experts from ‘a’ district disaster team ‘has’ assessed the actual loss caused by the rain and ‘has’ established that properties and infrastructures worth 95.3m/= were damaged and the Kwela MP donated 600,000/= cash as humanitarian assistance to ‘survivors’”.

Was the assessment carried out by one, or several experts? We assume it was done by one expert from the district disaster team. We also think the MP’s donation was not part of the damage assessment.

A rewrite of the sentence would be: “An expert from ‘the’ district disaster team ‘has’ assessed the actual loss caused by the rain and ‘has’ established that properties and infrastructure worth 95.3m/= were damaged.

At the same time, the Kwela MP has donated 600,000/= cash as humanitarian assistance to ‘the affected persons’ (not ‘survivors’)”. Bravo Kwale MP for that humanitarian action! lusuggakironde@ gmail.com

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Author: Lusuga Kironde

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