Dar Ramani Huria trains university students and local community members to create highly accurate maps of the most flood-prone areas of the city using OpenStreetMap.
Understanding Tanzania’s Risk
Every year during the rainy season, Dar suffers from devastating floods that wipe out roads, take out houses, and result in many deaths and millions of dollars worth of damages. The damage these floods cause could be prevented with adequate planning, but much of the city is made up of unplanned and informal settlements.
Ramani Huria is community-based mapping project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It is managed by the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology, with partners including the City Council of Dar es Salaam, Ardhi University, University of Dar es Salaam, Buni Innovation Hub, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and supported by the Red Cross, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and the World Bank.
Ramani Huria trains university students and local community members to create highly accurate maps of the most flood-prone areas of the city using OpenStreetMap. The communities map residential areas, roads, streams, floodplains, and other relevant features to bring disaster prevention and response to areas that were previously, literally, off the map. The project will also bring awareness of the need for flood prevention and risk reduction to the local level, while teaching participants valuable computer and mapping skills that they can put to use elsewhere.
As an added benefit, these maps will be publicly available online, available for download on this website, and also delivered in printed form to the local governing bodies of each ward. This data is comprised of detailed information about buildings (construction material, floors) roads, drains, water points, toilets, public transit (bus and cycles lanes) across the city of Dar es Salaam.
All data is licenced under the Open Database Licence and can be downloaded from OpenStreetMap. This enables reuse of the data for differing purposes, other than flood resilence. One such application has been to look at the mapping the public transit of Dar es Salaam, this is visualised here
Currently, flood risk scenarios using InaSAFE (a free software that enables users to run realistic natural disaster scenarios for better planning and response) are being developed. This leverages participatory mapping that allows communities to identify historical flood extents. These scenarios and maps are then used by community leaders to improve resilience to floods and other hazards.
These actions could include identifying and cleaning drains blocked with solid waste or identifying vulnerable people and planning evacuations accordingly. The partners of Ramani Huria also help offer training and workshops aimed at building fluency in using data and maps. These includes collaborating with GFDRR’s Code for Resilience program, in supporting students from the University of Dar es Salaam and State University of Zanzibar with fellowships to innovate and build on this data. This includes integrating population data into Inasafe and pioneering 3D Printed Weather Stations.