Some houses in Kanga, Kiegele, Kilindi and Nyandote areas at Chumbi ward in Rufiji district, Coast Region surrounded by water as captured yesterday
© Projestus BinamunguSome houses in Kanga, Kiegele, Kilindi and Nyandote areas at Chumbi ward in Rufiji district, Coast Region surrounded by water as captured yesterday
Nearly 1000 people have been rendered homeless after floods engulfed 58 houses in Kanga, Kiegele, Kilindi, and Nyandote sub-villages in the Chumbi ward of Rufiji District, Coast Region.

District Commissioner Major Edward Gowele said this yesterday when speaking to victims shortly after inspecting flood impacts in affected areas.

He said more than 28,000 hectares of agricultural and commercial crops such as corn, rice; sesame, and banana were affected by the floods, which were mainly caused by the opening of water from the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP).

DC Gowele was accompanied by Mohamed Mchengerwa, who is the MP for Rufiji and Minister of State, President's Office-Regional Administrations and Local Governments (PO-RALG).

According to DC Gowele, who is also Chairman of the district defence and security committee said that the initial assessment revealed the destruction of 58 houses and more than 28 thousand hectares of agro-business crops such as maize, rice, sesame and bananas have been affected.

He said that people affected by the floods have been reallocated to safe areas, emphasising that there were no deaths reported as a result of the floods.

Expressing his condolences to the victims, minister Mchengerwa contributed 40m/- as support for purchasing seeds for more than 1,000 residents of various areas in Rufiji district whose property, farms, and homes were affected by the flood of water which resulted from the opening of JNHPP.

He said that he issued the money to encourage residents to return to their farms to start cultivating again after their crops were washed away by the flood.

"This is a tragedy for both of us, we believed that the construction of JNHPP would be a savior from the floods that have been hitting us from time to time, but unfortunately, they continue to occur, let's have faith that when the project is completed, this challenge will be resolved," the Mchengerwa explained.

Mchengerwa added: "I know exactly how Rufiji residents cultivated this year, I urge you to go back to the fields and plant again at large scales, I have given 40m/- to your DC to start with to help with purchasing seeds so that we can return to the field to plant again so that we do not suffer from hunger."

Similarly, the minister called upon institutions and humanitarian aid organisations as well as Good Samaritan to respond to the Rufiji people by supporting them in one way or another during this situation. At the same time, the local authority continues to monitor and evaluate the effects of the floods in general.

"The truth be told, the 40m/- is from my salary, to ensure that we have Iftar during this holy month of Ramadan as we always do every year, but in this incident of flooding, let me just say that Iftar is nothing and I have given this amount to purchase seeds and I am going to ask my friends to donate at least 100m/- to help Rufiji residents affected by this flood," Mchengerwa clarified.

Halima Mbwana Chumbi village resident, one of the flood victims, claimed that the situation is getting worse due to a lack of essential needs such as food and shelter, so they hope to get someone to give them a hand.

"We are left empty, our crops in the fields were swept away with the flood and even our reserved food and our houses have also been swept away, we have nowhere to live and no food, we are asking for assistance because our situation is terrible," Halima said.