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Tanzania: Floods in Lindi - Emergency Plan of Action Operation Update 2, DREF n° MDRTZ026

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Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This Operation Update No.2 reports on the detailed assessment, seeks to extend the timeframe by two months (for a total of 6 months). Indeed, with support from the deployed surge, the detailed assessments planned in Operation Update 1 has now been finalized and based on its findings, the operational strategy has been revised, including a Shelter response strategy, complementing the ongoing WASH and Health operation, as presented in this Operation Update. In addition, the delays caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic and measures taken by the Government to curb its spread, requires a timeframe extension from 4 to 6 months, with a new end date set for 31 July 2020, to ensure all activities are fully implemented. With this Operation Update, a third allocation of CHF 133,297 (for a total of CHF 498,960) is being granted to provide selected vulnerable households with material for emergency shelters to complement items distributed and increase the provision of food through cash from 1 to 3 months.


Description of the disaster

Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) through this DREF operation, is responding to flood affected families in Lindi region, South East Tanzania. On 27 January, heavy rainfall occurred in Kilwa, Liwale and Ruangwa districts in Lindi region (southeastern Tanzania), resulting in flash floods causing fatalities and major damage to critical infrastructure and houses. A DREF operation was granted for CHF 72,897 to allow the NS conduct a rapid assessment. This assessment was conducted within the first two weeks after the floods occurred and allowed theNS to request through Operation Update 1 approved on 21 February 2020, to extend the operation timeframe from two months to four months, review targets and finetune its operational strategy. The NS also received a second allocation of CHF 292,766 to be able to implement this operational strategy.

The rains have continued through February to date, causing more flooding in other areas due to the rivers Matandu,
Mavuji and Mbwemkuru breaking their banks. A rapid needs assessment was conducted from 5 to 8 February 2020; within the two weeks after the floods, informing on the immediate needs. A follow up joint detailed assessment was later conducted from 27th February to 8 March 2020, by TRCS and the local government to complement the rapid assessment.

The initial rapid assessment had identified 5,096 HH (appx 16,387) people as displaced and hosted in Kipindimbi and Mkwanjuni makeshift camps. However, the detailed assessment provided accurate data revealing that 4,297 households (21,485 people) were affected. The difference of 799 households was as a result of double registration because the definition of a household was not clear to the affected families. The number of deaths has equally risen from 21 to 24 people. The flash floods equally caused major damage to local infrastructure, livelihoods and personal properties. In the two villages of Kipindimbi and Mkwanjuni, 2 public schools, 2 main roads, 4 religious centres (mosques), 2 market centres, 33 shops (4 wholesale and 29 retail), 2 community level health facilities and 3 bridges were destroyed. School going children have been moved to other neighbouring government schools. Part of the area in Kipindimbi is only accessible by air as the road has been cut off due to the floods. Over 7,037 hectares of farmland with ready to harvest crops were destroyed impacting close to 10,000 farmers. Some 8 cows, 263 goats, 99 sheep and 5,005 chickens were washed away by the floods. In addition, approximately 2,000 hectares of arable land has been rendered fallow due to sand-casting with long-term implications for the environment, agriculture, and livelihoods.
Apart from the 4,297 households in Kipindimbi and Mkwanjuni, there were another 114 households (850 people), affected in Ruangwa district, 936 households (1,777 people) in Lindi urban district with and 198 households (234 people in Liwale district. In total, 5,545 HHs (28,258 people) were rendered homeless in the entire region.
Eight (8) out of the 21 affected villages in the region were declared unsafe for habitation, therefore the government has provided alternative resettlement land.

Out of the affected 5,545 houses in the region, 68% (3,770 houses) were destroyed and rendered inhabitable. Out of these 3,770 destroyed inhabitable houses, 66% of them (2,501 HHs) were completely washed away in Njinjo, Kisimamkika and Kipindimbi villages and did not salvage anything. These families were moved to Kipindimbi resettlement camps and are the ones in need of humanitarian assistance. To date 68% (16,387 people) have been registered as internally displaced populations living in resettlement camps, majority of whom are women and children. These households are in urgent need of shelter, food, Wash, livelihood and health. Efforts have been geared towards supporting these families with basic household items, shelter, food and water. However, the already received support is to cushion the most affected families since the government and TRCS efforts are challenged due to the magnitude of the flood and similar floods events happening elsewhere in the country.

Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) shared forecast shows that there will be increased rainfall between March and May 2020 during the long rain season and this will worsen the already bad situation in the region and beyond. The situation may worsen from the effects of category 2 tropical cyclone named Herold that has been reported in northeast of Madagascar. The effects of the cyclone and the continued rains may result to further flooding affecting additional villages.

The effects of increased rainfall have since been witnessed in neighbouring Pwani region where 3,437 houses are submerged in water. Mud slides have also been reported in Njombe region where 2 lives were lost, 5 others injured, and 13 houses destroyed.

The outbreak and declaration of Covid-19 as a pandemic, will automatically affect movement of people and relief aid, particularly aid from outside Tanzania. Tanzania has already reported Covd-19 cases with neighbouring Kenya and Rwanda reporting cases as well. This means the country will have to refocus their energies to the disease response, limiting intervention towards flood afflicted communities.