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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
At least 10 killed in western Tanzania as bus collides with cargo train

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- At least 10 people died on the spot and 23 others were injured on Wednesday after a bus collided with a cargo train in Tanzania’s western region of Kigoma, police said.

Martin Otieno, the Kigoma regional commander, said the bus was thrown 100 metres away from the site of the collision, leaving many passengers trapped in the wreckage.

“Rescuers are still pulling passengers trapped in the wreckage of the bus. We fear that the number of people killed in the grisly accident might rise,” Otieno told an independent television station.

“Some bodies of the victims were in pieces. It is the worst road accident to have occurred in Kigoma region in recent memory,” said Otieno.

He said the bus was travelling from Kigoma town, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the longest freshwater lake in the world, to Tabora region in central Tanzania.

Otieno said the cargo train was moving from the east African country’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam to Kigoma.

“The bus left Kigoma town at 6 am when visibility was still poor. We suspect the driver of the bus could not see the oncoming train. But we are still conducting investigations to establish the cause of the accident,” said the senior police officer.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Cholera kills 15, hospitalizes hundreds in western Tanzania

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- At least 15 people have died and 397 others hospitalized in the last three weeks following a cholera outbreak in western Tanzania’s district of Sumbawanga, an official said Tuesday.

Fani Mussa, Sumbawanga District Medical Officer, said that health experts have continued to strengthen efforts to battle the water-borne disease that can cause acute diarrhoea.

He called on concerted efforts from all stakeholders in tackling the disease which erupted in mid-May.

“Medical officials are doing everything at their disposal to manage the disease including carrying out educational and sensitisation of community members,” Mussa said in an interview.

He, however, cited poor response from the community on adhering to hygiene measures and rules as among the major setbacks that made it difficult to contain the disease.

According to him, the outbreak is as a result of residents drinking unsafe water during rice harvesting season.

In November last year, another cholera outbreak in the region claimed seven people. It was controlled in March this year.

In 2015, a major cholera outbreak that hit the East African nation claimed an estimated 166 lives.

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Tanzania unveils measures to curb retaliatory wildlife killings

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is striving to contain retaliatory killings in protected areas following reports of nine lions killed in Nyichoka village, close to the Serengeti National Park in the north, a senior official said Wednesday.

Gaudence Milanzi, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Natural Resources, said in an interview that apart from putting in place a national task force on anti-poaching, the government will also embark on educating the public on the importance of conserving the wildlife and its natural habitat.

The East African nation’s move came after the recent poisoning of nine lions at Nyichoka Village.

Milanzi acknowledged that such killings that stem from human-wildlife conflicts were on the rise, calling for urgent interventions in rescuing the situation.

“There is a need of raising more awareness against such killings as it is always the endangered species that become victims of such attacks,” the official said, observing that curbing such conflicts was still a challenge as most of the incidents occurred in open areas.

“They don’t happen in national parks, they happen in open areas and this makes it difficult for the wildlife rangers to monitor the animals as they can not be everywhere at the same time,” he said.

He said it was equally important for the people living near the protected areas to acknowledge the importance of wildlife economically and ecologically.

On Tuesday, Hamis Kigwangalla, Tanzania’s Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, condemned the killings.

It was reported that the lions were poisoned to death and some were found with their legs, tails severed by unknown people.

This is not the first time such endangered species have fallen prey to retaliatory killings.

In February , six lions and 74 vultures were found dead near Ruaha national park after they were poisoned to death.

Officials with the ministry said the way the animals were killed suggested they had been poisoned by local herdsmen amid an escalating human-wildlife conflict in the country.

Tanzania’s tourism sector, which depends heavily on wildlife safari, is the biggest foreign exchange earner, but there are growing clashes between wildlife populations, farmers, and livestock keepers.

           

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