The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently approved USD1m humanitarian emergency grant for people affected by the earthquake which hit the Kagera region, in northwestern Tanzania, in September 2016.
The assistance will help to meet urgent needs of primary and secondary schools in the earthquake affected areas, and restore learning activities.
AfDB’s emergency assistance will focus on the rehabilitation of classrooms, offices, teachers’ houses and latrines damaged by the quake.
Kagera was hit by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake on September 10th, 2016, resulting in 17 deaths and 440 injured people.
Over 2,500 houses were completely destroyed; 14,500 others including 1,700 government buildings were partially destroyed.
Nearly 118,000 people lost their homes to the earthquake, making the provision of temporary shelter a priority for the affected households.
“The Government [of Tanzania] said it has received about USD7m (in cash, pledges and materials from several donors) to respond to the needs of the earthquake victims. However, preliminary estimates suggest that about USD20m is needed for emergency shelter assistance, while the education sector alone will need about USD30m to restore the damaged school infrastructure,” AfDB indicates.
Although earthquakes rarely occur in Tanzania, geological activities are common along the great East African Rift Valley corridor, which traverses the country, constituting the eastern and western branches of the Rift Valley.
The focus of AfDB in Tanzania has been mostly on infrastructure development and governance.
In 2016, the AfDB approved the 2016–2020 concessional resource assistance package for Tanzania worth over USD1.1bn for infrastructure development and better governance.
The loan will be used mainly to fund infrastructure projects in the transport and energy sectors to promote domestic and regional transport connectivity, while improving access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity.
Tonia Kandiero, former AfDB Resident Representative in Tanzania, explained in an interview with TanzaniaInvest: “It goes both ways – Tanzania is important to AfDB just like AfDB is important to Tanzania. The Partnership started in 1971, and Tanzania has remained committed as a key Regional Member country since then, while the Bank has also been with the Country all the way as a trusted partner. Tanzania is one of the key champions of regional integration which the Bank continues to support strongly.”