Tanzania, United Republic of
Tanzania, United Republic of - 1.1 Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters



Comments / Details



Droughts affect several areas such as in Northern Manyara region, Kilosa District in Morogoro region and Dodoma region.  The drought events which occurred in Bahi district in Dodoma in 2005/2006, Arusha and Manyara regions in 2008/2009. Drought is the major reason for both water and food shortage and severely affects agricultural development. Droughts also have a major effect to hydropower electricity production which may lead to huge economic loss during power rationing. Climate change and environment degradation pose high possibility of drought occurrences with major consequence and high risk as large populations depend on rain fed agriculture for their economic livelihood.



Earthquakes remain rare events in Tanzania however impacts such as landslides, soil movement, widespread disease outbreaks, tsunami waves, property damage, loss of lives, fire, economic loss and lack of food and clean water. Analysis of earthquakes for the areas that fall within the East African Rift System (EARS) in Tanzania which is well-known as prone to seismic activities has been categorized in high certainty of occurrence with minor to moderate consequences but with high risk. Earthquakes were reported in Northern Dodoma in July 2002 (magnitude 5.6), Lake Tanganyika in December 2005 (magnitude 6.8), Lake Natron in July, 2007 (magnitude 5.9), Mwanza region in May, 2017 (magnitude 5.0), Sumbawanga in March, 2019 (magnitude 5.5) and Kagera region in September, 2016 (magnitude 5.9). Another earthquake event which occurred in 2017 in Mwanza killed 1 and injured 2 people and damaged some buildings in 4 schools. Earthquake incident in Bariadi in May, 2002 killed 2 and injured 5 people, destroyed 690 and damaged 636 houses.



The longest cholera outbreak which started from August, 2015 to December, 2018 caused 550 deaths and affected 33,319 people in 129 districts. The majority of these cases had been reported from 23 regions in mainland Tanzania including Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Morogoro. There were 43,078 confirmed cases and 846 deaths from of COVID-19 in Tanzania reported to WHO during the global pandemic.  Epidemics such as Cholera, Acute and Chronic hepatitis and newly emerging and reemerging diseases like Dengue fever, Ebola, Avian Influenza, COVID-19 and Chikungunya pose a great risk to human life and the economy of Tanzania

Extreme Temperatures


Extreme temperature remains rare. Over the past few years, Dar es Salaam and other regions in the country recorded hotter weather. Along the coast and in the off shore islands of Tanzania, the average temperature ranges between 27°C and 29°C, while in the central, northern and western parts temperatures range between 20°C and 30°C. Tanzania is the 45th most vulnerable country to climate change among 182 assessed in the ND-GAIN Country index and the 58th least prepared to leverage investments to adaptation actions among 192 assessed



Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in the country in terms of loss of life, infrastructure destruction, livelihood and economic disruptions. Most of flood events have been caused by heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturate the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying areas are common in urban centres and large cities like Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. The most flood prone regions in the country are Dar es Salaam, Pwani, Morogoro, Tanga, Mtwara, Arusha, Lindi and Iringa. Due to weather variability and climate change floods are likely to occur in many regions and considering rapid development their consequences can be major with high potential of losses in lives and economic gains. For example, in 2009/10 floods affected Kilosa district in Morogoro region whereby 2 people died and affected 26,000 people. The same flood event also affected 19,000 people in Kongwa and Mpwapwa districts in Dodoma region, destroyed infrastructure including roads, railway and bridges and contaminated water sources. Another flood event occurred in Dar es Salaam in December, 2011 which killed 41 people, displaced 5,000 and affected 50,000 people.

Insect Infestation


Outbreaks are a major constrains to the development of agricultural sector in Tanzania which may result in devastating crop losses, it is estimated that they can cause pre and post-harvest crop losses between 30 – 40 percent and sometimes can cause up to 100 percent crop if not controlled in some areas. Common pests in different regions of the country include: locusts (Katavi, Rukwa, Kigoma, Tabora and Dodoma), armyworms (all regions), queleaquelea (Dodoma, Singida, Mbeya, Kilimanjaro) and banana wilt (Kagera and Mara). , American fall armyworm invasion in 2017 mainly affected cereal crops with maize and rice paddy severely impacted in Geita, Rukwa, Kagera, Pwani, Simiyu, Mwanza, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, and Njombe regions.



Mudslides can occur in mountain regions during the peak of the raining season (March to April). The consequences are major because of high exposure of buildings and livelihood activities like mining and quarry sites. Landslide in Same in 2009 caused 24 deaths and damaged 15 kilometres of road and 15 irrigation reservoirs due to impact of mudflow

Volcanic Eruptions


There are areas which have active volcano, such as Ol Doinyo Lengai mountain.

High Waves / Surges





Wildfire cause huge destruction to humans and environment with the most common occurrence in Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara, Mara, Morogoro, Lindi, Njombe, Iringa, Songea, Katavi, Rukwa, Kigoma and Tabora regions. Wildfire can cause major losses of ecosystem and biodiversity, forest degradation, air pollution and impact on human health and wellbeing.

High Winds



Other Comments

Analysis of earthquakes for the areas that fall within the East African Rift System (EARS) in Tanzania which is well-known as prone to seismic activities has been categorized in high certainty of occurrence with minor to moderate consequences but with high risk. Earthquakes were reported in Northern Dodoma in July, 2002 (magnitude 5.6), Lake Tanganyika in December, 2005 (magnitude 6.8), Lake Natron in July, 2007 (magnitude 5.9), Mwanza region in May, 2017 (magnitude 5.0), Sumbawanga in March, 2019 (magnitude 5.5) and Kagera region in September, 2016 (magnitude 5.9). Another earthquake event which occurred in 2017 in Mwanza killed 1 and injured 2 people and damaged some buildings in 4 schools. Earthquake incident in Bariadi in May, 2002 killed 2 and injured 5 people, destroyed 690 and damaged 636 houses.

Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife



International Conflict



Internally Displaced Persons



Refugees Present


Tanzania hosts some 250,000 refugees and asylum-seekers with the bulk of the population being from Burundi followed by the DRC and other countries such as the Comoros, Eritrea, Kenya Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen. Most of the refugees and asylum seekers reside in 2 camps in North-western Kigoma Region, while some 70,000 refugees from the 1972 Burundian population live in Kigoma villages and the three old settlements.

Landmines / UXO Present



Other Comments




For a more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile.


Seasonal Effects on Logistics Capacities

Seasonal Effects on Transport

Transport Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details

Primary Road Transport

December to April

Most of primary roads are affected by rain thus they are highly used during the dry season.

Secondary Road Transport

December to April

They are highly affected during rainy season. Some are difficult to access, or even impassable.

Rail Transport

December to April

Seasonal effects like floods or rain are encountered. However, due to the ongoing improvement on central railway line, the line is used throughout the year with occasional minor interruptions.

Air Transport

December to April

Heavy rain during this period, affects the operation of air transport leading to delays in timetable implementations.

Waterway Transport




Tanzania has two major rainfall periods: one is uni-modal (October–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, central, and western parts of the country, and the latter is found in the north from Lake Victoria extending east to the coast.

Seasonal effects have various impacts on transport and other social and economic activities, such as during the rainy season due to inadequacy of transport infrastructures, the cost of operations tends to increase. Following are some seasonal effects on:


Air transport – Short-term delays due to adverse weather conditions, heavy rains cause the suspension of flights especially to airports with ‘Non-Asphalt ‘runways.

Port operations – The operations relevant to ships and port warehouse activities are suspended during heavy rains.

Road - The improvement and upgrading of roads have a positive result in the main corridors being considered all weather, however there are still road links that become impassable during the rains.

Rail – The rail systems, TAZARA and TRC in principle should be ‘all-weather’, sectors of the rail links have been closed in the past due to flooding and wash ways.

In December, the road transport tends to be congested particularly from the main cities to other regions because a lot of people like Chaga people return to their areas of origin for ceremonies, thus demand for transport is increased.


During the harvest period, the demand for transport in various areas is increased since farmers need to move their harvests to the market or storage areas. Sometimes a lot of crops damaged in farm areas due to poor transportation services especially in rural areas.


Seasonal Effects on Storage and Handling

Activity Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details


December - April

Effective warehouse management during the rainy season is critical to prevent damage and spoilage of stored goods. To mitigate risks, maintain proper moisture control by monitoring and regulating humidity levels, facilitate airflow through ventilation systems, and increase aeration frequency. Given the heightened risk of insect infestations, implement robust pest control measures, inspect for potential entry points, and consider using insect-resistant packaging. Regular warehouse maintenance to address leaks and ensure proper drainage is essential, as is elevating goods off the floor to prevent moisture absorption. Detailed record-keeping, weather monitoring, and an emergency response plan should also be part of your rainy season warehouse management strategy to safeguard goods and reduce potential losses.


December - April

During the rainy season, it's essential to take extra precautions when loading, securing, and covering commodities transported by rail and road. Open-air handling of food commodities should be avoided due to moisture risks, necessitating the use of covered loading and unloading bays to protect goods from potential damage or spoilage during transit.



Continued improvements in Tanzania’s transport infrastructure has created greater demand for services and as a result higher volumes of sea freight traffic in Dar es Salaam port can result in longer waiting time for berths and higher demand for road transport which is exasperated by delays caused in loading/unloading during heavy rain.


Tanzania's climate exhibits distinct rainy and dry seasons, each carrying implications for commodity handling and storage. During the rainy season, characterized by heavy rainfall and elevated humidity levels, there exists a notable risk to goods stored outdoors or within inadequately ventilated warehouses. Furthermore, the potential for flooding and landslides can disrupt transportation networks, hampering the movement of goods to and from storage facilities. To safeguard assets during this period, businesses should consider relocating inventory to more secure, weather-resistant storage spaces and investing in waterproof packaging solutions. Additionally, prudent pre-stocking measures become essential to ensure ample inventory availability when transportation becomes challenging.

Conversely, the dry season in Tanzania provides a more favourable operational environment for businesses involved in commodity handling and storage. Transportation is generally less susceptible to weather-related disruptions, fostering efficient movement of goods to and from warehouses and production sites. Moreover, the reduced congestion at ports and airports during this period facilitates smoother logistics operations. Nevertheless, it's crucial to acknowledge that the dry season coincides with heightened agricultural activities, leading to increased demand for specific commodities like packaging materials. To meet this demand and maintain a competitive edge, proactive pre-stocking strategies should be considered.

In light of Tanzania's seasonal climate variations, businesses operating in the realm of commodity handling and storage should adopt a strategic approach. This involves meticulous planning and adaptation to weather-related challenges, such as the protection of goods during the rainy season and the anticipation of heightened demand during the dry season. Effective supply chain management, risk assessment, and proactive inventory management are pivotal elements in ensuring business continuity and resilience amidst these seasonal fluctuations. By optimizing resource allocation and mitigating weather-related risks, businesses can navigate Tanzania's climate intricacies and maximize their operational efficiency.


Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


The Prime Minister’s Office through Disaster Management Department is the pivotal point for coordination of all disaster risk management in Tanzania mainland. The DMD provides central coordination for emergency preparedness and response operations and promotes and implements prevention, mitigation and preparedness initiatives to minimize the adverse effects of disasters to the Tanzanian population, properties and environment. The Disaster Risk Management Framework is governed by the Disaster Management Act No. 6 of 2022, the Disaster Management Regulations of 2022 and National Disaster Management Policy of 2004. Other instruments used are National Operational Guidelines 2014, National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy 2022 – 2027, National Disaster Communication Strategy (TDCS) of 2022, National Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan of 2022 and Districts Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans. The Emergency Preparedness and response plan have clearly analyzed and mapped key stakeholders involved in disaster risk management, their roles and responsibilities during hazard mitigation and prevention, disaster preparedness, disaster response and recovery.

The DRM framework in the country consists of two parts – decision-making and technical execution. The decision-making side has the DRM Steering Committees (DRM-SCs) at the national, regional and district levels. Technical execution is through the DRM Technical Committees also at the national, regional and district levels. The technical part is responsible for analyzing and proposing technical measures to the decision-makers. To fulfil their mandates, the technical part may form various functional groups such as a special task force or technical working groups. Other components are the Ward DRM Committee and Village/Street DRM Committee that act at the local levels to realize strategies and technical measures.





Figure: National Disaster Management Organogram

(Source: Tanzania Prime Minister’s Office – Disaster Management Department)


Tanzania efforts on disaster risk management are in line with global and regional initiatives such as Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015 – 2030, Programme of Action for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 in Africa, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, The Agenda for Humanity on the Core Commitments from the World Humanitarian Summit of 2016, the New Urban Agenda and Agenda 2063.

The primary responsibilities for disaster risk management and humanitarian services lies to core sectors which has legal mandates within Government MDAs, RS and LGAs with shared responsibilities among each other and all stakeholders including UN Agencies, Private sector, International and Local NGOs, Academic and Research Institutions (ARI), CBOs, FBOs and the media.

The following is a summary of planned co-ordination arrangements and activities between Government, UN and International agencies, and NGOs:

  • As the ultimate coordinator of all actors involved in an emergency response, the Government through the PMO-DMD is responsible for disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Emergency response is led by the PMO-DMD, assisted by the relevant line ministries. Regional Secretariats (RS) and LGAs are mandated to coordinate any emergency-related activities in their jurisdictions through Disaster Management Committees. Following the end of the rainy season, DMD in collaboration with RS and LGAs will conduct a post-disaster assessment with all stakeholders to determine the overall effectiveness of the plan, and preparedness, response and recovery activities executed. This feedback will serve as input to future contingency plan preparation.
  • The UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) is also the designated Humanitarian Coordinator. Under the guidance of the UNRC, the Emergency Coordination Group (ECG), made up of heads of UN Agencies and Non-Government Organisations is responsible for the effective and efficient implementation of inter-agency disaster management activities in Tanzania for players outside the government.
  • UN Agencies, TRCS and network of NGO implementing partners will respond to an emergency in collaboration with and through the coordination of PMO-DMD in collaboration with leading Government sector.
  • In accordance with UN Humanitarian Reform and the Cluster (here referred as Sectoral) directions of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), Sector Lead agencies will ensure a coordinated action among partners in their respective sectors. This responsibility requires coordination with Government, other agencies and NGOs to ensure that the needs of these sectors are addressed, information is shared, and reporting is carried out.
  • Where a state of emergency requires extra-ordinary and urgent measures the National Steering Committee for Disaster Management will inform the President of the event necessitating the proclamation of a state of emergency that stipulates immediate measures which may be taken including deployment of military support to facilitate availability of human resources, funds and equipment for disaster management activities.




The following are the lead ministries coordinating different Sectors as well as the lead UN agency supporting those ministries. Early recovery and protection, as cross-cutting issues, are considered by all sectors through the coordination of DMD.

Table: Lead Sector Ministries and corresponding Country UN sector lead



Lead Ministry




Ministry responsible for disaster management and PO-RALG




Ministry responsible for disaster management and PO-RALG




Ministry responsible for agriculture




Ministry responsible for health and PO-RALG




Ministry responsible for community development and social welfare




Ministry responsible for health and PO-RALG




Ministry responsible for water and health




Ministries responsible for transport, infrastructure, information and communication




Ministry responsible for education and PO-RALG





For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List.



The humanitarian situation in Tanzania is characterized by a collaborative approach among government bodies, United Nations (UN) agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental partners. Tanzania benefits from the active involvement of UN agencies in addressing pressing issues. UNICEF is working to improve child health and education, while the World Food Programme (WFP) addresses food security challenges especially in vulnerable regions. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) collaborates with national counterparts to promote economic growth, governance, and environmental sustainability.


The World Bank has played a vital role in supporting Tanzania's development through projects like the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) and infrastructure development initiatives. These projects have had a substantial impact on poverty reduction and improved access to social services. The collaborative efforts of these agencies demonstrate Tanzania's commitment to achieving its Sustainable Development Goals. The World Bank also plays a big role in supporting the Government of Tanzania in disaster management response, recovery and preparedness activities.

The Tanzanian government has taken significant actions to advance its progress toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These efforts encompass a range of sectors, including health, education, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability. Initiatives such as improved healthcare access, increased enrolment in primary education, and the implementation of social safety nets like the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) have contributed to progress in health and education outcomes and poverty reduction.

Furthermore, Tanzania is actively addressing environmental sustainability through initiatives aimed at natural resource management, wildlife conservation, and renewable energy development. These actions align with the country's commitment to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable practices. The government's commitment to these various SDG-related initiatives reflects its dedication to achieving the global goals and fostering a more sustainable and prosperous future for its citizens.


For more information on humanitarian agency contact details, please see the following link: 4.2 Humanitarian Agency Contact List.



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