Dar es Salaam’s young social media users are mobilising volunteers to assist in relief efforts following the floods that inundated vast areas of Dar es Salaam causing deaths and damage to infrastructure. Using the hashtag #Darfloods, Twitter users have been in the forefront informing the public and mobilising relief efforts.
The floods were unleashed by heavy rains that poured continuously for two days caused at least 13 deaths and huge damage to infrastructure. Floods inundated office buildings and residential areas leaving hundreds of people homeless. According to Daily News, Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) said these are the heaviest rains Tanzania has experienced in 57 years.
In the past three days, bloggers and social network users used the social media platforms to send their condolences as well as important updates.
Altaz Premji wrote:
@altazpremji: step in right direction RT @ihelptz: All willing to lend a helping hand in the #DarFloods response can reach out at +255 222181117
Amor Mtage posted a contact number for those who would like to volunteer their time to help the victims:
@AmorMtage: The chairperson UN youth association can be reached thru 0718104565 for anyone hu wants to contribute or volunteer #darfloods
Bongo 5 Media Group posted the locations of emergency relief centres:
@bongofive: Vituo vya waathirika wa #DarFloods ni Sekondari za Azania, Msimbazi, Mchikichini, Kibasila, Mzambaraoni. Sh. msingi Mchikichini, Muhimbili
So far due to ordinary people’s efforts thousands of victims are receiving assistance. Luca in Dar Es Salaam writes:
@simplyluca: We hv seen over 3000 #DarFloods victims, efforts continue kesho (tomorrow)and thereafter. This is real..not for PR! They need help now, acheni majungu (stop witch-hunting)
Acknowledging that more needs to be done at the relief centres, Lusajo L.M tweeted:
@sajjo: @DarFloods kindly concentrate on coordinating relief efforts and disseminating information about #DarFloods leave Politics to Politicians.
President Jakaya Kikwete’s Twitter account (@jmkikwete) posted the following message:
@jmkikwete: @DJ_KIMZ The government is doing it's part.TPDF [Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Force] has been working for the past two days to help victims,hand in hand with other stakeholders.
Nimepokea kwa masikitiko habari za vifo vya wenzetu 13 vilivyotokana na mafuriko yaliyosababishwa na mvua kubwa ambayo sote tumeishuhudia katika mkoa wa Dar Es Salaam tokea jana.
Dar Es Salaam based tweeps, Rakesh Rajani and Mikie Mckee, explained the extent of flooding in some office buildings:
@rakeshrajani: #Twaweza Dar closed until further notice due to severe flooding (chest high inside the office!). Extensive damage, will take days to fix
@MikieMckee: Diplomatic offices and international organization Including UN Tanzania, Swiss Embassy, Twaweza, India Embassy zimejaa majii #DarFloods
Other tweeps posted much needed real time status of roads using #Darfloods hashtag. EATV 5 twitter account @Number1youthchannel tweeted:
@Number1youthchannel: Lugalo /Tangi Bovu Bridge collapses. NO cars allowed to PASS over it. Picture Courtesy of Jimmy Blanks.
Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete visited the affected areas showing his government's commitment in leading the relief efforts.