Organised Chaos: Water and Sanitation Systems in Housing Areas in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

University dissertation from Architecture and Development Studies

Abstract: This thesis focuses on the provision and management of water supply and sanitation in housing areas in the City of Dar es Salaam. The main objective of the study is to contribute to knowledge and understanding of provision and management of urban water supply and sanitation in Tanzania in the context of sustainable urbanisation. A sectoral and single problem issue study approach was avoided and instead systems analysis approach was used as a tool for an in-depth study of a case area. A case study method was employed. Mikocheni, a housing area in Dar es Salaam, was used as a case to establish the evidence of this process and resulting issues associated with it. Habitats with different contextual backgrounds were used for comparison. The research employed some form of participatory action research (PAR) method where members of the community became active participants. Systems thinking and analysis was used as a tool and it allowed the research to be analytical on the issue at both macro and micro levels. It also allowed comparing the issue with cases in extreme situations or different contexts. Mental modelling of the systems and mirroring of reality was done. The findings confirmed the researcher’s conviction that there is potential for local resources. The residents’ initiative for investment for both housing and services is an indicator of a willing partner in provision and in paying for service use. However the present provision and management system lack guidance in technological development options, proper use of resources and lack of an integrated and systematic approach in dealing with the current problems. The main change options concentrate at the service systems in the house, neighbourhood and city levels. Suggestions for instituting eco-strategies at national and regional level are made. A main strategy suggested is that, through housing services, Dar es Salaam is to be responsible for its resource use and waste management (responsible city). Plan its areas and urban function that follow availability and potential of its resources (living city) and for the city to have residents that are aware of the issues and that participate as providers and users (participating city). The contribution to knowledge is in its holistic approach to the problem and the systematic analysis of the issues. A trans-disciplinary way of dealing with reality has been attempted in this thesis. At the same time using the mono disciplinary, or knowledge of existing making disciplines, or traditional academia. Successful examples and existing knowledge is used to suggest an alternative or change in the system that can result in a sustainable housing neighbourhood and sustainable urban development.

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