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Ensure only genuine victims get assistance
2009-05-06 13:19:57
By Editor

The offer of relief asistance for the people affected by last week`s bomb blasts in the Mbagala suburb in Dar es Salaam,has been very encouraging. Nearly 700million/- in cash and relief supplies has been donated.

Organisations and private individuals are to be commended for their prompt action to rally material support for the victims from the very outset.

This reflects the genuine spirit of solidarity and compassion that Tanzanians have always extended to the needy both at home and abroad.

We are however concerned at reports that some people who lost their houses and properties in the blast are yet to receive the expected help.

It is our hope that the officials will closely follow up the reported cases and speed up the exercise to ensure every genuine victim gets the needed help in good time.

Authorities should also closely investigate reports of unscrupolous people seeking to cash in on the plight of the poor Mbagala blast victims.

According to media reports, some people and officials involved in distributing the relief supplies have been colluding to divert some of the items for private gain.

The reports say these people, have been queueing along with genuine victims for relief food, mattresses,blankets and other essential items and then disappear to sell them.

Yet others who have no link with Mbagala in terms of abode or relatives, are reported to be lining up to receive relief supplies!

For them, the disaster in Mbagala has presented an opportunity to get rich quickly. They are least concerned about the pain and anguish, not to mention the disruption to life caused to close relatives of the dead, injured victims and the nation as a whole.

The authorities must act quickly. They must take measures to keep out any criminal elements, out to deny the rightful victims from getting timely help.

It is known that such elements are always there among us, lurking in the background, only to surface in big numbers wherever and whenever disaster strikes.

At the disaster scene, they will pretend to be busy helping victims, but will without qualms frisk the dead and the helplessly injured, stripping them of their cash and other personal valuables.

As the victims of the blasts struggle to recover their balance after the shock,the question of restoring safety remains paramount.

It is encouraging that assurances have been given that the situation is returning to normal and that the army is busy collecting the remains of the bombs and other munitions.

Police have warned people against touching or picking any strange objects that they may find lying about, and instead to inform the force, saying such objects could be unexploded devices from the armoury.

It is a timely call, that the police must send out as often as possible, using every means available and targeting especially children who are indeed most vulnerable, given their young and highly curious minds.

Indeed it is children who in many cases have been the victims of explosions of mysterious objects they picked or played with unknowingly.

  • SOURCE: Guardian
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