Tuesday, November 15, 2016 

Tanzania stakeholders get brief on Dar es Salaam status

FLOOD CAUSES: Dumping of solid waste in drains remains a serious problem.

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA - More than 200 municipal authorities, community leaders, disaster and planning experts as well as university students gathered last week in Dar es Salaam to share experiences and lessons learned in preparation for the scaling up of Ramani Huria, the ongoing community mapping for flood resilience project.

Over, the past two years, Ramani Huria – formal consortia composed of Dar es Salaam City Council, Buni Innovation Hub, D-Lab, the University of Dar es Salaam, Ardhi University supported by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, the Red Cross and the World Bank – has worked with local communities to implement a mapping exercise.

According to the World Bank  Tanzania office, the exercise will use cutting-edge technologies, including Global Positioning System (GPS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones to plot the geographic locations of roads, streams, floodplains, and other relevant information including vital data related to affected residents.

It is further revealed that the information generated thus far captured for 21 Wards in the most flood prone areas in Dar es Salaam, covering a combined population of 1.3 million people is fed into publicly accessible tools including OpenStreetMap and InaSAFE with the goal of equipping communities with better disaster planning and management.

As part of the project, university students and community members have been trained to create sophisticated and highly accurate maps of their localities which can be used to coordinate disaster prevention and response in these areas who informal status has meant they have hitherto been excluded from official maps. 

The project has successfully increased awareness within local authorities of the need for better flood prevention and risk reduction while also endowing local community members with the knowledge and skills to contribute to the planning of their areas.

Osiligi Lossai, Ward Officer for Tandale, one of the unplanned suburbs of Dar es Salaam said that now as maps are available, and a map is something important to start with, they can now identify different areas to restructure and improve. 

“It is a roadmap for us to set up new plans, to organize ourselves while involving the community. And the community can have a sense of ownership over our new plan for development. 

“Let’s not end here, because this is just the beginning,” Lossai said.

The two day workshop aimed to assess the capacities that have been built and featured speakers from the communities affected by the project as well as experts and government officials.

By Timothy Kitundu, Tuesday, November 15th, 2016