Hundreds stranded as rains pound Kilimanjaro

A heavy downpour that fell over Same and Lushoto districts from Sunday night to on Monday afternoon has left hundreds of passengers stranded at Hedaru.

Mount Kilimanjaro

The rains, which pounded the hilly areas of Hedaru and Mombo in Same and Lushoto districts respectively, resulted into mud and rocks hurling to the low-lying areas, blocking a diversion at the Dar es Salaam–Arusha Highway, which is undergoing major repairs.

Some of the passengers aboard the Arusha-bound buses said buses and trucks were stranded for hours before they were helped out on Monday afternoon.

One of them said they have been stranded in the area since early Sunday afternoon after a bridge was washed away, making them unsure of their fate. “I may have to go back to Dar es Salaam,’’ quipped one Arusha-bound passenger, Mr Aniceth Tillya.

Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Leonidas Gama told the ‘Daily News’ on Monday that it was a pitiful situation and promised to deal with it.

“I have already spoken and directed those who are dealing with the construction of the road to solve the problems immediately to allow both passenger and goods vehicles to continue with their journey, said the RC.

Earlier on, it was alleged that a bridge had snapped on the highway, reports that were refuted by Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Robert Boaz.
Mr Boaz said as it was raining, mud and stones tend to fall downward to the extent that some vehicles stuck in the mud and others using the same road failed to go through.

“There is no bridge that has snapped; it is a gulley in one of those diversions. As you know the road is being repaired, so the diversion needed to be filled with stones or something like that. That has been done and vehicles are now moving,” said the RPC in the evening.

The Same District Commissioner, Mr Herman Kapufi, said two culverts in the diversion were washed away by water.

“We managed to put up another diversion that enabled vehicles to resume journey after hours of waiting,” he told reporters.

By DEUS NGOWI, Tanzania Daily News

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