Tanzanian Military Helps Rebuild After Earthquake
The Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) is playing a key role in distributing aid and rebuilding infrastructure after the earthquake that struck the far north of the country.
In September 2016, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake killed 17 people and injured 360 in Bukoba.
After the quake, President John Magufuli ordered the TPDF to assist where possible.
“The disaster committee has asked the TPDF members to chip in, and they have already responded by allocating its engineering unit and some medical officers ready for the tasks,” Kagera Regional Commissioner Salim Kijuu, a retired major general, told Tanzania’s Daily News.
As of late October, a team of field engineers from the TPDF was working to repair a health center in the Misenyi district, the Daily News reported. The team had plans to assist in other projects in Karagwe, Misenyi and Bukoba districts.
However, the need remains great. Kijuu told reporters that work to repair damaged government buildings alone would cost more than 10 billion Tanzanian shillings. The damage to civilian infrastructure is even greater. Kijuu reported that 2,072 houses had collapsed and 14,595 had developed major cracks.
Fadhili Manongi, a commissioner from the Fair Competition Commission, said he was shocked by the devastation. His group donated 5,743 corrugated iron sheets to help in the reconstruction effort.
“The gravity of the earthquake is enormous,” Manongi told the Daily News “I have learnt this after arriving in Bukoba municipality. Actually, many people living in faraway towns and cities like Dar es Salaam and Arusha are ignorant of the devastation caused by the earthquake.”