Community Mapping of Urban Risks in Mwanza aims to produce high-quality, ground-truth spatial information and urban risks data for selected wards in Ilemela and Nyamagana municipalities.
Mwanza is the second-largest city in Tanzania with a population of about 1.2 million people. Located on the shores of Lake Victoria, it is characterized by highly dissected steep slopes, rocky hills, narrow interfluves, and river valleys.
Like other towns in Tanzania, Mwanza has undergone a massive spatial expansion in recent years - according to Macrotrends, the population in Mwanza increased by 5.56 percent since 2019, with 75 percent of the people living in informal areas. Further, approximately 81 percent of households who live in hazard-prone areas are low-income. These areas often lack access to adequate municipal services such as water, sanitation, solid waste, electricity, and drainage. Taken together, these shortcomings, along with acute, periodic flooding, contribute to a deteriorating environment which often leads to an increase in health and safety risks.
Building on the previous projects of Ramani Huria and Zanzibar Mapping, a consortium made up of Spatial Collective, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and OpenMap Development Tanzania recently extended their operations to Mwanza City. Under the banner of the Tanzania Urban Resilience Program (TURP), the aim of Community Mapping of Urban Risks in Mwanza is to produce high-quality, ground-truth spatial information and urban risks data for selected wards in Ilemela and Nyamagana municipalities.
The objective of this project is to design, train, and manage mapping campaigns in Mwanza with expected outputs of training and skill-building of university students from the Institute of Rural Development and St. Augustine University and local government authorities including municipalities, the Tanzania Rural and Urban Road Agency (TARURA). Additional outputs include the coordination of community-level engagements working through local government and community champions, and the generation of up-to-date, open, and accurate exposure data actionable for flood risk modeling and flood scenario generation purposes in Mwanza.
The project will produce high-quality, ground-truth spatial information and urban risks data for selected wards in Ilemela and Nyamagana municipalities, focusing on 4 core mapping campaigns:
Digitization services for 2020 building exposure updates
Drainage infrastructure and river mapping
Participatory Mapping of Unplanned Communities
Household flood and rockfall historical incidents mapping
Such data are intended to have multiple uses for local authorities, including informing planning and preparedness actions and informing the socio-economic exposure analysis of the TURP flood risk assessment for Mwanza City. The assignment is intended to be an international example of how low-cost technology can support resilience building and planning through the production of high-quality spatial information with locally accessible tools and devices. An emphasis of this assignment is to equip university students and local government authorities with tools to produce spatial information with low-cost technologies they can acquire locally.
Photo credit: Primoz Kovacic, Spatial Collective