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8 August 2014

New design approaches for city planning in Dar es Salaam: The Urban Nexus in action!

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ICLEI Africa, GIZ and the Kindondoni Municipality held a showday and final workshop for the Urban Nexus pilot project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this week.

The project titled “Operationalisation of the Urban Nexus in Metropolitan regions” is a two-country pilot in Tanzania and India, with a global study and review of methods for implementing the Urban Nexus in Metropolitan cities.

The pilot project in Kinondoni was implemented at two neighbouring schools, Tandale and Hekima, in a high density low income largely informal neighbourhood. The aim was to re-integrate services and resource utilisation in order to improve the education facilities, while creating an educational focal point for both school pupils and the community itself. This is the first entry point for implanting urban nexus design solutions to be upscaled and carried forward by the municipality with other interested stakeholders.

The schools face a myriad of challenges that are also common in other schools across the city. Finding design solutions that can work in these schools, provides hope that they could be replicated and rolled out across the city. Challenges faced by schools are inadequate sanitation facilities, and a lack of access to water. These have a negative impact on health and wellbeing, often leading to school absenteeism.

Additionally many children from low-income families, and particularly orphans, have little access to adequate nutrition, which results to schools putting school feeding programmes in place. The feeding programmes however are faced with high costs associated with buying water, and fuel wood, which are passed on to students. Aside from challenges of resource availability, the schools were open to the community who walk and drive through the open space placing students and teachers at risk to a variety of challenges such as criminal activities. It also allowed for waste to be dumped on the school ground which degrades the school environment. Waste dumps were often burnt as a means of disposal thereby impacting on health. The idea behind the project was to then improve these circumstances by implementing a connected set of solutions, which would contribute to a greater vision for the schools.

The result from a very small investment of €12,000 and additional co-financing and in kind contributions from the schools and the municipality resulted in the following: i) improved water access via small upgrades of existing infrastructure of the borehole and connections, along with rainwater harvesting and tanks for storage; ii) installation of an improved fuelwood cookstove for cooking for the school feeding programme; iii) installation of vertical food gardens at both schools, connected to rainwater harvesting infrastructure utilising drip irrigation. Additional upgrades to the school were implemented by the municipality including the building of a school wall to improve security and safety of schoolgoers and teachers, as well as to halt dumping of waste on school grounds.

The show day this week sought to showcase the implementation that has taken place and discuss the outcomes and future plans for the schools. In addition a high level workshop was held with Kinodoni Municipality in order to address lesson learnt for upscaling and replication, as well as utilisation of the Urban Nexus design principles for additional strategic citywide development interventions. The workshop resulted in overwhelming positive feedback and a sense of momentum to continue the work and bring new stakeholders together to upscale similar activities. An Urban Nexus steering group was formulated and this will continue the work started in the pilot project and seek to inform broader and new initiatives in the city. Additional information, case studies and a global report will soon be published by ICLEI and GIZ in the coming months.

If you would like to find out more about the project and its outcomes in Dar es Salaam please contact ICLEI Africa and visit the project page.

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