One is bound to ask why the Jangwani section of Morogoro Road in Dar es Salaam now becomes flooded whenever it rains, unlike in the past.
The answer is simple. People have been allowed to build houses and other structures along the banks of Msimbazi River and even in Jangwani itself, which is essentially a flood plain. This has drastically reduced the size of the flood plain and excess rainwater, having nowhere else to go, settles on the busy road, rendering it impassable.
I remember when we were growing up in the 1950s and 60s, the Jangwani area separating Magomeni Mapipa and Kariakoo was uninhabited for the simple reason that it was prone to flooding during the rainy season.
The area has since become a sprawling settlement. Even the main depot of the company operating the city’s bus rapid transit system is located in Jangwani, of all places! It’s thus not surprising that facility is inundated with several feet of rainwater whenever it rains heavily.
These are consequences we have to live with after making the grave mistake of interfering with nature in the last four decades or so. [M.S. Abdulrahman, Dar es Salaam]