Update from May, 16

Emergency aid is underway

Around 5,000 people, including mainly women, children and elderly people, have been severely affected by the impact of Hurricane Hidaya. Especially, the people in the coastal region, SWISSAID’s project area, urgently need help.

SWISSAID Tanzania is working with local partners and in close cooperation with local authorities to evaluate the damage and decide on the necessary aid measures for effective implementation. In this way, emergency aid can be as targeted as possible.

In the coming days, the affected people will receive food such as maize, rice, sugar, salt, cooking oil and beans, as well as clothing, hygiene articles, school materials and bedding. The farmers will also receive fast-growing seed varieties such as pulses, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, okra, bitter tomatoes, aubergines and peppers; varieties that are suitable for the irrigated agriculture in the affected areas.

Agricultural aids and tools are also being distributed so that farmers can quickly sow and replant their fields. Rapid assistance is crucial now.

Flooded fields in tanzania

Update from May, 6

Hurricane causes further destruction: crops and fish ponds destroyed

On Saturday evening, Hurricane Hidaya hit the coasts of Tanzania, leaving behind further devastation and significant damage.

The risk of hunger among the affected people is increasing daily. This is especially true in areas where the crops were nearing maturity. Maize, rice, cassava, as well as cowpeas, bambara beans, which are crucial for nutrition, were lost. Our local staff further report that specific crops such as sesame, finger millet, sorghum were also destroyed. Fish farming is also severely affected. In our project areas, 50 percent of beneficiaries in fish farming projects are affected: 18 out of 35 ponds were destroyed by the floods, nearly half of the fish perished.

SWISSAID is actively providing emergency assistance on the ground. We are helping to mitigate the devastating losses in crops and fish farming and supporting farmers and fishermen to replant their fields and rebuild the ponds as soon as possible.

Update from May, 2

Hurricane announced, emergency aid in preparation

It has been raining non-stop in East Africa for weeks. Floods have destroyed farms, ponds, fields and roads in our project areas. Strong hurricane-force winds and intense rainfall have been announced. SWISSAID is preparing to provide emergency aid to farmers.

East Africa is currently experiencing the weather phenomenon El Niño, leading to rising temperatures and either droughts or heavy rains depending on the affected region. El Niño transitioned into the rainy season in late March in East Africa. Even in regions that typically experience rare rainfall, there have been continuous rains. In Tanzania, drougts affect and displace the largest number of people, affect livestock and crops. Floods especially also damage houses and infrastructure. The heavy rainfall has also led inundations, and landslides.

Donate for flood victims in Tanzania

People in Tanzania are suffering from the consequences of the severe flooding. We are on the ground and distributing urgently needed relief supplies. Every donation helps to alleviate the suffering of the people affected.

Thousands of victims and damaged infrastructures

According to Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, more than 51,000 households and 200,000 people are affected. Over 10,000 houses, numerous fields, and infrastructures are damaged or destroyed.

The coastal regions of Mtwara and Lindi as well as Morogoro, where SWISSAID is active, are particularly affected. Farmers can no longer carry out their daily work: fishponds have been devastated, farms destroyed or flooded, and roads damaged. “Farmers in lowland and coastal areas have lost everything. In the communities supported by our fish farming projects, many of the ponds have been destroyed. The fish have died”, reports Veronica Massawe, SWISSAID collaborator in Tanzania.

The government has set up a crisis center and promised support and accommodations for the affected. Temporary emergency shelters have been set up in some regions to accommodate and provide the essential goods to the victims. For now, there are no emergency shelters in Lindi and Mtwara.

Continued rainfall expected

Experts warn that, far from being over, the bad weather is set to intensify. Yesterday, the government issued a warning of hurricane-force winds. The regions affected are Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Coastal, Lindi, Mtwara and Zanzibar. Veronica Massawe is worried about the people supported by our projects: “They need to resow their crops, rebuild their infrastructure such as ponds, but this won’t be possible for a while as a cyclone is due to hit the region today”. The rains are expected to continue until the third week of May.

The East Africa Newspaper reports that Tanzania, as one of the main food suppliers in the region, is expected to face a yield reduction of 30 percent due to the effects of the floods. For families already in a precarious situation, the situation is dramatic.


“They need to resow their crops, rebuild their infrastructure such as ponds, but this won’t be possible for a while as a cyclone is due to hit the region today”. says Veronica Massawe, SWISSAID collaborator in Tanzania

Swift on-site assistance

These extreme weather phenomena are becoming more frequent due to climate change. Southern countries are the main victims of these natural disasters, for which the industrialized countries are primarily responsible. “The people most affected by the climate crisis are the poor populations of the countries of the South”, says Sonja Tschirren, climate expert at SWISSAID.

SWISSAID continue to closely monitor the situation, while liaising with local government authorities in target regions to collect data for urgent support to the affected communities.