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Zanzibar island is facing serious shortage of petroleum fuel

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar is facing a shortage of petroleum fuel, the situation that led to long queues in the few filling stations, authorities said on Thursday.

Haji Kali, Director General of the Zanzibar Utilities Regulatory Authority, acknowledged the situation, revealing that the island has a stock of 529,636 liters which are only enough for three days.

Kali said the government was making efforts to import more petroleum to change the situation before things get worse.

“We’re working hard and I ask the motorists and the general public to remain calm when we’re working hard to normalize the situation,” he said in an interview with Xinhua.

According to him, last week over 880 tonnes of petroleum products were imported, but they were not allowed to enter the marker over quality issues.

He said that the products were found with a high amount of water at 2.5 percent, which is higher than the acceptable standard of 0.02 percent.

Petroleum was being provided in very few filling stations in Zanzibar by Thursday, leading to massive inconvenience and disruption in social and economic activities.

Ali Makame, a public vehicle driver, said the business was affected massively due to the shortage of petroleum in the petrol stations.

“We are making huge losses as we spend most of the day waiting in the queue instead driving passengers to their destinations,” Makame said.

Zanzibar requires 10 million liters of fuel monthly on average, which includes kerosene, petrol, diesel, and aviation fuel.



Tanzanian police arrest 20 Ethiopian illegal immigrants

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian police on Thursday announced the arrest of 20 Ethiopian nationals for illegal entry.

Edward Bukombe, Tanga Regional Police Commander, said in an interview that the aliens were nabbed on Thursday noon at Mkanyageni village in north-eastern Tanzania’s district of Muheza after police were tipped off by Good Samaritans.

Bukombe said that the illegal immigrants were en-route to South Africa for “greener pastures.”

According to him, after getting the information, the police force in collaboration with other security agencies in the area deployed traps, which finally caught them.

The regional police chief further said that the Ethiopian nationals would be charged in court later for being in the country illegally.

He, however, commended the public for their cooperation to facilitate the arrest of the immigrants, calling upon the general public to imbibe a culture of reporting to security agencies, whenever they notice something unusual in their areas for the country’s peace.

He warned all people, who are behind human trafficking business as well as those who take illegal immigrants into their homes to stop from doing so as the law would take its course against them.

Earlier this week, seven Ethiopian migrants drowned after a boat carrying 13 people capsized off the coast of Tanga while en route to South Africa.

Bukombe confirmed that the boat went down early on Monday off East Africa’s Indian Ocean near Tanzania’s maritime border with Kenya.

“Of the people on board, 12 were Ethiopians and another person, who was the boat captain, the nationality has not been identified because he is still missing,” he said.


Three killed in road accident in northwest Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Three employees of the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS), a state-owned agency responsible for the maintenance of road networks, were killed and six others seriously injured in a road accident in Kagera region, police said on Wednesday.

Acting Kagera Regional Police Commander Isack Msengi said the accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon in Misenyi district in northwest Tanzania, when the TANROADS vehicle rammed onto a truck, adding that the truck driver was trying to avoid smoke.

Preliminary investigations showed that the accident might have been caused by heavy smoke from a huge heap of burning grass on the side of the road, he said.

“The lorry left its lane to avoid the smoke and rammed onto the TANROADS vehicle and exploded,” Msengi said.

This accident is one of a series of road accidents involving Tanzanian government vehicles and officials this year.

On Sunday, four officials of Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture were killed in another road accident in the country’s central district of Manyoni.

In August, the country’s Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla was involved in a road accident at Magugu Village in Manyara Region during a nationwide working tour.


Malaria prevalence in Tanzania drops by half over two years: report

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Malaria prevalence in Tanzania has decreased by half from 14.4 percent in 2016 to 7.3 percent in 2018, said a new report released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report also showed that new infections for children under the age of five had dropped to 7.3 percent in 2017.

NBS Director General Albina Chuwa presented the report to the Minister for Health, Ummy Mwalimu, in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The prevalence of malaria in rural areas was 10 percent, and in urban areas, 2 percent.

According to the report, malaria prevalence on Zanzibar’s Unguja Island was 0.4 percent and zero on Pemba Island.

The report said Kigoma was leading among regions with the highest rate of prevalence, at 24 percent.

“Malaria prevalence decreases with enhanced maternal education and household wealth,” said the report.

Over 90 percent of Tanzania’s population live in areas where there is malaria.

Each year, 10 million to 12 million people contract malaria in Tanzania, and 80,000 die from the disease, most of them children.


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