Floods and COVID-19 in Tanzania: messed-up start of the year

With a series of planned high-level international meetings (Convention for Biological Diversity, the IUCN World Conservation Congress, etc.), 2020 should have been a key year for the environment at the global level and ADAP’s project activities in the field. The combined effects of climate change and the spread of a global pandemic caused things to go differently.

Unprecedented floods

The road between Tabora and Inyonga was cut off at the Koga River bridge, covered by unprecedented floods in mid-January. Most of the bridges across the country’s main roads were washed away and large sections of the roads were cut.

The Rungwa Corridor project was also almost cut off from the world with the main road Tabora – Sikonge – Lukula broken in several places, especially near the Kululu river. A planned meeting with WCS, therefore, had to be postponed.
Dr. Urs Bloesch, who came to study the feasibility of developing an added value chain of wild mushrooms for the benefit of the villagers, thus encountered dire conditions for his stay. Thanks to his commitment and the possibility of traveling by motorbike, his mission could be completed. He crossed many rivers by foot with water up to his chest and safely returned to Tabora via Itigi – Manyoni thanks to the help of buses, private drivers, and the Tanzania Wildlife Authority.

The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic prompted the airline Swiss to interrupt its flights. Dr. Bloesch finally managed to return to Switzerland after nearly three days of traveling with all imaginable -other- means of transport. We would like to thank him for his commitment and perseverance to complete his mission.




COVID-19 in Tanzania has forced the government to close schools and universities, ban gatherings of more than ten persons, and impose hygiene measures and social distancing. The government also put in place quarantine measures for all people coming from countries with a serious outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

ADAP has postponed most of the planned events that would bring together a large number of participants (meetings in the villages, or with groups of producers, training sessions, etc.).
The external evaluation of the project in Inyonga took place following consultation with the district authorities, however, it was not possible to organize beekeepers’ meetings or meetings between large stakeholder groups.

The situation is even more complicated in Lukula, where there is no proper health center. With the nearest hospital about 200 km away, most of the access roads being cut off by the floods, and meetings and training sessions becoming impossible, we are almost at a complete standstill.

We hope that flooding conditions improve quickly. The evolution of the pandemic remains an open question to this day. We would like to thank our teams in the field for their work in difficult environmental and sanitary conditions and we will put in place the necessary measures to secure all projects’ achievements and protect our employees.


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