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[Tanzania] World Bank financing to strengthen climate change adaptation and resilience in Dar es Salaam

[Tanzania] World Bank financing to strengthen climate change adaptation and resilience in Dar es Salaam

New financing approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors will help reduce the flood exposure of over 300,000 people, including many low-income communities, while providing access to better infrastructure and services.

 It 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.

Additionally, users of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit system and other commuters will benefit from fewer traffic disruptions from floods during the rainy season through the implementation of the new Msimbazi Basin Development Project, financed in the amount of $200 million by the International Development Association (IDA).

“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. “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.”

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.

“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,” said John Morton, World Bank Senior Urban Specialist.  “The project is designed to be resilient to this rapid urbanization and anticipated impacts of climate change through a flood prevention approach that reduces the impacts on mobility, property, health, livelihoods, and economic development.”

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: (1) the Msimbazi river basin development infrastructure; (2) preventative resettlement; (3) strengthening institutions for resilient urban development; (4) project management; and (5) contingent emergency response. It will be co-financed through a $30 million credit from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and a €30 million grant from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The project was conceptualized with grant support from the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, which supported baseline assessments and facilitated the stakeholder identification of the project interventions. The Nordic Development Fund and the Government of Japan’s Quality Infrastructure Investment partnership and Tokyo Development Learning Center contributed knowledge and technical advice on green infrastructure.

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.

“Public spaces and green areas are scarce with only 2% of Dar es Salaam classified as public green space and as little as 0.1% classified as park. While much of the project area in the lower Msimbazi valley is open space, the quality of the green space, wetland, forests, and riverbanks has been degraded due to urban pressure, deforestation, and waste dumping. Through the project, the people of Dar es Salaam will also benefit from the city’s first major urban park,” said Allen Natai, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist.


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