A Performance Audit on the Prevention and Mitigation of Floods

The Problem

• Babati District in Manyara Region has experienced devastating floods for many years.

• The floods caused homes to be washed away, people drowning and displaced, impassable roads, water supply cut off, and many economic and social activities disrupted,

• The floods that are covered in this report occurred in 1990 and 1997/98. In 2006/7 there was another flood. For the 1990 flood alone, the estimated losses at the time in Babati Town amounted to TSh 65.3 million, without counting the unquantifiable social problems associated with the catastrophe. Not only did the District suffer, but also the region, the whole nation and even some neighbouring countries since Babati is a junction and crucial centre through which roads to Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic Of Congo (former Zaire) and Uganda pass.

• According to Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) forecast changes in climate are expected to lead to an increased risk of flooding. The challenge is to prepare flood defences to protect life, property and sustain economic and social activities in accordance with Disaster Relief Coordination Act and the National Disaster Management Policy.

• The (initiative) performance audit aims at contributing to solutions for such a challenge.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The initiative
a. The NAO examined how the responsible offices have implemented national strategic guidelines by, among others, answering the following audit questions: (1) Are adequate preventive structures in place? (2) Is there an appropriate drainage system regarding flood water? (3) Are residences located in threatened areas? If so, what measures have been taken to reduce damages or put preventive structures?
b. The NAO included photographs of flooded areas as evidence of poorly managed flood prevention and response systems. For example, the NAO evaluated flood disaster management from January 1990 to December 2005, and evaluated Government entity data, as well as compared photographic evidence of flooded areas and flood prevention structures taken in 1990 and 1991 with those of 1997-1998 and 2005. In doing so, the Office was able to evaluate Government responses to flood emergencies and management over a period of time.
c. NAOT used Babati District as a case study and later on generalized the findings by confirming with the central organs responsible for Disaster Management in the country. This approach is less resource intensive because it allows the auditors to focus on few areas but thoroughly and later confirmed with central government organs to establish the relevance and adequacy of the collected information. Through this approach, minimal financial resources and time consumed for the data collection.

The achievements are as follows:
a) Design flood mitigation structures that take into account the likelihood that flood risks may increase over time, and to perform the construction in a timely manner by TANROADS;
b) Consult engineers (Carl Bro Consulting Firm) incorporated lessons learned;
c) Town planners in Babati Town Council consider flood risks when allocating land and ensure that preventive structures and measures are installed in flood prone areas;
d) Establishment of Regional and District Disaster Management Committees in all regions and Districts

The NAO, the government and the Parliamentary Oversight Committee responsible for Local Government Authorities evaluated the actions taken by the Government to address the identified problems with regard the management of floods in Tanzania.

The evaluation conducted to assess the level of implementation of NAO recommendations. The impacts were measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. Issues like formulation of Disaster Management Committees, assessment of floods problem, construction of defense structures, planning and allocating funds for disaster management at the regional and district levels, town planning were also assessed.

There is budget for the disaster management and the Disaster Management committees are formulated in each and every region in Tanzania and found to have a well planned and defined description of functions than before.

A number of stakeholders such as residents of Babati, Tanzanians, Central Government (e.g. Prime Minister’s Office – Disasters Management Department, TANROADS), Local Government Authorities (such as Manyara Regional Secretariat, Babati District Council, Babati Town Council) and neighbouring countries benefitted.

The benefits can be seen through having strategic and sustainable plans, well defined and effective structures for Disasters intervention in the country, effective strategies for disasters intervention and allocating fund for addressing the arising disasters.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
Design and implementation of the initiative
The initiative involved a number of stakeholders who participated in different stages of the planning, implementation and even the oversight. The stakeholders involved were from both public and private sector in Tanzania.

Design of initiative
The National Audit Office of Tanzania is the one which designed the initiative. While designing the initiative of carrying out a Performance Audit of Disaster Management on the Floods in particular, the following factors were considered::

Relevance of the audit area
Materiality of audit area
The audit team ranked this area number one because of its importance for the public (Babati residents) and its link to national disaster management
Type of problem
The problem concerned was the interaction between natural forces and human responses. The audit was expected to focus on structural and long term problems other than individual or short-term problems

Risk of audit area
Manyara Region and the country at large could loose a lot if the situation could not be improved finally could lead to loss of natural resources and other social risks to the public around Babati town and other areas periodically affected by floods.

The NAOT had the available resources (budget, transport, personnel with relevant audit skills available in-house and time for the auditing exercise.

Possibility for change
The preliminary analysis of the problem indicated that there was room for improvement regarding preparedness for and management of floods at the Babati and at national levels in order to address the problem of human suffering and financial loss during the floods.

Following the above mentioned factors, NAOT’s initiatives focused on examining how the responsible offices have implemented national strategic guidelines, and recommended for some Disaster intervention strategies in Tanzania.

Implementation of initiative
NAOT implemented the initiative by assessing the disaster management situation in the country and recommended some intervention options for disaster management in the country.
NAOT very carefully, selected all key stakeholders and directed them to take part in their specific relevant responsibilities of disaster management.

TANROADS was directed to take part on infrastructures rehabilitation.

The Prime Minister’s Office – Disaster Management Department (PMO-DMD) as the overall actor on the issues of Disaster in the country was tasked by NAOT to make sure that the relevant laws, regulations and guidelines are put into place and ensure that there is a robust structure (in terms of operation, funding and human resources) in place as narrated in National guidelines for Disaster Management.

Regional Secretariats and District Councils were also tasked by NAOT to make sure that issues of Disaster are also taken into account in their daily activities.

Oversight of the initiatives
The Local Authorities Accounts Committee (LAAC) of the Parliament of Tanzania through the technical assistance of NAOT decided to take a lead on ensuring that the initiative is implemented and the improvements are noted. The committee visited Babati District council to evaluate and verify the implementation of the recommendations highlighted in the initiative and this has also been continuously done to other districts visited by the Local Authorities Accounts Committee (LAAC) in the country.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The main objectives
The purpose of the audit was to report if the Central Government and the Local Government have effectively managed the flood disasters (i.e. Prevention, Rehabilitation, Preparedness and Responses) according to political decisions made. Another purpose was to suggest ways of improving the Disaster Management process. The (initiative) audit focused on prevention and mitigation of floods.

Strategies of the initiative
The (initiative) audit involved critical review of the existing system for Disaster Management in the country, pinpointing planning, operational and reporting weaknesses of that system. Then after that NAOT very extensively lobbied and adviced the government of Tanzania through its different organs to intervene the situation and take necessary measures with the intention of reducing human sufferings among Tanzanians.

The (initiative) audit involved extensive discussions and document review in the Prime Minister’s Office – Disasters Management Department and with Manyara Regional Secretariat, Babati District Council and Babati Town Council officials.

The information collected covered views from a variety of sources including; TANROADS Manyara and TANROADS Arusha, Arusha Regional Secretariat, BAWASA, Babati District Officers responsible for Water and Livestock Development, Works, and Natural Resources and Tourism.

Discussions were also held with the representatives from the Non-Governmental Organizations based in Babati such as FIDE and FARM AFRICA and the common people at Babati.

A number of officials at the National, Regional and District levels were interviewed. The Regional Commissioner (RC), the Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) and the acting Director of DMD were interviewed to discuss about their monitoring and supervisory roles regarding flood prevention at Babati. The Regional Accountant and the Planning Officer were interviewed to discuss about funding for flood prevention. The TANROADS – Manyara Engineer and two District Engineers were interviewed to discuss about their operations and the extent of damage caused by floods. The Regional and District Focal Officers, the Managing Director of BAWASA, LAMP officials, CBOs & NGOs officials and common people were also interviewed to discuss a variety of issues regarding floods in Babati.

Establishment of the strategies
The NAOT started by putting in place a Division responsible for Performance Audit. Soon after the establishment of the Division, the first initiative taken by this division was to address the problem of Disaster in the country.
The decision to do so was following the observed number of problems and their subsequent causes on the area of Disaster Management.
Three major problems were identified which result in subsequent human suffering and financial damages for the people living at Babati town and other areas which were highly affected by floods.

These problems were:
(i) Inadequate infrastructures as a result of floods damage
(ii) Inadequate measures to prevent siltation of Lake Babati.
(iii) Inadequate rescue services when floods occurred.

A number of strategies were employed after its establishment, these include
• Designing an intervention programme which involved NAOT experts. The intervention was of low cost and needed to come up with implementable recommendations.
• Educate all stakeholders on what they were supposed to do and ensure that they play their roles as stipulated in the governing laws and regulations
• Assess their level of efficiency in implementing Disaster related activities and later hold those who were responsible accountable
• Publicize the findings/outcome of the initiative and put more emphasis for everyone to take part on its implementing.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
In 2001, the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania enacted the Public Finance Act No. 6 of 2001; Section 33(1) authorizes the Controller and Auditor General to carry out Performance Audit (Value-for-Money Audit) for the purpose of establishing the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of any expenditures or use of resources in the Ministries, Regions and Local Authorities.

In 2002, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania approved the use of new organization structure which incorporated the Value for Money or Performance Audit Division within the NAO.

In November 2003, the NAO employed for the first time Value for Money Auditors. Two of them were Engineers and the remaining two were Accountants. In the following year (2004) three more auditors were transferred to the Division and one of them became the first Assistant Auditor General responsible for Value for Money Audit (performance Audit)

In 2005, the audit division selected three audit areas and one of them being Disaster Management in Tanzania with a focus on Floods in Babati.

Late 2005, the team comprising three auditors travelled to Babati to carry out Preliminary study (audit) and come back with the report. During the exercise the team met the regional authorities in Manyara including the Regional Commissioner and Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) with all top regional officials. The team interviewed them and visited different sites including Lake Babati.

Initial discussions were held with PMO-DMD and Manyara Regional Secretariat in 2005.

On December 2005, the Pre-study memo was produced and approved by the CAG ready for continuation with the Main Study.
At this stage the objective of the audit was established, scope were determined and even the methods to be used were established (field work was between 19th May, 2005 and March, 2006).

In 2006 that is when the main study started, once again with the introduction of the main study to both PMO-DMD and Manyara Regional Secretariat. The team received the acceptance of their initiative and the process of data collection started by using the designed methods.

In January 2007, the draft was communicated to the Manyara Regional Secretariat and PMO-DMD for their comments and factual clearance and exit meetings were held with them on the same time.

In July 2007, the report was tabled before the Parliament and received a lot of applause from Members of Parliament since it thoroughly assessed the magnitude of the problem which was facing the country.

In January 2008, the Local Authorities Accounts Committee visited Manyara Region with an emphasis on inspecting the implementation of the recommendations mentioned in the CAG’s report.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
Main obstacles encountered
The initiative (Performance audit on flood management encountered a number of methodological problem. These problems were as follows:
• Inavailability and inadequacy of data from the Disaster Management Department and Local Government Authorities. It has not been easy for the audit team to get readily available data, but the office kept on collecting information/data throughout the audit to establish the data/information needed by the audit team.
• Inreliable data: the team got conflicting information from Disaster Management Department and Local Government Authority illustrating that the information infrastructure is not working/functioning properly but we tried to handle them and present in the best way.
• Reliance on verbal information: It seems there is an inadequate writing culture pertaining to Disaster Management records keeping.

Means taken to overcome them
The Audit Office took a number of initiatives to ensure that the identified obstacles were removed or minimized as follows:
• Authenticity of gathered information: The audit team consulted/contacted practicing scientists and other experts on the field of Disaster Management, Water and Construction Management in Tanzania in order to make sure that the information collected was reliable.
• Factual clearance with the auditees namely PMO-DMD, Manyara Regional Secretariat, Babati District Council and Babati Town council etc.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The level of resources used for this audit can be rated below compared to other audits (initiatives) taken by the NAO. The financial, technical and human resources and other associated costs for this initiative were:
• The number of full time staff (Human Resources): two auditors were involved unlike other audits which normally have 3 – 4 auditors in our office; Similarly, Assistant Auditor General and Controller and Auditor General took part in final stages of the Quality Control and Assurance Processes.
• Technical personnel: the initiatives involved different professionals. One Civil Engineer from NAO took part in the initiative. On the other hand consultations with Road engineers, Water Engineers and Hydrological experts was done.
• Length of the time: data collection took about four months while other audits take up to 8 months to collect data
• Financial commitment: since the audit covered one case study and two auditors were involved it costed Tanzanian Shillings 40 Million to cover the entire audit work. The costs included transport, data collection and tabling of the report, printing of 700 copies of the reports, per-diem allowances and media coverage and publicity.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
The initiative is sustainable and transferrable because stakeholders on the Disaster Management were involved in all processes and they are expected to implement the proposed recommendations in the initiative.

Upon involvement of the key stakeholders in this area, they decided to streamline the initiatives into their daily activities. Through that it is obvious that the initiative will be sustainable.

The results of the NAOT’s initiatives have been replicated and disseminated at National level and implemented by different organizations and organizations countrywide.

The first replication and dissemination of initiative were done by NAOT. NAOT used Babati Floods as the Case Study for the disasters which are happening in the country and later generalized the situation by confirming the findings with the institutions which are centrally responsible for the initiative.
Despite focusing on Babati District and Floods, the results of the initiative were applicable to all kind of disasters which are happening in the country.

The second replication and dissemination of the NAOT initiatives were done by the Prime Minister’s Office – Disaster Management Department (PMO-DMD). They immediately directed all regions to formulate the Disaster Management Committee. Now, the Disaster Management Committees have been formed in all regions.

Other replication of the initiative was that all districts were asked to allocate specific funds for the Disaster Management. This was issued by NAOT following the failure of Districts to allocate funds for Disaster management.

Mapping of the disasters in all regions was done as a result of NAOT initiatives. PMO-DMD made sure that all disasters all districts are mapped out.

The third replication was done by Tanzania National Roads Agency by communicating our report to the road consultancy firm, which redesigned bridges. TANROADS also decided to prioritise construction of large box culverts at Lake outlet.
The same thinking are now applied country-wide by TANROADS following the good inputs received from NAOT initiative.

The INTOSAI-WGEA through the GAO-US decided to develop and come up with the guiding document to be used by all SAIs all over the world. The Initiatives taken by NAOT were also incorporated as one of the key initiatives to be replicated and disseminated to other SAI.

The replicated and disseminated information at International level can be assessed through the INTOSAI-WGEA. The correct link to the report is: http://www.environmental auditing.org/Portals/0/AuditFiles/Full_Flood_Report_Tanzania.pdf

The AFROSAI-E used the report while developing a guide for the AFROSAI sub region on the techniques of auditing environment and disaster related issues.

The report won the acceptance of most of the Auditors General in AFROSAI-E following the presentation done by NAOT in February 2008 at Kasane, Botswana during the AFROSAI-E Governing Board Meeting. The Auditor General from Namibia said “In Namibia we always face the problem of Floods and we haven’t done much, this is the initiative which we can just replicate in Namibia in order to address this problem once and for all”. Namibia went on to carry out the Audit on Disaster Management following the initiative of NAOT and the report submitted to the Parliament.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The impacts of initiative and the lessons learned
The initiative (audit) raised awareness regarding this area of Disaster Management particularly Floods Management in Tanzania.

The impact of this audit can be seen through three different aspects:
• Coverage by the media (awareness among key different stakeholders)
• Visits by the Members of Parliament to the areas mentioned on the audit report
• Implementation of the audit recommendations

Coverage by the media
• Electronic and printed media had a wide coverage of the flood report after it was tabled in Parliament.
• The following media reported extensively:
• 4 television channels
• 10 kiswahili newspapers
• 8 english newspapers
• 5 radio stations

Some of the printed media wrote long articles with the following headlines:
• “New report exposes weaknesses in national disaster management” (ThisDay,9th July 2007)
• “Idara ya maafa imezembea” (The Department of Disaster Management has been negligent), Kulikoni, 9th July 2007)
• “When floods hit Babati Bujumbura, Kigali and Masaka tremble” (ThisDay, 25th October 2007)

Visits by the Parliamentarians to the areas mentioned on the audit report
The Local Authorities Accounts Committee (LAAC) decided to follow-up on our report through a site visit to Babati in January, 2008. A field visit to flood sites and a meeting with the regional disaster management committee were held. NAOT was invited to brief the committee.

Implementation of the audit recommendations
The auditees have implemented some of the audit recommendations. One of the major recommendations implemented by the auditee is regarding the need to increase the discharge capacity of some of the bridges which allows a large quantity of water to pass through the moment Lake Babati flood.
• When the authorities were undertaking feasibility study before the commencement of the design they concentrated on our report and the hired consultant was asked to go through our report and take into account our recommendations. They did that and now we have two new bridges as a result of our audit. (TANROADS communicated our report to the road consultancy firm, which redesigned the Kiongozi bridge. TANROAD also decided to prioritise construction of large box culverts at Kigongoni outlet.)
• A Disaster Management Committee was formed and implementation of some of our recommendations started before tabled in the Parliament.

Other aspects of the impact
The responsible offices, PMO-DMD, LGAs and TANROADS
a) Design of flood mitigation structures that take into account the likelihood that flood risks may increase over time, and to perform the construction in a timely manner;
b) Consult engineers and incorporate lessons learned from previous floods;
c) Town planners in Babati Town Council consider flood risks when allocating land and ensure that preventive structures and measures are installed in flood prone areas; and
d) Establishment of Regional and District Disaster Management Committees in all regions and Districts in Tanzania

Contact Information

Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   LUDOVICK S.L. UTOUH
Telephone/ Fax:   +255 22 2115157-8; +255 22 2117527
Institution's / Project's Website:   www.nao.go.tz
E-mail:   ocag@nao.go.tz  
Postal Code:   P.O. BOX 9080
State/Province:   DAR ES SALAAM
Country:   Tanzania

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