Tanzanian Prez cuts short her COP28 visit amid catastrophic floods
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan is leaving the COP28 climate conference early as fatal floods and landslides occur at home, reports BBC.
Citing the leader's spokeswoman, BBC said that the calamity happened over the weekend, killing at least 50 people in the northern Hanang region.
Zuhura Yunus told BBC that President Samia will return to Tanzania "as soon as possible" to deal with the situation.
About 5,600 people have been affected, according to Yunus, who cited local reports.
The heavy rains damaged homes and infrastructure, and they have also had an impact on farmland, endangering the people's livelihoods.
The government has dispatched 400 rescue workers to the Hanang region. However, Yunus noted in a statement released on Monday that the rescuers are working in difficult conditions, including damaged and blocked roads.
"President Samia, who has been in Dubai for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28), has decided to cut her trip short and arrive in the country as soon as possible to deal with this disaster," Yunus wrote in a statement.
President Samia was among the dozens of world leaders who gathered at the major UN summit to discuss tackling climate change.
COP28 began on November 30 and will run until December 12.
According to Yunus, the president has authorised her administration to pay for the burial expenses of those who perished in the landslides and flooding.
The administration will also pay for medical bills for the injured and provide temporary lodging for those whose homes were "washed away."
Dr. Godwin Mollel, Tanzania's Deputy Minister of Health, told BBC: "We have a team of doctors and medical officers deployed. The services are much better, and many of the patients are progressing well."
Flooding is said to be the greatest natural hazard in Tanzania, affecting tens of thousands of people each year.
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