- Approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, the financing will also help transform a flood prone area in the center of the city into a vibrant green space and commercial and residential area that will benefit all residents of Dar es Salaam.
Dar es Salaam. The World Bank has approved $200 million (Sh460 billion) financing to help reduce the flood exposure of over 300,000 people in Dar es Salaam, including many low-income communities, while providing access to better infrastructure and services.
Approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, the financing will also help transform a flood prone area in the center of the city into a vibrant green space and commercial and residential area that will benefit all residents of Dar es Salaam.
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Financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), the new Msimbazi Basin Development Project when complete will also benefit users of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit system and other commuters from fewer traffic disruptions from floods during the rainy season.
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“Harnessing urbanization to promote economic growth and job creation is a priority in our Country Partnership Framework for Tanzania,” said Preeti Arora, Acting World Bank Country Director for Tanzania in a statement issued by the world's largest sources of funding.
The statement adds, “Despite its critical role as an engine of growth for the nation, Dar es Salaam’s business environment is negatively impacted by the unplanned nature of its growth, limited urban services, and the vulnerability of settlements and critical infrastructure to climate-related hazards. This new support will help transform the city into a more efficient metropolitan area.”
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For his part, World Bank Senior Urban Specialist, John Morton, said the project is designed to be resilient to the rapid urbanisation and anticipated impacts of climate change through a flood prevention approach that reduces the impacts on mobility, property, health, livelihoods, and economic development
“Given Dar es Salaam’s flat topography and limited drainage network, nearly every rainy season brings flooding and the area near the lower Msimbazi river is most affected. This has become increasingly severe over the past decade due to rapid and unplanned growth, which has led to higher flood intensity and more people moving to flood prone areas,” he said.
With an estimated six million inhabitants, Dar es Salaam accounts for 40% of Tanzania’s total urban population and 17% of national GDP. Growing at a rate of 5.6% annually, it is projected to become a mega city with a population of more than 10 million by 2030. Formal planning has not kept pace with the city’s population growth. An estimated 70% of development in the city is informal and unaccompanied by service extensions, leaving the booming urban population with infrastructure systems designed for a much smaller city.
The new project, whose development objective is to strengthen flood resilience and integrated urban development in the economically important and flood prone area of the Msimbazi River basin, will consist of five components: the Msimbazi river basin development infrastructure, preventative resettlement, strengthening institutions for resilient urban development, project management and contingent emergency response.
The project also builds on the World Bank’s nearly two decades of engagement in urban development in Dar es Salaam, including the Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project, which will close in December 2022.