Dar es Salaam and Stone Town are the two primary cities of Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, with populations of 5.5 million and 150,000 respectively. Each of these cities and their country have unique challenges and hazards. Dar es Salaam for instance is challenged by bi-annual flooding, impacting many thousands of its citizens every year. In response to this, the World Bank, GFDRR, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and the Red Cross are supporting the Tanzanian Commission of Science and Technology, Buni Innovation Hub, Dar es Salaam City Council, Ardhi University and the University of Dar es Salaam with a community mapping for flood resilience project, Ramani Huria. In coordinating all of these actors, Ramani Huria has leveraged the skills of over 100 community members, 150 students, collecting data in the most flood prone neighbourhoods of Dar es Salaam, making maps and underlying data freely available for Dar es Salaam.
The convergence of these organisations and community members has kickstarted many discussions around how data and maps can improve the livelihoods of citizens, but also provided focus on how enhance the capacity of flood resilience and response by local and national government. This was fertile ground for Code for Resilience, a World Bank and GFDRR supported program, aimed at brining the next generation of technologists together with policy and decision makers to create the next generation of resilience applications. This is done through supporting six of the Tanzania’s brightest young technologists through a fellowship and mentorship program, working on problem statements derived from decision and policy makers.
This combination has led to the enhancement of the QGIS and InaSafe, open source softwares that create flood impact scenarios, that can then be used to inform on community level infrastructure improvements and/or evacuation planning. One such enhancement is the addition of elevation analysis to identify the extent of flood prone areas, based upon the amount of rainfall that such an area receives. This is an open source application that will automate the hydrologic analysis for Dar es Salaam City Council and allow for inundation scenarios to be created by community level civil servants, but also by the global commons.
Every city has it’s own priorities, in Zanzibar, the challenge is around organising the data that they already have. The open source ZanSea Geonode is helping do exactly this, with the support of StatOil, Obscom and the State University of Zanzibar, Zanzibar’s geospatial data is being organised. Metadata is a key part of data organisation, and one that two Code For Resilience fellows from the State University of Zanzibar, Massoud Hamad and Yussuf Said, are working on providing end to end metadata exchange, from Geonode to QGIS and back. In future this will allow metadata to be created and updated during data storage, retrieval, analysis and back to storage for the ZanSea Geonode and in future releases of Geonode around the world.
Each of these projects and others, such as 3D printing weather stations from recycled plastic and automating the delivery of population statistics, were initiated on the 30th of January at the Buni Innovation Hub in Tanzania. This event incorporated mentors from across the technology scene in Tanzania, Code for Resilience Fellows, from the University of Dar es Salaam and experts from Dar es Salaam City Council, all working together to develop these applications. It offers a bright future for collaboration and a more resilient Tanzania! More detailed information about the problem statements and code is found on the Ramani Huria website.
Learn more about mentorship, fellowship and code sprint activities at [codeforresilience.org](http://codeforresilience.org and learn more about community mapping and flood resilience in Dar es Salaam at http://ramanihuria.org.