Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Climate change triggers disease risk in Tanzania

Kizito Makoye in IPS: Residents in low-lying areas in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, are potentially at risk of contracting waterborne diseases as heavy rains, which started last week, continue to pound the city.

Early this month, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) announced that Dar es Salaam was among the areas in northern and southern Tanzania that would receive above-average rainfall and strong winds in the coming weeks, and urged residents to take precautions.

Tanzania’s eastern Morogoro Region was also affected in January as flash floods displaced over 10,000 people and damaged infrastructure such as roads and houses. In Jangwani and  Kigogo, administrative areas in Dar es Salaam, residents who refused to heed the government’s call to vacate the area are being affected by the current downpour.

...Local residents from Kigogo told IPS that the water had become a serious health hazard because people are emptying their pit latrines into the flooded water, which resulted in human excreta spreading through the area.

...Public health experts have cautioned that residents in disaster-prone areas are potentially vulnerable to epidemic diseases. Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Said Meck Sadick told IPS that waterborne diseases were endemic to the city because some residents did not observe good hygiene....

An aerial view of Dar es Salaam, shot by BBM Explorer, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr,  under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license 

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