Monday, July 21, 2014

As floods threaten, Tanzania aims to build a megacity that works

Kizito Makoye at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, about Dar es Salaam:  Tanzania’s largest commercial city - one of the fastest-growing in Africa - has redrawn its master plan to try to become a megacity prepared for climate change, and not a city of worsening urban sprawl and flooding.

The plan, which looks ahead to 2036, aims to transform the city of over 4.5 million people and proposes creation of a Metropolitan Development Authority to oversee planning and major infrastructure development, including transportation and utilities. It calls for measures to mainstream climate change adaptation into existing urban development policies, for instance constructing better storm-water drainage systems for a city increasingly hard-hit by flooding, and relocating residents from areas with high flood risk.

The authority would have powers to veto planning decisions by lower municipal councils that are inconsistent with land-use policies for the city. Said Meck Sadick, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, told Thomson Reuters Foundation that the government wants to see Dar es Salaam grow into a megacity with ultra-modern institutions, industries and facilities to attract investment and accommodate an ever-increasing population.

The success of the plan, however, depends on enforcing regulations and stopping continued construction of buildings in flood-prone and other prohibited areas, Sadick said. Fast-growing Dar es Salaam generates over 40 percent of Tanzania’s GDP but is exposed to a range of risks from climate change, including flooding, sea level rise, coastal erosion, water scarcity and insect-borne diseases....

The harbor of Dar es Salaam, shot by Prof.Chen Hualin , Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons 3.0 license

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