Environmental Disaster Management in Tanzania

By Baraka Mwampalile – Art in Tanzania internship

Introduction

Definition of key terms

Disaster- we can define as the serious disruptions occurring over a short period of time that cause widespread human, material, economic and environmental loss which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.

It can be as natural or man-made disasters such as drought, floods, earthquakes, cyclones, eruption of diseases, bomb explosions and accidents both on land, air and water.

Disaster management

As the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspect of emergencies in particular preparedness, response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters. It includes all procedure, processes, agencies and institutional framework which are inter-linkage each other to manage hazards.

General overview of Disaster Management in Tanzania

Tanzania mainland is exposed of many hazard including floods, drought, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, tsunami and earthquakes, all of which have potential of disrupting the community in term of social economic services, ecological, environmental and health. Similar, Tanzania under the prime minister identifying that, major disasters in our country are floods, drought and earthquakes which causing casualties and damaging or destroying the public or private property.

Similar, Tanzania government since independence introducing The disaster Management Department (DMD) under the prime minister office which has the main work on identifying and anticipating hazards and preparations of plans, programs against disasters impacts so as to save lives and protect property.

Status of Disaster Management in Tanzania

Through different scholars and disaster personnel making researchers on the trend of disaster since independence up to current. The united republic of Tanzania government trying take an efforts on to lessen up the impacts of disasters like earthquakes, drought and floods by making policies (Disaster Management Policy of 2004), Disaster Act, of 2015, programs like N’gorongoro community base disaster management, introduction of institutions providing expertise dealing with disaster and environmental for example The university of Dar es salaam and The university of Dodoma and supervising coordination among the institutions on time of hazard occurrence like fire department, health sector, policy force and other ministries agencies on reducing the directed impacts to the community. Although those efforts but still now our country suffer from disrupting of natural disaster.

The possible challenges are poor implementation of policies and acts whereby on paperwork comprises of all measures and actions on preparedness, response and recovery but still on reality based on response stages where government allocates their resources effectively compared to other stages. Also, we challenged with shortage of disaster expertise which are more potential in all sectors through on making and implementation of policies, acts, preparations of programs and plans, provision of awareness to the community. Furthermore, educational institutions are very few which provide each year’s personnel such as Ardhi University and The University of Dodoma.

Table: Disasters current trend

Types of DisasterPlaceYearsImpacts
FloodsDar es Salaam27-05-2019total number  of people affected with flood (2-death)
DroughtAgro-ecological zones2011-2016Reductions crops-yields 7.
EarhquakesKagera20161170-total number of people affected with earthquakes(UNCEF)
  • Why developing countries, it is commonly lack of funds, equipment and educated people to manage the Disaster situations.

Lack of funds. Most of political ruling systems in developing countries invaded with political issues which trigger management of disaster. Every ruling system comes with their political ideology which based on other sectors than directions of enough resources on disaster management. For example, in 2015 the late president Dr. Joseph John Pombe Magufuli came up with investment on industrial economy whereby a lot of funds invested on industries compared to disaster department. Also, there is no proper coordination on resources ownership among stakeholders, agencies and ministries. In addition, most developing countries depend on donor countries which create an environment to depend all the time on international donors during disaster strike for example Tanzania on disasters project depend on much world banks which sponsor constructions and repairing infrastructures affected with floods.

  • Equipment

We have low technological advancement in term of innovations which are most important to produce equipment used on weather forecasting, early warning systems and transportation equipment services like cars, airplane. Although current some developing countries taking actions on creation of weather forecasting satellite which are used on provisions of cyclones information  (SADC, 4IR satellite launching on 27-10-2020).

Figure: SADC, 4IR satellite louching 2020

Measures

Allocation of enough budget in disaster management. Tanzania government current they should increases more budgets which will help to minimize the impacts of disaster in social-economic and environment. Also they should creating proper economic diversification where sectors are more priorities to acquire enough capital they should contribute to disaster department which will help to access more equipment like weather forecasting equipment, warning systems and rescue equipment which will bring benefits to our country specifically in rural areas community will access easily warning Information and educations on how to conserve environment (land, water and air).

Similar, Tanzania government they should increases number of institutions on provision of disasters education for aiming of increasing number of disaster experts, provision of education on practical rather than theoretical and provisions of disaster experts in all sectors on provision of educations and preparations of plans and programs. Furthermore, government should make sure policies and Acts are well implemented not remaining on paperwork.

In addition, technology should be improved at all levels so as to create better conditions for making sustainably country on technological innovations. Both local technologies and modern technologies should be emphasized so as to reduce the impacts of disasters from national up to local levels, for example using insects, animals on weather forecasting and prediction, food storage facilities (modern and local) which will bring positive impacts on environment and social-economic aspects against disaster impacts.

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