(IDEX Online News) – Severe flooding has hit the tanzanite-mining region of Tanzania for the second time in five years. Following extensive rainfall in the districts of Shambari, Bwawani and Kiloyvera, many residents have been left stranded and without shelter after their homes were washed away.
Responding to the situation, TanzaniteOne Mining, the world’s largest supplier of Tanzanite, went to the aid of nearly 1,000 local residents by delivering more than 800 liters of fresh drinking water and food supplies.
“The rainfall this year has been unusually high, which means that the water table of the flood plain outside the tanzanite mining area is very high,” said Douglas Swartz of TanzaniteOne Mining.
“As a result, water gushes down from both the Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru catchment areas, taking with it almost everything in its path. Roadways have been mostly impassable, and TanzaniteOne has assisted with its vehicles, to transport people and supplies to the affected areas.”
Following similar flooding in March 2008, TanzaniteOne Mining led a search and rescue operation for victims trapped in surrounding artisanal mines. When the waters subsided, the miner built a drainage trough with money donated through the Tanzanite Foundation. The trough which serves as a drainage mechanism, channels fast flowing water away from mining pits preventing casualties.