Dozens killed in floods and landslides in Tanzania

The death toll from flooding and landslides in northern Tanzania has risen to 63.

In order to deal with the impact of the heavy rains, President Samia Suluhu Hassan is cutting short her attendance at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

Homes, infrastructure and farmland have also been damaged.

Massive floods are sweeping through countries across East Africa, with the El Nino weather phenomenon partly to blame.

Tanzania’s government said 400 rescue workers have been sent to the northern Hanang district.

However, rescuers are operating under challenging conditions, such as defective telecommunications and blocked, damaged roads, the president’s spokesperson, Zuhura Yunus, said in a statement released on Monday.

“President Samia, who has been in Dubai for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28) has decided to cut her trip short and arrive in the country as soon as possible to deal with this disaster,” Ms Yunus said.

President Samia was among the dozens of world leaders who gathered at the major UN summit to discuss tackling climate change.

COP28 began on 30 November and will run until 12 December.

The president has ordered her government to pay for the funerals of those killed by the flooding and landslides, according to Ms Yunus. She also has directed the government to cover hospital fees for the wounded and temporary housing for those whose homes were “washed away”.

Dr Godwin Mollel, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister of Health said: “We have a team of doctors and medical officers deployed. The services are much better and many of the patients are progressing well.”

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