Saturday, January 16, 2010

Informal Settlements in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

On Christmas Day we received a tour of two informal settlements in Tanzania from a local urban planning student, Martin, who participated in a previous UN-HABITAT workshop.  The informal settlements in Tanzania differ from Kenyan settlements in that most if not all inhabitants own their structures rather than rent.  Tanzania is also not plagued by tribalism or regionalism which adds conflict and violence in Kenyan settlements.

by Nels Nelson by Nels Nelson by Nels Nelson by Nels Nelson

Jangwani plastic recycling, water supply, pit latrine, pollution

This settlement is squatted on government-owned land which is flooded in the rainy season most years.  The stream running through the area is highly polluted with human waste and industrial runoff.  It is a low density area with a lot of space between structures.  The structures are mostly of durable materials.  Drinking water is stolen off the city network and available for free to the inhabitants.  The principle industry in the neighborhood is plastic recycling.  A large bag of plastic bottles is worth TZS200 (about .10 Euro) which is purchased by a Chinese recycling company.

by Nels Nelson by Nels Nelson

Kigogo discussion between Eline and Martin, urban space

This area has been squatted upon since at least the 1970’s although it has never been officially condoned or mapped.  The citizens seem to have a feeling of secure tenure, as they have invested in durable structures.  Though informal, the neighborhood is well planned with a livable density of low-rise structures, urban agriculture and even a grazing space for animals.  The in-between spaces are well landscaped and upgraded with concrete staircases.