Adapting to climate change in coastal Dar es Salaam
Associated Organization: Sapienza University of Rome and ARDHI University
The aim is to contribute to the implementation of the National Adaptation Programme of Action of the United Republic of Tanzania, focusing mainly on two of its priority sectors for adaptation strategies: human settlements and coastal and marine resources. The action’s specific objectives is to improve the effectiveness of Dar municipalities’ initiatives for supporting coastal peri-urban population in their efforts to adapt to Climate Change.
Themes: Climate Science, Poverty and vulnerability, Water
Regions: East Africa
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The impacts of climate change on key sectors of the Tanzanian economy and the people’s well-being prompted preparation of the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) in 2007. Vulnerability analysis demonstrated that sea level rise will destroy coastal resources and infrastructure, and additional losses are expected in terms of the bleaching of coral reefs resulting from ocean temperature rise.
Given this scenario, the situation in Dar es Salaam raises major concerns as the city is the largest in Tanzania (more than 2.5 million inhabitants) and the main engine of the national economy. In recent decades, the city has expanded tremendously due to both natural growth and immigration, and today the coastal plain is largely urbanized. Residential neighborhoods lie beside tourism infrastructures and other economic activities along the coast.
Most of these neighborhoods are unplanned and underserviced, and their inhabitants are largely dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Along with fishing, urban agriculture plays a major role. It ranks as Dar's second largest employer and provides the City with a large quantity of food (354,657 tons in 2004, according to the City Council). Climate change (CC) represents a further threat for people who are already faced with coastal erosion, watershed salinization, periodic inundations, as well as sea and land pollution. Moreover, their land tenure is unsecure and they are at risk of displacement by more economically valuable urban activities.
According to UNFCCC mechanism for adaptation, local governments in LDCs are expected to take part in the NAPA implementation process by drawing Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPAs). It has been pointed out that LAPAs are likely to be ineffective unless they address the problems underlying the “gap between planning and implementation” which affects most initiatives for Urban Development and Environment Management in African cities.
The idea of directly supporting the planning process for adaptation and of designing the “Adapting to climate change in coastal Dar es Salaam” action grew from an existing collaboration between CIRPS Sapienza University of Rome and Ardhi University. Through a partnership between their PhD programs, a joint study has been developed on “CC adaptation in Dar’s peri-urban areas”, creating the possibility of further collaborations. Indeed, for several years now academics and graduates from the two universities have been developing joint research activities on topics related to urban development and environmental management in peri-urban areas, with a specific concern for CC adaptation.