Nearly 60 people have died since the start of April in heavy rains and flooding that has hit several parts of Tanzania, the government said.

The coastal region of the East African country is one of the worst affected, with floods damaging thousands of farms there, Mobhare Matinyi, the government spokesperson, said in a statement on Sunday.

“Serious flood effects are experienced in the coast region where 11 people have so far died,” Mr Matinyi added.

He said, so far, 58 deaths have been recorded across the country from the flooding.

Last Friday, eight schoolchildren died after their bus plunged into a flooded gorge in the north of the country.

April marks the peak of Tanzania’s rainy season. This year has seen the heaviest rainfall in recent years.

The deluge has also led to the deaths of at least 13 people and displaced some 15,000 in neighbouring Kenya, the UN said.

The El Niño weather phenomenon has worsened this year’s seasonal rains, weather experts said.

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