The population of Tanzania is estimated at over 36 million persons, of which 30% live in urban areas. Urbanisation in Tanzania is growing rapidly, with cities like Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar growing at a rate of between 7 and 11% per annum. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with high rates of unemployment and half the population living on less than $1 per day. 80% of Tanzanians derive their livelihoods from agriculture, although most of the urban population engages in informal activities and micro-enterprise. Progress has been made in Tanzania, however, and reforms in the country have proceeded with the reorientation of the economy to market-based operations and the creation of a framework for exploiting the large potential of private sector initiatives.
During the redevelopment of the port area in the Kurasini district of Dar es Salaam a community living in an informal settlement were evicted and their homes destroyed. In the period before their eviction the community members formed a community association called Tanzania Urban Poor Federation (the Federation). This Federation started a community savings and loans scheme and set in motion the search for a location to resettle their community. Over time, the Federation saved enough money to buy a plot of land in the Dar es Salaam ward of Chamazi.
With the assistance of the Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI) the Federation is developing the plans and financing strategy to build a new settlement with housing and amenities for all the community. The principle is to develop a viable community, with a mix of housing types, other community facilities, and commercial activities that will provide for the needs of the community residents.
The primary land use will be housing for the Federation. However, in order to create a viable community, part of the site will also be used for a number of different land uses for employment purposes and community amenities, such as horticulture/ market gardening, workshops, a market, a health centre and a school. These other land uses can also be used to cross-subsidise the affordable housing for the Federation. The ability of the community to pay back a loan is low and the interest rates are high. Therefore to reduce the capital cost of the project an incremental approach to providing housing is suggested for the houses that will be owned and occupied by members of the Federation. This incremental approach involves the construction of single-storey housing, containing both the kitchen and bathroom; ready for the construction of a second storey at a later date. The second storey would be the same size as the ground floor. A number of rental houses will also be developed on the site for commercial lets for people who are not members of the Federation. These houses will be based on the same design as the incremental housing, but they will be constructed as complete houses from the outset and finished to a higher standard.
Expected results include tried and tested mechanisms for providing capital financing for slum upgrading in Dar es Salaam and for the Chamazi community; the provision of housing and infrastructure in the new site; improved quality of life in participating communities, and; and leveraged private bank participation in slum upgrading projects.
Improved living conditions for the low-income community of Chamazi.