Prime Minister Edward Lowassa of Tanzania said he hoped that the City Council and UN-HABITAT would join hands to implement a new plan of action to improve unplanned settlements in the Tanzanian capital.
He made the remarks at a two-day seminar 17 and 18 May called to discuss a new plan for Dar es Salaam where 70 percent of residents live in inadequate, unplanned, poorly serviced settlements spread across half the city’s residential districts.
“A total of 11.2 million Tanzanians, equivalent to 32.3 percent of the total population, live in cities, among which 90 percent live in unplanned settlements which are poorly serviced,” Mr. Lowassa told the gathering of more than 80 representatives of municipalities, the private sector, civil society organizations and high learning institutions. “This is an alarming situation. The Government expects the implementation of the Action Plan to be carried out through collaboration between the Dar-es-Salaam City Council and UN-HABITAT. The commendable efforts by UN-HABITAT synergise various government programmes on urban poverty and the provision of better shelter.”
Citing UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, the UN Resident Representative, Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco spoke of the ‘urban penalty’ affecting poor urban citizens living in unplanned and unserviced slums in in African cities.
UN-HABITAT’s Director of Technical Cooperation, Mr. Daniel Biau, reaffirmed the priority of the Cities Alliance support programme to enhance various upgrading efforts by different organisations such as the World Bank-led Community Infrastructure Upgrading Programme and other ongoing activities in the city. He also emphasized that political will would be paramount to implement the upgrading strategy through a concrete, realistic and comprehensive Action Plan.
Land, basic services and housing are the three components of the settlements upgrading strategy, which were discussed with particular attention to technical options, institutional arrangements (including capacity building) and financial mechanisms. A number of priority activities were endorsed by the participants, in reference to the Millennium Development Goal 7. These include a review of land use standards to increase affordability, the extension and improvement of residential licences, incremental generalisation of occupancy certificates, new land development with cost recovery and cross-subsidies, improved collection of property tax, water kiosks managed by communities, private toilets, waste management services through public-private partnerships, road improvement, the creation of housing departments in each municipality, a review of building standards, and the encouragement of small scale rental housing.