The Southern African Development Community (SADC) notes with great sorrow and sadness the death of over 40 people with some still missing, and the damage caused by heavy rains and flooding following torrential rains in the Lindi, Mwanza, Morogoro and Manyara districts. The floods have also resulted in the destruction of 1,750 houses, displacing 15,000 people, 8,000 of whom are in temporary shelters. Furthermore, the heavy rains and floods have caused destruction to roads, bridges, schools and hospitals and damaging 495 acres of farmland with unconfirmed number of livestock killed or injured across the affected areas.
SADC conveys its heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the bereaved families, and wishes those injured, a quick recovery. SADC stands in solidarity with the Government and the people affected as they recover from the tragedy. We call upon regional stakeholders, our partners, within and beyond the region, to continue to support the recovery efforts, and in providing the needed humanitarian assistance as may be required.
These extreme weather events continue to weaken our resolve to increase the resilience of our communities as their magnitude and severity exceed our capacities to effectively deal with them. SADC reiterates its call for both regional and global efforts to mitigate our carbon footprint that exacerbates global warming and consequently climate change in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030).
The Secretariat remains committed to supporting Member States in ensuring a coordinated approach to disaster risk management and is in this regard strengthening regional capacities for preparedness and effective response to disasters through amongst other undertaking regional assessments, and the provision of early warning services.
May I call upon SADC Member States to strengthen early warning capacities, ensure preparedness and enhance resilience, while also promoting environmental management, in particular reforestation and afforestation as vegetation has the capacity to regulate and reduce the impacts of floods.
Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax,
SADC EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
13th February 2020